Congo Basin

The Congo Basin is located in Africa, in the equatorial region, in a very large lowland basin, which includes the catchment area of ​​the Congo river.

In this whole big bowl-like landscape located about a quarter of the world's remaining tropical rainforests. The Congo Basin contains after the rain forest of the Amazon Basin of South America the second largest continuous tropical forest area in the world.

Determines its name, ostensibly naturally by the migrate across it flow, it receives after the historic kingdom of Congo, which the mouth region of the Congo located around its outflow, mainly west to areas extending beyond the Congo River Basin.

Location and geography

The Congo Basin is located in the center of the African continent in the southern part of the (mainly political) conceived as Central Africa region, mostly in the area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, besides also the neighboring Republic of Congo; its catchment area still enough with the foothills of the pelvis or with its rain forests in the neighboring states of Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and Zambia.

In the west, northwest and north, this large landscape or the Congo basin, the center of which lies only about 300 to 400 meters high going into the merging mountain countries which belong partly to the great North Equatorial threshold, the aforementioned states. In the northeast, east and southeast of the Congo Basin is bordered by the high mountain chains of elongated Central African threshold that drops towards the East African grave breach to the east. Thus, it is bordered by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, as well as to the up to 5,109 m high Rwenzori Mountains - the highest peak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the border with Uganda.

In the southeast of the catchment area of the Congo basin extends beyond the Mitumba Mountains even still to Muchinga Mountains and thus to Zambia. In the south it reaches up to 1,500 m high Lundaschwelle and even the highlands of Bie; so it is enough to Angola. In the southwest, the area becomes the only narrow, but flow and water-rich Zaire coastal lowlands around the area Congo estuary on the southern Atlantic. The western part of the Congo Basin core drops to the low threshold of Guinea east of the Atlantic, from out of the crash of the flow in the newly named lowlands.

NASA research (eg LIS) have shown that in the Congo Basin, especially west of the Central African threshold, which is to find largest flash frequency worldwide.

Forest and river landscape

In particular, the landscape of the Congo basin through the dense and evergreen rain forests, where some over 50 m tall trees grow, and by the large and well-watered Congo River is determined. Hundreds of small and large tributaries radiating outward toward the elongated curve to the left of the Congo.

Water Resources

Almost the entire area is about the Congo drained (muzzle 42,000 m³ / s). Only on the Atlantic coast between Cameroon and Angola, the rain forests drained by smaller rivers directly into the ocean.

Timber industry

Because the export of timber is a very important pillar for the Central African economy, over 80 % of the rain forests are no longer in pristine condition; they are rather than destroyed or disturbed ( secondary forest ) to call. In this regard includes the annual forest loss in the Congo Basin, where about half of the rainforest has been released to the beat, up to 15,000 km ². The real figure, based on the illegal logging and is largely not documented, lets turn this value even higher. Similar to the other remaining world's rainforest areas are also in Africa in addition to illegal logging improper forestry work ( eg slash without subsequent reforestation ), lawlessness and corruption on the agenda. The in this regard largely embittered natives and other responsible environmentalists, some of vigorously defend itself against these methods and related human rights violations, see, world's only little attention.

  • The determining factor is the river system of the Congo ( more tributaries - see there)

The shape of the relief caused the tree-like in plan form of the river network in the basin of the Congo.


The rain forest of the Congo Basin provides for the African fauna is an extremely important area, where thousands of animals live.

  • Antelopes
  • Ducker
  • Hippos
  • Gorillas
  • Crocodiles
  • Leopards
  • Vervet monkeys
  • Rhinos
  • Hornbills
  • Okapi
  • Chimpanzees
  • Colobus
  • Forest elephants