Okapi wildlife reserve was established in 1992 and listed as a World Heritage in 1996. The reserve located in Ituri forest near the border with Uganda and South Sudan and helps protect the endemic Okapi population which is the reserves iconic animal and several rare plant and animal life. The reserve is inhabited by traditional pygmy hunter-gathering people of the Mbuti and Efe ethnic groups who for long co-existed with the wildlife but with commercial bush meat and civil war unrests it is becoming impossible to keep the numbers of animals up, many have reduced drastically.
The reserve also contains threatened species of flora, primates and birds. The reserve contains 101 mammal species is home to the Okapis, Elephants, chimpanzees, Crocodiles, buffaloes, bongo, leopard, dwarf antelope, giant forest hog, water chevratain, etc. The reserve also provides refuge to 17 species of primates which is the highest number for any African forest. Because this is a forest, there are no game drives and all the animal sighting is done on foot as you take different nature trails following a group of Okapi’s, you might find other animals, enjoy their sights.
Okapi wildlife reserve is home to about 376 bird species, it is part of the bigger Ituri forest and some of the bird species include; Congo peafowl, Great Crested Grebe, White-naped Dove, Long-tailed Nightjar, Common Swift, African Emerald Cuckoo, Nkulengu Rail, Great Blue Turaco, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-winged Pratincole, Bateleur, African Wood Owl, Speckled Mousebird, Bar-tailded Trogon, Crowned Hornbill, Cassin’s Honeybird, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Grey Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, African Broadbill, African Pitta, Mountain Oriole, White-spotted Wattle-eye, Albertine Sooty Boubou, Fork-tailed Drongo, Blue-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Collared Sunbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Brown Twinspot, Pin-tailed Whydah, African Pipit, Senegal Canary, Dusky Tit, Western Nicator, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Whistling Cisticola, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow, Slender-billed Greenbul, Tit Hylia