Lac Tumba

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The Lake Tele–Lake Tumba landscape covers 126,440km², shared between the DRC and the Republic of Congo.  It is made up mainly of marshes, seasonally flooded forests and meadows. It is home to the largest Ramsar freshwater wetland of international importance. The forest of Lake Tele–Lake Tumba is world’s largest swamp forest and world’s second largest wetland area.

On the DRC side, which comprises 57% of the landscape, there are three protected areas:
  • Ngili Triangle Nature Reserve
  • Tumba-Lediima Nature Reserve
  • Mabali Scientific Reserve

Some 2 million people depend on the landscape’s water, forests and swamps. The area also plays a role in controlling climate change and provides a source of hydropower.

Landscape and biodiversity

The many species found in the landscape include:
  • Primates including the bonobo, chimpanzee, Angolan colobus, Allen’s swamp monkey, black mangabey, red-tailed monkey, and de Brazza’s monkey
  • Forest elephant
  • Forest buffalo
  • Leopard
  • Many species of fish
  • Three types of crocodile
  • Hippopotamus

Habitats consist of open watercourses, forests, forest-savannah mosaics, wetlands and swamp forests.
Locals working on Lac Tumba - a part of the worlds largest protected freshwater site.

Our objectives

WWF developed a landscape-based approach with the following objectives:

  • Conserve the forest and wetlands of the landscape and their biodiversity through integrated management of lands and natural resources
  • Contribute to the socio-economic development of local people through alternatives to unsustainable exploitation of resources
  • Give local people more control over their natural resources by participating in the decentralization process and natural resource management.

Our interventions

  • Community mapping
  • Creation and effective management of protected areas
  • Sustainable forest management and forest certification
  • Macro and micro zoning
  • Sustainable community natural resource management and alternative livelihoods
  • Sustainable fishery management
  • Bonobo habituation programme, which is now integrated in an eco-tourism programme
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Villagers crossing over lake Tumba
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1. Excessive hunting, fishing and trade in bushmeat

2. Habitat loss due to unsustainable logging

3. Unplanned and unsustainable agricultural practices

4. Illegal logging, harvest of firewood/production of charcoal

5. Agro-industrial development (such as oil palm and rubber)

6. Opening of roads.