When we talk about Africa as a continent we often tend to think only about the Saharan Desert. While there is no doubt that Africa is home to the largest desert in the world, we also tend to forget a few more positive things about this wonderful continent.
Are there jungles in Africa? Yes, in fact, almost 25% of the African continent is made of rainforest or jungle. Africa is home to some of the best wildlife and many of these animals thrive and grow because of the majestic rainforests that are part of the history of Africa.
These rainforests may not be as famous as the Amazon rainforests and they may not be as well-protected as the Amazon forests. However, it would be wrong to mention that the continent does not have forests at all.
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The Famous Congo Basin
There is no doubt that the biggest and most famous forest in Africa is the majestic Congo Basin. The Congo Basin is huge and is spread over 3.7 million square kilometers and it also extends to ten countries of Africa. The countries are Gabon, Burundi, Angola, Central African Republic, Cameron, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, and the Republic of Congo.
The majestic Congo Belt starts the East African Rift System. It has been the mainstay of one of the biggest and most powerful rainforests on planet earth. Apart from being home to some of the most gorgeous forms of wildlife including gorillas, the African Elephant, and a host of other such animals, it also provides invaluable teak that is used for various construction purposes.
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There are other big forests too
While there is no doubt that the Congo rainforest is the biggest and the largest in Africa, the continent also has some other famous African forests that are worth mentioning. Here are a few of them:
- Mau Forest
- Cross-Niger Transition Forests
- Budongo Forest Reserve
- Ongoye Forest
- Mount Cameron & Bioko Montane Forests
- Newlands Forest
- Arabuko Sokoke Forest
Let us have a look at a few of them because it may not be possible to list down and discuss each one of the above.
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The famous Mau Forest is located in Kenya. It is one of the biggest forests on this continent and covers an area of around 273,300 hectares or around 675,000 acres. It also happens to be the largest water catchment as far as Kenya is concerned. Many famous rivers of African originate from here including Sondu River, Southern Ewaso Ng’iro, Njoro River and Mara River.
These rivers are important in their own way and feed the majestic Lake Nakuru, Lake Victoria and Lake Natron on the Western slopes of Mau Forest.
This famous forest is located on a granite ridge. It is a small forest but is rich in flora and fauna. It is home to some interesting vegetation like Giant Pock Ironwood, Forest Waterberry, Natal Krantz Ash, Zulu Bead String, and Poondo Fig.
It also is home to some majestic animals, birds, and wildlife including spotted thrush, yellow streaked bulbul, crowned eagle, Woodwards Barbet, Red Bush Squirrel, various types of butterflies, dwarf chameleons, and the famous Ongoye Centipede.
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Arabuko Sokoke Forest
The Arabuko Sokoke Forest is spread for the size of around 420 square kilometers and it is even today one of the largest dry coast forests that are located in Southern and Eastern Africa. It is home to some of the most precious and gorgeous forms of life and natural beauty.
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You will find the air filled with thousands of butterflies and birds. The trees are also full of lies with monkeys of different types and the forest floor is also home to some wonderful mammals though they are of smaller size. If you love to spend some great time watching some exotic birds and butterflies, there are many reasons to believe that the Arabuko Sokoke Forest is perhaps one of the best.
The size of the forest has shrunk in size over the past many years and therefore those who have seen the forest in its original size may be a bit disappointed.
To conclude there is no doubt that Africa is still home to some great forests though the size of the forests may have declined and wildlife in these forests may also have dwindled quite considerably.