Upemba national park is situated in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Katanga province, the park was established in July 1939 characterized with savannah grassland, wetlands, rocky outcrops, waterfalls, Kibara plateau, marshes, lakes, mountains, miombo woodlands and so much more.
The park covers an area of 10,000 kilometers squared today compared to the 17,730 kilometers squared when the park was first gazetted, Upemba national park has also been rated as UNESCO biodiversity reserve. Upemba national park is endowed with diverse panoramic landscapes and 1800 species of plants, mammalian species, primate species, birds species and so much more.
Wildlife and Birds
Upemba national park is one of the national parks in Congo with the highest concentration of wildlife there are various wildlife trucks established within the park where you will enjoy a game drive, you will be able to spot animals such as zebras, Oribis, zebras, elephants, antelopes, lions, elephants, buffalos, duikers and so much more there are also other species of primates like baboons monkeys and so much more.
Shoebill stork, wattled crane, Angola lark, Dickinson’s kestrel, racket-tailed roller, chestnut owlet, honey guide greenbelt, Souza shrike, miombo rock thrush, sparrow weaver, firefinch, African fish eagle and Kivu ground thrush to mention a few.
The stunning Upemba depression is where you will find Lake Upemba, the all-area comprises of 50 lakes, and over 40 archaeological sites have been discovered in the Upemba depression with only 6 that have been excavated. The depression is believed to be the largest cemetery in sub-Saharan Africa.
Upemba national park is surrounded by 10 lakes from which you can fish from, the common fish being caught in the lake is Tilapia, Capitaine, freshwater elephant fish, cichlidae, barbus, alestidae and mochokidae among the rest. There quite a number of floating islands in the lake like Mitala island where you can visit the refugee settlement and learn about peoples ways of lives. There are lots of rivers within the park meaning you will be able to visit many beautiful waterfalls.
Cultural Encounters and Hikes
One of the ways to complement your Congo safari is by visiting the locals living in the surrounding areas of the park, you will get entertained with traditional songs and dances, you can also buy local handmade crafts to take home for remembrance.
Hiking is also another way to explore Upemba national park. There are various hiking trails established were tourists can get more close to wildlife on foot as well as spot different species of birds, primates, plants and many more.
Upemba national park can be visited all year round but the best time to visit is from October to January. The park is dry and vegetation is not thick so wildlife can easily be spotted. Upemba national park can be reached from Lubumbashi international airport by road or tourists can use water transport if coming from Lake Tanganyika. Tourists can also use air transport from Lubumbashi airport.