What Reptiles Live in the Congo Rainforest?

The Congo rainforest is home to about 280 species of reptiles, including snakes, crocodiles and tortoises. Spanning across six African countries, the Congo Basin is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world and is home to some of the most endangered and most spectacular wildlife in Africa.

The forest hinge-back tortoises are a species of turtle indigenous to Guinea-Congo rainforest in West and Central Africa. The species thrive in marshy areas along rivers and streams. Unlike other tortoises, the forest hinge-back tortoise can only lay two to five eggs at a time on the ground covered with leaves.

Congo Basin is home to some of the world's venomous snakes, including cobras and vipers. Gaboon vipers inhabit savannas and the rainforest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not only are they the heaviest vipers, but they also have the longest fangs and the highest amount of venom among venomous snakes. Gaboon vipers are fast strikers, though they are considered tolerant and would not bite unless severely provoked.

The African slender-snouted crocodiles dwell in the rivers, marshes, ponds and lakes within the Congo rainforest and other parts of West and Central Africa. The crocodiles have an extremely slender snout that limits their diet to fish, amphibians, crustaceans and small mammals. It is the least known crocodile and also the only crocodilian species that can climb as high as several meters in the limbs of fallen trees.