Category: Central Africa

Country Highlight: GABON

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 92 0

Gabon is Africa’s 30th largest country and more than 85% of its land area is covered by rainforests. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It is located on the west coast of Central Africa and is the 30th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Libreville.

3. It is Africa’s 5th least densely populated country, but 50% of its people reside in the capital city.

4. Major ethnic groups: Fang (23%), Shira-Punu/Vili (19%), Nzabi-Duma (11%), Mbede-Teke (7%), Myene (5%), Kota-Kele (5%), Okande-Tsogo (2%), Pygmy (.3%)

5. Major languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi

6. Major religions: Christianity (73%), Islam (12%), Traditional religions (10%), No religion or Atheism (5%)

7. Gabon gained its independence from France in August 1960. It was formerly colonized as one of four territories in French Equatorial Africa.

8. Revenues from oil and mineral reserves give Gabon one of the highest per capita incomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, but due to income inequality about 1/3 of the population lives in poverty.

9. Rainforests cover 85% of the country and house an abundant array of wildlife, including gorillas, chimpanzees, panthers, buffalos, elephants, crocodiles, sea turtles, and nearly 800 bird species.

10. Eleven percent of the country is designated as a protected area and 13 National Parks were created for these natural preservation efforts.

11. Gabon is a tourist friendly, but off the beaten path destination. Tourist attractions include white sandy beaches, waterfalls, national parks, limestone caves, canyons, ancient rock art sites, the Crystal Mountains, and craft villages.

12. Things to do in the capital of Libreville include the markets, the National Museum, the Presidential Palace, L’Eglise St-Michel (St Michael Cathedral), Musée des Arts et Traditions du Gabon (Museum of Arts and Traditions), and casinos.

Photo credit: southafrica-info.com
Video credit: Andre
Video credit: City Travel Reviews
Video credit: African Insider

Country Highlight: EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 121 0

Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa and one of the least visited countries in the world. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s located on the west coast of Central Africa and consists of two parts: a mainland region, Rio Muni, and an insular region comprised of five islands, Bioko, Annobón, Corisco, Great Elobey, and Little Elobey.

2. Its current capital is Malabo, on Bioko island. Its largest city is Bata, located on the mainland region, along with Ciudad de la Paz, the country’s planned future capital.

3. It’s one of Africa’s top 5 oil producers and is the richest country per capita in Africa. Due to extreme income inequality, most of the population lives in poverty.

4. It’s the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa. Spanish is the language of education and administration and one of 3 official languages, along with French and Portuguese (which aren’t widely spoken).

5. Regional languages include Fang, Bube, Combe, Pidgin English, Annobonese and Igbo.

6. Major ethnic groups: Fang (81.7%), Bubi (6.5%), Igbo (5.4%), Ndowe (3.6%), Annobon (1.6%), Bujeba (1.1%)

7. Major religions: Christianity (93%), Indigenous and other (5%), Islam (2%)

8. It is a former colony of Spain, from whom it gained independence in October 1968.

9. Its president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since 1979, is Africa’s longest-serving ruler.

10. Most of the mainland region is covered by tropical rainforest.

11. It has abundant wildlife, including western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills, and forest elephants, and a sea wildlife unique to the area.

12. It’s one of the world’s least visited countries and is an off the beaten path destination.

13. Tourist attractions include the Spanish Colonial architecture of Malabo, the town and markets of Bata, Moca Valley and the Cascades de Moca waterfalls, Monte Alen National Park, Pico Basile mountain, Pico Malabo volcano, the beaches, and the tropical rain forests.

14. Its new festival, the Equatorial Guinea Bodypainting Festival held in January, is poised to bring more tourism to the country.

Photo credit: www.mapsoftheworld.com
Video credit: SpiritofMalobo
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Country Highlight: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (aka CONGO KINSHASA or DRC)

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 129 0

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s second largest country and was named after the Congo River. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located in Central Africa and is the second largest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and largest city is Kinshasa.

3. DRC was named after the Congo River, the world’s deepest river, which separates DRC from its neighboring country Congo-Brazzaville.

4. More than 200 ethnic groups populate the DRC. Major ethnic groups include: Mongo, Luba, Kongo, Mangbetu-Azande.

5. Major languages: French (official), Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili, Tshiluba

6. Major religions: Christianity (85%), Islam (5%), Indigenous religions (5%), other religions (5%)

7. Congo was colonized in 1879 and ruled by Belgium under several different names, including the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, and Zaire.  

