Game and Nature Reserves

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Les Serpents du Congo is UNIKIN’s anti-venom center, creating all the anti-venom for Kinshasa area (and unfortunately, since it’s the only one in Congo, Kinshasa is the only place where anti-venom is available.) The center rivals the bonobos for its professionalism and provides a stark contrast to the zoo. It is a really interesting educational experience to get to see the snakes, both poisonous and non, and learn more about them. All of the snakes there are indigenous to the DRC and many were originally found along the river.

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In 1994, the local group Friends of Animals in Congo launched an initiative to save the Kinshasa Zoo. Since then, volunteers have improved the diet and welfare of the animals and sponsored many activities in the Zoological Gardens. The efforts now focus on protecting the bonobo, one of the Congo’s unique species of great apes. Visitors can see the endangered species up close at the zoo and learn about the protection efforts through interactive exhibits. Orphaned bonobos can be observed at the sanctuary at the Chutes de Lukia, one of Kinshasa’s biggest tourist draws. 

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The Botanical Garden of Kinshasa was created in 1933 and initially called the Ferdinand De Bock Park, after the then-commissioner of the Moyen-Congo district. Located in downtown Kinshasa, the botanical garden, along with the zoo, is the only public ‘green lung’ in the heart of the capital. It covers 7 hectares and has 100 different tree species at present. After years of neglect, the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Tourism closed the garden to allow its rehabilitation as a botanical garden. These efforts were made possible by the support of the French government and the participation of other institutions and associations: the European Union, the IUCN, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, and the NGO Les Amis de la nature et des jardins.

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