Established on the 7th July 2016, Lomami National park is the most recently created National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the 9th Park in the country and the first to be gazzeted since 1992. This magnificent National Park covers an area of 8874 square kilometers/3426 square miles-was the largest Forest Reserve in DRC, but 0ver a decade ago it was 40,000 square kilometers/15,444 square miles between Rivers Tshuapa and Lualaba. In the year the National Park was created, the Ministers’ Council of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officially created the Lomami National Park (the country’s first National Park in over 24 years. The Rainforest Trust helped Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation (LWRF)-a local partner in collaborating with the Local Community members and Governmental Institutions to make the National park a materiality and dream come true.
This National Park is currently located within the central basin of the Lomami River, and borders the Provinces of Tshopo and Maniema with minimal overlap into the Tropical rainforests of the Lualaba and Tshuapa River Basins. This fascinating National Park is a haven to several species endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo such as the endangered Okapi, the Bonobo-Congo’s endemic primate species, the Congo Peafowl-Congo’s endemic bird species and the recently discovered Primate specie named the Lesula monkeys in addition to the exceptional Dryas monkeys-locally known as the Inoko found in the Southern side of the Park.
In 2007, with support from the Arcus Foundation, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Abraham Foundation and the Lukuru Foundation began exploring the unknown landscape. Other organizations that supported this Park during its creation include the Wildcat Foundation and FCF Rainforest Trust and Art for the earth among others. An exploration was conducted for the three Rivers-Lualaba, Lomami and Tshuapa that flow through the landscape of the National Park. The Park is presently characterized by several rivers that drain the Park, Savannah-mostly the Edaphic hydromorphic within the Southern sides of the Park, hills, hill-forest, upland forest, Riverine forest and Tropical forest cover in the Northern side of the National Park.
Other mammal species within this newly created National Park include over 500 African Forest Elephants on the northern side of the park, Buffaloes, Giant forest hogs, Bush pigs, Leopards, Tshuapa Red Colobus monkeys, the Lomami Red Colobus monkeys, Sclater’s Angolan Colobus monkeys, Northern black mangabey, the Katanga Red-tailed monkeys, the Forest giraffe, the Yellow-nosed red-tailed monkeys, the DeBrazza’s monkeys, the Lomami River blue-monkeys, the Congo Basin wolf’s monkeys in addition to the Lesula and Dryas monkeys.
Besides the Congo Peafowl that are sheltered within the Lomami National Park, other birds species also call this Park home and they include the African Grey Parrots, the Rockefeller’s Sunbird, the Yellow-legged Weaver, the Congo Bay-owl, the Chapin’s Mountain Babbler, the Prigogine’s Greenbul, the Golden-naped Weaver and the Rudder’s Forest Robin among others.
Even with the numerous wildlife species in the National Park, it has continuously been threatened by hunters/poachers, most of them coming from far away, even from the other Provinces within the DRC. Besides the wildlife and bird species, cultural encounter around Lomami National park are very breathtaking and one of such is the Tambiko community famous for the traditional Ceremonies that capture the attention of anyone that visits them.
With the creation of the Lomami National Park on 7th July 2016, it is the newly created National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the first to be created after 1992. This Park is definitely a must visit during your safari in Congo because it is a home to several exceptional wildlife species like the Lesula-newly discovered primate species, the endangered Bonobos and exceptional bird species such as the Congo Peacock and the African grey parrots among others.