Congo Rainforest Facts

Located in central Africa, the Congo rainforest contains one of the world’s longest rivers, the Congo River. 

The rainforest is rich in biodiversity. Only here can all three subspecies of gorillas be found. They are the mountain gorilla, lowland gorilla, and eastern lowland gorilla.

The Congo Basin has been inhabited for more than 50,000 years and is home to nearly 150 distinct ethnic groups.

Congo’s rivers, forests, savannas, and swamps are teeming with life. Elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos, mountain gorillas and chimpanzees live here, among others.

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Congo rainforest facts for kids

  • The Congo Rainforest has dense foliage that humans have never seen.
  • There are approximately 1.5 million square miles of rainforest
  • Increasingly fragile ecosystem due to commercial logging and agriculture.
  • The forests of the Congo have many teak trees. Teak wood is in high demand.
  • Bonobos monkeys are the closest relatives of humans and are found only in the Congo rainforest.
  • Only 1% of sunlight reaches the ground in some parts of the rainforest.
  • 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the average temperature in this rainforest.

How much rain does the Congo rainforest get?

Annual rainfall averages more than 48 inches (1200 mm) but often exceeds 80 inches (2,000 mm). Temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year.

The People

People have inhabited the Congo Basin for tens of thousands of years, and the forest provides food, medicine, water, materials, and shelter for over 75 million people.

The Congo Basin is heavily dependent on forests for subsistence and raw materials. Population density is increasing, putting increasing pressure on forests.

The construction of roads in the Congo Basin has greatly facilitated access to the interior of the forest. However, road development and logging have strained the traditional resource management system.

What are the Threats to the Rainforest

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted in deforestation, and palm oil plantations and other commercial agriculture operations are increasing pressure on forests and rivers.

The bushmeat trade, driven by a growing market, has caused the forest to become empty of species.

Combating bushmeat and ivory trades present many challenges. 

What Animals Live in the Congo Rainforest

There are about 400 different types of mammals living in the Congo Rainforest. The most common animals include elephants, primates, antelopes, rodents, bats, carnivores, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and insects.

Second-largest rainforest in the world 

The Congo rainforest is found in west and central Africa, and it is the second-largest rainforest in the world.

There are several other rainforests in Africa, including the Congo rainforest that spans six different African countries.

The Plant Cover

The Congo Basin’s rainforest is home to 10,000 different types of tropical plants, including the cinchona tree, which is used in medicine to treat malaria.