TC False Cape Fig
TC Carapa Procera
TC Cedrela Odorata

Forests in Africa

Evergreen tropical rainforests – shown dark green on the map – cover about 12% of Africa and are the richest areas of the continent biologically. The rainforests are found in three quite distinct areas, each supporting a wide array of unique species.

These are (1) the Congo Basin rainforests; (2) the ‘Upper Guinea’ forests of West Africa (which are separated from the Congo Basin by a dry area between Nigeria and Ghana); and (3) isolated forest ‘islands’ on mountains, and along the East African coast.

Africa’s rainforests are not as wet as those on other continents and have gone through phases of contraction and expansion over the millennia in response to climate change.

Within Africa’s 3.5 million square kilometres of rainforests, there are just five world heritage sites, covering an area of 63,000 km2. Four of these are in the Congo Basin (Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon; Lope National Park in Gabon; Salonga National Park and Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the fifth (Tai National Park in Cote D’Ivoire) is in the Upper Guinea forest block.

There are also three sites along the Great Rift which are primarily rainforest habitats (Bwindi-Impenetrable, Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks), but these are covered elsewhere. Follow this link to learn more about these amazing places in Africa’s rainforests!




Africa is home to our closest relative, the Bonobo. (image by