The rainforest of Africa spans from the west coast of the continent, across the Congo of central Africa, and to patches in the east. There are also areas of quite different rainforest in southern Africa. but with related species. While the African rainforest is not as diverse as the equivalent biomes in the Neotropical or Indo-Malayan regions, there are many interesting species to be found here. The forest includes spectacular groups of birds such as the Turacos. Unlike the neighbouring savanna, there are not as many of the larger mammals to be seen in the African rainforests. However, there is a particularly rich range of primates, including iconic species such as chimpanzees and gorillas.
The centre of bamboo diversity is found in Asia, but there are also many species on the Pacific islands, a small range in the Neotropics and in Africa. They are among the fastest growing plants in the world. In Africa, bamboo is recorded being eaten by Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Elephants. The hard round stem is light but stiff, and useful for humans in construction.
Ensete ventricosum, 'False (African) Banana'.
Streptocarpus 'African Violets' or 'Cape Primroses' is a large genus of about 155 species. They are not related to either the true Violets or Primrose. The flowers are often colourful, and many have 'runway' patterns and colours on the petals to guide the pollinating animals. They mostly grow in moist and shaded cracks and crevices in mountain habitats in Africa and Madagascar, but have become better known as colourful garden flowers grown all around the world.
There are several trees that are planted around the world that have their origin in African forests. One of the most distinctive is the Kigelia, 'Sausage Tree'.
Palms are typical of rainforest, and one of the most widely planted trees in the tropics is an infamous palm from the African forest: Elaeis guineensis, 'African Oil Palm'. Taken from tropical African forests and swamps, and planted throughout tropics of the world for it's oil.
Spathodea campanulata, 'African Tulip Oak'. Neither an oak nor obviously a tulip. Large red flowers. Found in west, central and east Africa. This species had been introduced widely throughout the other tropics of the world, but is often considered a major weed.
Potamonautes is the most common, widespread and speciose genus of freshwater crab in Africa, with over 60 species. They are sometimes seen in rainforest creeks.
Even though most people associate chameleons only with Madagascar, but they can be quite common (and are speciose) in the African forest, even on the edge in agricultural land. However, they are hard for a visitor's eye to find, so you may have to ask a local or go with a guide to find them.
The family Musophagidae (including 'Turacos') is one of the few families of birds endemic to Africa. They are large and often colourful birds. They eat fruit, with the family name meaning 'banana-eater'.
The family Bucerotidae, the Hornbills, are found in the 'old world' tropics of Africa and Asia. They are large birds with huge bills, the ecological and morphological equivalent to the new world tropical Toucans.
One of the most spectacular of bird groups in the African forest are the sunbirds, of the family Nectariniidae.
The mammals of the rainforest of Africa include a high diversity of primates...
And of course the largest and most famous primate of the African jungle....
There are smaller mammals in the rainforest, such as rodents and bats.
Being Africa, there are lots of national parks and lodges to enjoy. One of the most famous is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda where you can track gorillas through the rainforest. Isunga Lodge, Kibale, Uganda is a beautiful lodge to stay at right on the edge of the national park, with great views and birding right in the gardens. Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda gives a taste of upland mountain rainforest and a cheap place to stay is Ruboni Camp. Further south into the subtropical area and you can enjoy the cooler rainforest of South Africa along the Garden Route.