Lomami national park is one of the newest national parks in Congo established by Prime Minister Augustine Matata Ponyo on the 7th of July 2016. This was the first park to be established in Congo since 1970. Lomami national park covers an area of 8,874 kilometers squared, the park is a true African jungle gem situated in an area that used to be the largest forest block in Congo in between Lualaba and Tshuapa rivers.
The park is characterized by tropical low land forests, savannah islands, and riverine forests. The existence of the park came through a collaboration of the ICCN Congolese army, Lukuru Foundation, wild cat foundation and many more. When the park was founded there were hardly any roads to penetrate the forest, no agricultural activities or any human settlement except poachers and hunters.
Safari Activities in Lomami
Bonobo, Congo giraffe, Lesula monkey, forest elephants, okapi, red colobus monkey, dryas monkey also known as Inoko, Tshuapa red colobus, Lomami river wolf monkey, Congo basin wolf monkey, sclaters Angolan colobus, Katanga red-tailed monkey, northern black mangabey, yellow nose red-tailed monkey, Lomami river red-tailed monkey, and De Brazzas monkey to mention a few.
Lomami national park is home to 275 species of birds recorded so far and the research is still ongoing, some of the examples of birds in the park include; African grey parrot, Congo peafowl, shining blue kingfisher, blue breasted Bee-eater, crested guinea fowl, Cassin’s Spinetail, blue swallow, black goshawk, croaking cisticola, Johanna’s Sunbird and pale crowned cisticola to mention a few.
Fishing is one of the most common activities at Lomami national park; tourists can fish from one of the rivers within the park at Lualaba river, Lomami River or join the villagers to fish in dug out ponds near their villages for a unique experience.
Boat cruises are another way to explore Lomami national park, tourists can encounter the parks flora and fauna on a boat cruise spotting various wildlife quenching thirst from the river banks and lots of water birds to be seen. A boat cruise can also end up with a picnic lunch that can be enjoyed in the bush.
Lomami national park is surrounded by villages in which seven ethnic groups of people live in like the Mituku and Mbole. These people have lived at the edges of the park using it used it as a hunting ground for several years. You can learn about their hunting experiences and ways of lives as well as listen to ancient stories of the forest people not forgetting to buy handmade crafts like masks to take home for remembrance.
The park is new with fewer accommodations most tourists camp with their own tents. Lomami national park can be visited all year round but the best time is in the dry season from June to August, the park is located in a remote area so the roads are not good during rainy season as they may become impassable you will need a four wheel drive vehicle.