8. The colonial administration of the Congo under King Leopold was characterized by murder, torture, and notorious brutality. He extracted a fortune from the territory by forcing the native population to harvest and process rubber and cutting off their hands if quotas were not met.

9. Congo obtained independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.

10. DRC is extremely rich in natural resources but has suffered from political instability and exploitation since independence. Its mineral wealth includes cobalt, copper, cadmium, diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal.

11. It has an active volcano, Mount Nyiragongo, which last erupted in 2010. It is popular with hikers who climb the 11,380 foot mountain to see its lava lake.

12. The Congo Basin, the world’s second largest rainforest, spans across DRC and 5 other countries. The Congo Basin contains the greatest number of mammals, primates, birds, amphibians, fish and swallowtail butterflies in Africa and shelters all three subspecies of gorilla: the lowland gorilla, the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain gorilla.

13. DRC is blessed with natural beauty and amazing landscapes. The most tourist visited areas are Goma, Lake Kivu, Virunga National Park and Bukavu in in the east, and the capital Kinshasa in the west.

Photo credit: umich.edu\
Video credit: Patiz TV
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
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Country Highlight: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 115 0

Central African Republic is the 21st largest country in Africa and one of the least visited countries in Africa. Learn more about this interesting country.

Fast Facts:

1. Central African Republic is a landlocked country located in the center of Africa (commonly shortened to CAR).

2. It’s the 21st largest country in Africa and the 44th largest country in the word.

3. Its capital and largest city is Bangui.

4. Major ethnic groups: Baya (33%), Banda (27%), Mandjia (13%), Sara (10%), Mboum (7%), M’Baka (4%), Yakoma (4%), other (2%)

5. Major languages: Sangho and French (both official); CAR is one of the few African countries to have an African language as their official language.

6. Major religions: Christianity (80%), Islam (10%), Indigenous or other beliefs (5%), no religion (5%)

7. Today’s CAR has been inhabited for millennia, but its current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony beginning in the late 1800s.

8. CAR gained independence from France in August 1960.

9. Despite its significant resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, CAR is one of the least developed African countries and among the 10 poorest countries in the world.

10. CAR has diverse and beautiful landscapes, which include grasslands, deserts, waterfalls, rainforests and mountains.

11. Things to do in Bangui include the national museum – Musée Ethnograhique Barthélémy Boganda, Central Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, the presidential palace, and canoe rides on the Oubangui River.

12. The two biggest tourist attractions are the Chutes De Boali (164-foot waterfalls) and Dzanga-Sangha National Park (home of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants). Visits and stays with the local Pygmy communities are also popular.

13. CAR is one of the least visited countries in Africa and not currently considered safe for travel due to ongoing civil war.

Video credit: CBX Studios

Country Highlight: REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (aka CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE)

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 119 0

The Republic of the Congo is the 27th largest country in Africa, commonly known as Congo-Brazzaville. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.

Fast Facts:

1. It’s located on the western coast of Central Africa.

2. It is the 27th largest country in Africa and the 64th largest in the world.

3. The capital and largest city is Brazzaville.

4. The people are called Congolese. The major ethnic groups are: Kongo (41%), Teke (17%), M’Bochi (13%).

5. Major languages: French (official), Kituba, Lingala, Kikongo

6. Major religions: Christianity (75%), traditional African religions (10%), Islam (2%), none (11%)

7. It was colonized by France in 1880 and became known as French Congo, then later Middle Congo. In 1908, France organized French Equatorial Africa, comprising Middle Congo, Gabon, Chad, and Oubangui-Chari (the modern Central African Republic), with Brazzaville as the federal capital.

8. It gained independence from France in August 1960.

9. It is the 8th highest oil producing country in Africa and 36th largest in the world. It also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits.

10. It is one of Africa’s most urbanized countries, with 85% of the population living in the urban areas of Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or one of the small cities or villages lining the railway which connects the two cities.

11. The Congo rainforest covers 80% of the country. It is part of the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest rainforest, which spans 6 countries.

12. Tourism is a small industry in Congo-Brazzaville, but it’s poised to become one of Africa’s finest eco-tourism destinations. It boasts beautiful landscapes, with rainforest, waterfalls, lagoons, river rapids, and swamps. These places are home to interesting flora and fauna, and rare primates, like mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.

13. Brazzaville city boasts historical architecture, African markets, art galleries, vibrant street culture, and beaches. Popular attractions include the Basilique Sainte-Anne church, Les Dépêche de Brazzaville Gallery, Le Marché de Poto Poto, L’Institut Français du Congo, Nabemba Tower, Marche Plateau Ville, and the Djoue Rapides of the Congo River.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com
Video by National Geographic
Video by Republic of Congo Ministry of Tourism and Environment

Country Highlight: CHAD

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 113 0

Chad is Africa’s 5th largest country and sometimes called the “Dead Heart of Africa”. Learn more about this interesting country.

