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IUCN category II (national park)
LocationDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Nearest cityGoma
Coordinates0°7′37.09″S 29°36′1.45″E / 0.1269694°S 29.6004028°E / -0.1269694; 29.6004028Coordinates: 0°7′37.09″S 29°36′1.45″E / 0.1269694°S 29.6004028°E / -0.1269694; 29.6004028

Ishango is a sub-station of Virunga National Park, situated on the Northern Shores of Lake Edward in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The station was created in the 1950s and is famous for many reasons:

  • It was referred to by George Schaller as the most beautiful place in the world for its stunning landscapes.
  • As the source of the Semliki River, where the waters of Lake Edward begin to flow down the Albertine Rift into Lake Albert, Ishango is one of the sources of the Nile.
  • The Ishango Bone was discovered there in 1960. This fossilised baboon bone, which was dated at 18,000 BC, has clear markings suggested to be either tally marks, a series of prime numbers, or a lunar calendar.
  • In 2005, Ishango became the centre for training congolese park rangers, and programme surported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society and WildlifeDirect.
  • Ishango is home to the last significant population of hippos on Lake Edward, a lake which formerly held the biggest hippo population in the world.
  • Human bones have been found at Ishango which, although dating only to 20,000 BC, show robust, archaic features.[1][2]

Ishango is currently managed under the leadership of a park warden and five rangers. It has an airstrip, and administrative building, four houses and some tented accommodations for visitors. The buildings were rehabilitated by the European Development Fund in 2007.


  1. ^ I. Crevecoeur; et al. (Jul 2016). "Late Stone Age human remains from Ishango (Democratic Republic of Congo): New insights on Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa". Journal of Human Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.003.CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link)
  2. ^ Eleanor Scerri (28 Apr 2018). "Origin of our species: Why humans were once so much more diverse". New Scientist.