Where we work

by Igh

Location and Global prioritization of Itombwe Mountains

IGH work is focused on protection and conservation of biodiversity and nature in Itombwe Mountains in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.

Itombwe Mountains run north–south beside the Albertine Rift to the west of the northernmost stretch of Lake Tanganyika in eastern DR Congo. Located between Latitude: -3.49 and Longitude: 28.42, the Itombwe Mountains is the largest and most remote block of intact rainforest known as a priority site for the conservation of biodiversity in Africa. The Itombwe is recognized as a Key Biodiversity Area, an Important Bird Area and a priority site by the Alliance for Zero Extinction.

The Itombwe Mountains contain the largest block of montane forest in the Albertine Rift and is exceptional in Africa in having an unbroken progression from lowland to montane evergreen forest.  In the east there is a sharp drop in altitude towards the Ruzizi plain and Lake Tanganyika, while westwards the altitude decreases more slowly.

Montane forest (above 1,500 m) of Itombwe is estimated to cover about 650,000 ha, including 150,000 ha of bamboo and 50,000 ha of gallery forest. On the east side of the range montane forest is only patchy or occurs as galleries below 2,300 m, whereas on the western slopes there is, with decreasing altitude, bamboo, montane forest, a grassland zone, then further montane forest that intergrades with lowland forest between 1,800 and 1,200 m. Click here for further information about Itombwe Mountains, as published by the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas.