The Republic of the Congo features a rich diversity of species, including 400 species of mammals, 1,000 species of birds, 10,000 species of plants, and more. Large parts of the country are covered by dense tropical rainforests. The national parks of the Republic of the Congo serve to protect the biodiversity of the country. There are currently four national parks to be found. A fifth, called the Ougoue Lekiti National Park, has also been proposed as a national park in the country.
4. Odzala National Park
Odzala National Park is located in the Cuvette-Ouest Region of the Republic of the Congo. It occupies an area of 13,600 square km and was established in 1935. It is one of the last remaining strongholds of the western gorilla and the forest elephant. Other animals found here include the bushbuck, spotted hyena, forest buffalo, giant forest hog, sitatunga, and others. Even though the animals of the national park are protected against exploitation by law, poaching continues to a big problem here. Elephant poaching for ivory and the hunting of other animals for bushmeat trade are decimating the fauna of the Odzala National Park.
3. Ntokou-Pikounda National Park
The Ntokou-Pikounda National Park is a 4,572 square km large protected area in the Republic of the Congo. The main aim of the park is to protect the lowland gorilla population who lives here. The park was founded on December 28, 2012. The park also houses 950 chimpanzees, 8,000 forest elephants, and more. As a way to help ensure the park protection from human interruption, few tourist services are offered here.
2. Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Nouabal-Ndoki National Park is located in the Republic of the Congo. It was established in 1993. The park spans an area of 3,921.61 square km of pristine tropical rainforest. The notable fauna of the park include elephants, apes, chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas, moustached guenon monkeys, colobus monkeys, and the bongo. No human habitation exists within the boundaries of the park, nor does it exist in the surrounding areas. The forests also host 300 species of birds and 1,000 species of flora including endangered mahoganies. 20 amphibian and 14 reptile species also live here. Safaris are run into the park to fund conservation and raise awareness about the beautiful national park. Gorillas reside in a special area of the park called the "Mbeli Bai".
1. Conkouati-Douli National Park
The Conkouati-Douli National Park is a coastal national park in the Republic of the Congo. It is located in the country’s Kouilou Department. The park is UNESCO recognized and was established on August 14, 1999, by a Presidential Decree. The national park encompasses an area of 504,950 hectares. The park features a wide variety of habitats including floodplain forests, lagoons, common mangroves, lakes, savannahs, etc. The Conkouati-Douli National Park is the only marine protected area in the Congo region. It also is an important home to the primates of Congo. It houses 8,000 central chimpanzees, 2,000 Western lowland gorillas, 1000 forest elephants, and numerous species of wetland and migratory birds. It is also designated as a RAMSAR site. Also, leopards, elephants, bushpigs, mandrills, sitatungas, and more are found here. The notable aquafauna of the national park includes endangered turtles and dolphins as well as around 50 humpback whales. The ecosystems of Conkouari face considerable threats from mining, logging, commercial fishing, and the petroleum industry.