Yangambi is a town in Isangi territory of Tshopo province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Yangambi is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 0°46′03″N 24°26′29″E / 0.767475°N 24.441404°E / 0.767475; 24.441404
Country DR Congo
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
National languageLingala



Yangambi is on the north side of the Congo River and lies on the R408 road which connects it to Kisangani 100 kilometers to the east.[1] This road is unpaved, rarely used in the rainy season and difficult to use at all times of the year. The roads linking Yangambi to Weko and Isangi are also very poor. The river provides an alternative transport route. The town was once served by the small Yangambi Airport.[2]



Mean annual rainfall is 1,835 millimetres (72.2 in).[3] August is the wettest month and February the driest. The skies tend to be partly cloudy even during the drier seasons.

Yangambi Biosphere Reserve


235,000 hectares of forest around Yangambi were declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1976,[4] part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).

The Yangambi Biosphere Reserve comprises secondary forests with Pycnanthus angolensis and Fagara macrophylla, semi deciduous secondary rain forests, rain forests with Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, climax forests with Brachystegia laurentii and marshland forests.[4]

The site is very important from a biodiversity point of view since it hosts endangered tree species, such as Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata). It was also once home to elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis), but they have now disappeared locally.[5] In 2018, a study confirmed the presence of Common Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in the area.[6]

Research center

Modern-day view of the colonial-era INEAC facility at Yangambi

During the colonial era, Yangambi was home to the Institut national pour les études agronomiques du Congo belge (INEAC), one of the world's most important tropical agriculture and forestry research centers.

The INEAC experimental fields and laboratories were built along a road parallel to the north bank of the Congo river, and along a road stretching northward from the river for about 25 kilometres (16 mi).[7] In the 1930s researchers at INEAC found the relationship between the tenera, dura and pisifera oil palms.[3] Oil palms have relatively low yield around Yangambi compared to coastal regions. This appears to be due to the lower night temperatures in the continental interior, which have a mean minimum at Yangambi of around 20 °C (68 °F).[8]

The center developed a number of varieties of soy beans for use in different parts of the country.[9] Early-maturing varieties yielded over 1,200 kg/ha of soybeans.[10] Field trials showed that inoculation could increase yields by 80% to 300%.[11] In the 1950s INEAC researchers discovered the 'Yangambi km 5' (AAA) dessert banana. This variety yields large numbers of small fruit with an excellent taste, is productive even on poor soils and is resistant to black leaf streak disease.[7] There is some evidence that this cultivar may have originated in southern Thailand, introduced to the Kilo-Moto region in northeastern Congo and then brought to Yangambi before World War II.[12]

After independence, the INEAC became the Institute National pour l'Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA), a Congolese institution. However, decades of conflict and political instability led to a progressive decline of Yangambi's research station.

Recent developments


Since 2017, with funding from the European Union,[13] the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and several international and Congolese partners are conducting efforts to make of Yangambi's landscape a world-class hub for development, science, and conservation.[14] Recent initiatives include restoration of degraded land,[15] new infrastructure, research on endangered flora and fauna, support to local entrepreneurs, and training of local forest experts.[16]

In 2018, the Meise Botanic Garden and INERA renovated Yangambi's herbarium, which has a collection of 150,000 dried plant specimens.[17]

In 2019, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) launched a new wood biology laboratory in Yangambi, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.[18]

Since 2020, Yangambi hosts the Congo Basin's first Eddy covariance flux tower, installed by Ghent University.[19]


  1. ^ "Yangambi Biosphere Reserve". FORETS. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  2. ^ "Yangambi Airport (YAN)". World Airport Codes. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  3. ^ a b Corley & Tinker 2008, p. 23.
  4. ^ a b "Yangambi". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  5. ^ van Vliet et al. 2018.
  6. ^ "Endangered chimpanzees discovered in the DRC with help of camera traps". FORETS (in French). Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  7. ^ a b De Langhe 2005, p. 47.
  8. ^ Corley & Tinker 2008, p. 56.
  9. ^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 202.
  10. ^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 216.
  11. ^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 226.
  12. ^ De Langhe 2005, p. 48.
  13. ^ Arnold Jacques de Dixmude (12 March 2017). "The EU Delegation in DRC and CIFOR officially launched a new 27-million Euros project at the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve". Capacity4dev. European Union. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  14. ^ "Project Background". FORETS. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  15. ^ "Energizing degraded land in the Congo Basin". afr100. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  16. ^ "Meet the next generation of Congolese forest experts". CIFOR Forests News. 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  17. ^ "Protecting Congo's botanical treasures". CIFOR Forests News. 2019-01-11. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  18. ^ "Wood biology laboratory, first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa, opens in Democratic Republic of the Congo". Africa Museum. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  19. ^ "YPS (Yangambi Pôle Scientifique)". FORETS. Retrieved 2019-12-29.



  Media related to Yangambi at Wikimedia Commons