The pygmies live in the forests near the Zaire River where it is hot and rainy throughout the year. Rain falls in the afternoon. The climate helps trees and plants to grow quickly, so the forests are thick. The trees are tall and straight. Their wood is very hard. It is difficult to cut these trees. The leaves are found only at the top. They shut out the sunlight and the forest stays dark and damp. Thick creepers hang like ropes from the branches.
Many kinds if animals live in these Hot Forests. Some make their homes in the trees. Monkeys of all kinds swing from branch to branch. Huge snakes wrap themselves round the tree trunks. Brightly colored birds flutter about. Insects buzz all the time. In the rivers there are plenty of fish. Some are so large and have such sharp teeth that they can kill a man. Crocodiles and alligators live in on the banks of the river.
The pigmies are a short, dark people. They build their nuts with tree branches and creepers, covered with large leaves to keep out the rain. The pygmies do not grow any crops. They collect fruit nuts from the trees. They hunt animas using bows and arrows. Sometimes they dig holes in the ground and cover them with branches and leaves. The animals fall into holes and are then killed. The pygmies also catch fish in the rivers.
There are other tribes that live in the forests. They cut down the trees and burn he bushes. Then they plant yams and bananas in small fields. After a few years they move to another place. This is called shifting Agriculture.
Though the pygmies have become quite modern, they are becoming fewer in number and one day there will be none left.
• Continent: a very large area of land which has many counties. It is a low plateau with few mountain ranges and many large rivers.
• Lowlands: plains.
• Damp: slightly wet.
• Flutter: move through the air in quick movements.
• Creepers: plants with long stem which wind around trees.