EXPLORE THE MARUNGU HIGHLANDS WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
If you are ready to go off the beaten track to experience and reach the unexplored destinations, Marungu highlands are what you looking for. These stunning Highlands are situated within the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the west of the southern section of the large Lake Tanganyika.
Marungu highlands are separated by River Mulobozi which drains into a Lake found just North of Moba Port. The small Northern side of the Highlands stands at an elevation of 2100 meters (6900 feet) above sea level whereas the vast and higher southern section stands at an altitude of 2460 meters (8070 feet) above sea level. The average rainfall received at Marungu highlands is 1200 millimeters per annum with higher rainfall received from October to April.
The sublacustrine swell stretches from the Marungu plateau under the southern basin of Lake Tanganyika before sub-dividing it into the Zongwe and Albertville basins. The former trough holds the deepest part of Lake Tanganyika standing at 1470 meters (4820 feet) above sea level below the present level of the Lake. Alluvial Cones from the rivers that flow through the Marungu highlands are found at the bottom of the Zongwe trough and there are numerous V-shaped Valleys below the Lake level. These attractive and wonderful features show that during the Quaternary (from 2.588 million years ago to the present day) the level of the Lake has changed tremendously, sometimes even much lower than it is today.
It is said that Henry Morton Stanley acknowledged that this natural feature was one of the phenomenal features when he explored the region in this journey of 1874 to 1877. He wrote that “Kirugwe point” appears to be a high towering ridge cut straight through the area to unknown depth.
The higher slopes of Marungu Highlands are characterized by Miombo woodland savannahs dotted with scrub plants on its slopes and some thick forests in then ravines, and remains of the Riparian forest along the shores of the streams. Popular forest plants within Marungu Highlands include Turrea holstii in ravines, Syzygium cordatum, Parinari excelsa, Ficalhoa laurifolia, Ficus storthophylla, Ilex mitis by the water, Polyscias fulva and Teclea nobilis among others.
One of the interesting wildlife species is Hyperolius nasicus, a small and slender tree frog characterized by the pointed snout, also known to be a member of the controversial Hyperolius nasutus frogs.
It is popular only from its nature of habitat in the Marungu highlands at Kasiki standing at 2300 meters (7500 feet) above sea level. Not only that, the exceptional double-collared sunbird is found only in the riparian forest of this region. These birds are found in limited areas of only riparian forest within Matafali, Lufoko River, Sambwe, Kasiki and Pande.
The greater double-collared sunbird is one of the 25 species of threatened birds within the Democratic Republic of Congo out of the total 1086 species in the country. There are currently proposals to conserve the verdant forests at the edge of River Mulobozi and Lufuko at around 1500 meters (4900 feet) above sea level within Nature Reserves. Don’t miss Marungu Highlands on your bucket list of places to visit within this country.