Located 7 km from Mbandaka, the Eala botanical garden was inaugurated on 02 February 1900 thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. Emile Laurent, a Belgian naturalist and botanist from the Gembloux faculty of agronomy. Its main missions were to inventory the region’s flora and study the agricultural potential of the central Congo basin. At the time, Eala was held to be the world's third most important tropical garden because of its biological diversity, surface area, and unique geographic location with respect to the equator.
Since 2009, the government, via the European Union's ECOFAC programme, has been renovating the garden and its facilities so that it will become an environmental awareness and research centre once more.
In Eala’s 371-hectare site, the most important collections are in the Arboretum, the Rockery, the Palmetum, the sections for confiners, cocoa trees, tea bushes, and Hevea clones, and fruit trees. Along with Salonga park and Tumba lake, the Eala botanical garden is a major tourist attraction in Equateur province.