Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo

Photo by Roman Bruehwiler.

Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo is part of the Tentative list of Congo (Democratic Republic) in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo is a set of two caves housing archaeological sites. Artifacts found in these caves include animal remains, tools and ceramics. Their dating has revealed that the site has been occupied since the Stone Age (18,000 BC).

Map of Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Thomas Buechler

Switzerland - 16-Jul-23 -

Ceramics and tools were found in this cave about 18,000 years ago, attesting human settlement during the Stone Age in a region relatively close to the sea and the Congo river in Bas-Congo.

Mbanza-Ngungu is a town about 4 hours drive SW of Kinshasa, and it is here where the adventure starts. There are signposts leading to the narrow gravel road (Grottes Ngovo&Finzolua) off the N1 highway. From here it takes you at least 45 minutes on a road (best with 4wheel drive) with very little traffic, luckily, as two cars can not pass in the same time. You see school buildings that you can not miss, hundreds of children there, some try to hang on to the car, drive carefully. A further few kilometers, you come to a local village where you find the guides, there is no shortage of them. We walked with 10 villages boys to the caves, this trek takes about 1 hour return, there is a kind of path, at places overgrown with plants. Steep stairs lead down to the cave. It is a rainforest tropical vibe here in front of the entrance, and paths are slippery. Several layers of soil have been unearthed since the caves were first discovered in 2015 by Colonel Tordeur, but other deeper layers are still untouched, and nobody reached the very end of this curious caves that are themselves very hard to reach!

While in the region, visit the Cathedral and Botanical Garden of Kisantu, and the breathtaking Zongo Falls where there is accommodation right next to the waterfalls. 

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Full Name
Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Archaeological site - Prehistoric
1997 Revision

Successor to former TWHS Mbanga-Ngungu Caves (1987)

1997 Added to Tentative List

The site has 1 locations

Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo: Ngovo (On : Finzolua) (T)


Community Members have visited.

WHS 1997-2024