If wealth were measured in biodiversity, the forests of the Congo Basin would be rich indeed. Wildlife from the endangered bonobo to the Congo peacock can be found in this ecosystem, not to mention more than 600 species of trees (and that’s just the tree species that are known).
In some parts of the world, you can visit a planetarium and go on an amazing immersive journey into the wonders of the night sky. In other parts of the world, you can visit a natural wildlife reserve and go on an incredible expedition into the marvels of its fauna and flora.
The endless expanse of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s rain forests can only be fully appreciated from the air, but the complexity of its life and the timelessness of its beauty are best grasped from the forest floor. Attempts to describe it with words alone are futile and inadequate.
Iyondji Community Bonobo Reserve (ICBR) was established at the request of the Iyondji community, who saw the benefits their neighbors were enjoying as the result of living alongside the Lomako Reserve—specifically job creation and income from tourism. Since then, ICBR has been managed by DRC’s wildlife authority, l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), a valuable AWF partner.
It’s hard to overstate the ecological value of the Congo Basin. The second-largest tropical rainforest in the world after the Amazon, the Basin is sometimes referred to as the world’s second lung for its ability to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. It’s also a treasure trove of endemic species.