Things to Know About Africa’s Jungles

rainforest butterfly species ©dorothy.voorhees/Flickr

Africa is famous for its wide grasslands and for being home to the biggest desert in the world, the Sahara. But the country also has some of the widest, deepest jungles in the world. Jungles are less of an attraction in Africa because they are wild, dangerous and hardly accessible – so people just prefer to spot animals in the savannah. But there is also the other side of the coin: the African rainforests are dying everyday due to deforestation and climate change. This doesn’t make them less spectacular, though. So in case you ever plan an adventurous trip into the jungle, here are some important things to know about Africa’s jungles:

Best jungle destinations

The African rainforests spread over a large area in central Africa and smaller areas on the West African coast. The Congo rainforest is the second largest in the world, and it covers much of the surface of Congo(Democratic Republic) as well as parts of the Republic of Congo, Cameroon or Gabon. There are several nature reserves and natural parks in the area, as, for example, the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve, Lobéké National Park or Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park. These are good places to start your exploration of the African jungles as they have extremely rich flora and fauna, but also facilities of tourists.

rainforest trip by dorothy.voorhees/Flickr

Jungle Safaris

The great attraction of a jungle excursion is, besides the thrill and the enchanting landscape, the fauna. A jungle safarican be just as exciting as a bushland safari, with the exception that the jungle has some really unique and hard to spot species, like the lowland gorillas.

rainforest butterfly species ©dorothy.voorhees/Flickr

Plus, you can also spot forest elephants and buffaloes, hundreds of species of birds, butterflies or insects. The jungles are also home to interesting plants, like the rubber tree, the coffee tree, or strangler fig. The mountain gorillas, an endangered species, live on a relatively restricted area, in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The two national parks where these gorillas can be traced are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Virunga Forest in DRC.

Advice and precautions

Back to the possible dangers and precautions that must be taken into consideration when embarking in a jungle safari, the first thing to mention is vaccination against malaria – wet areas are often associated with mosquitoes, and there are disease carriers.

Rainforest village ©gbaku/Flickr

Plus, there are some small and potentially dangerous animals in the jungle, like ticks, snakes or leeches. It’s also important to wear the proper equipment, especially waterproof equipment. Most importantly, it’s highly recommended that you hire a guide.

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