Okapi are limited to closed, high canopy forests and dense rainforests and frequent river banks and stream beds.
Okapi are limited to closed, high canopy forests and dense rainforests between 450 and 1,500 meters above sea level, the middle elevation for their range. They occur in a wide range of primary and older secondary forest types and frequent river banks and stream beds.
They will use seasonally inundated areas when the substrate is still wet, but they do not occur in truly inundated sites or extensive swamp forest. Tree fall gaps are selected as foraging sites for okapi during the early stages of regeneration.
Okapi do not extend into gallery forests or the forest-savannah ecotone and do not persist in disturbed habitats surrounding larger settlements.