Okapi Wildlife Reserve (1996)
Congo Democratic Republic

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Zaire 1984. Okapi.

Zaire 1974. Waterfall on the Ituri River.

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies about one-fifth of the Ituri forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

The Congo river basin, of which the reserve and forest are a part, is one of the largest drainage systems in Africa. The reserve contains threatened species of primates and birds and about 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi surviving in the wild. 

It also has some dramatic scenery, including waterfalls on the Ituri and Epulu rivers. The reserve is inhabited by traditional nomadic pygmy Mbuti and Efe hunters. 

  • Zaire 1984. Okapi. 
  • Zaire 1974. Waterfall on the Ituri River. 

The Committee inscribed the Okapi Wildlife Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger, one year after giving it World Heritage status, due to reports that the armed conflict, which spread to the eastern parts of the country in early 1997, had led to the looting of facilities and the killing of elephants in this site. Most of the staff have fled the Reserve. There have also been reports of gold mining. In the latter part of 1998 however, as a result of renewed fighting in the area, equipment donated by international conservation NGOs has been looted and the staff who were in the process of reviving conservation activities had to be evacuated. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 20 jul 2006  
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