Fast Facts:
1. It is a landlocked country in north-central Africa.

2. It is the 5th largest African country and the 20th largest country in the world.

3. Its capital and largest city is N’Djamena, located about 660 miles from the nearest seaport in Douala, Cameroon. Because of this distance from the sea and the country’s largely desert climate, Chad is sometimes called the “Dead Heart of Africa”.

4. Chad has more than 200 ethnic groups. The three largest are: Sara (27%), Arab (13%), Kanembu/Buduma (8.5%)

5. Chad has more than 120 traditional languages and two official languages, Arabic and French. Chadian Arabic, a dialect of Arabic, is spoken by 80% of the population.

6. Major religions: Islam (55%), Christianity (41%), Animism and other traditional religions (2%), None (2%)

7. Chad was colonized by France in 1920 as part of French Equitorial Africa.

8. Chad gained independence from France in 1960. Its post-independence history has been characterized by civil unrest, largely due to ethnic and religious conflicts.

9. Chad’s major exports are oil, cattle and cotton, but it is one of the poorer countries on the continent.

10. All photography in Chad requires a government permit.

11. Lowest point: Djourab Depression (525 ft). Highest point: Emi Koussi (11,204 ft).

12. Tourism in Chad is a minor but growing industry. Tourist attractions in the capital include markets, N’Djamena Central Mosque, and Avenue Charles de Gaulle, lined with embassies, high-end restaurants, and colonial Victorian homes.

13. Notable landmarks include Zakouma National Park (with 44 wildlife species), the Great Aloba Arch, Lake Chad, Tibesti Mountains, and the Sahara Desert, as well as sandstone formations and ancient rock paintings.

14. Chadian people are very friendly and hospitable, but they expect foreigners to respect their customs and beliefs.

Photo credit: ontheworldmap.com

Video credit: Top Tourist Places


Video credit: Other Side of the Truth

Country Highlight: CAMEROON

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 137 0

Cameroon is the 25th largest country in Africa and one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. Learn more fun facts about the fascinating country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s located in Central Africa and is the 25th largest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and 2nd largest city is Yaoundé. Douala is its largest city.

3. Cameroon’s current president, Paul Biya, has been in power for 38 years.

4. Major languages: French, English, Fulfulde, Ewondo

5. About 250 traditional languages are spoken in Cameroon and it is considered one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.

6. Major ethnic groups: Cameroon Highlanders (31%), Equatorial Bantu (19%), Kirdi (11%), Fulani (10%), Northwestern Bantu (8%), Eastern Nigritic (7%)

7. Major religions: Christianity (70%), Islam (20%), traditional religions (10%)

8. Cameroon is the only African country to have been colonized by three separate European countries. First it was a German colony, then later split into French Cameroon (80%) and British Cameroon (20%).

9. French Cameroon gained independence from France on January 1, 1960. On October 1, 1961, British Cameroon gained independence and the two joined to become a unified Cameroon. This date is an annual public holiday known as Unification Day.

10. The Cameroon slave trade served as an important supply zone for the export of African slaves to the Americas. Most slaves were captured from inland places and sold on the coast of Bimbia.

11. Cameroonian craftsmen are highly regarded for their crafts, which include sculpting, bead working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, basket-weaving, bronze and brass working, leather working, and pottery.

12. Mount Cameroon is the highest point in the country (13,500 feet) and is popular with hikers, climbers and nature lovers.

13. Popular attractions in Yaounde include Limbe Botanic Garden, Benedictine Museum of Mont Febe, National Museum of Yaounde, the Reunification Monument and the Kribi.

14. Tourism is a growing but still relatively minor industry in Cameroon. Its natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rain forests, waterfalls, lakes and savannas. Wildlife and safaris are also popular, with Waza National Park being its largest wildlife reserve.

Photo credit: Map of Africa blog
Video credit: Cameroon Ministry of Tourism and Leisure

Country Highlight: BURUNDI

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 153 0

Burundi is Africa’s 10th smallest country and one of its off the beaten path destinations. Learn more fun facts about this amazing country.

Fun Facts:

1. It’s a landlocked country located in East-Central Africa and is the 10th smallest country in Africa.

2. Its capital and second largest city is Gitega. Bujumbura is its largest city and former capital.

3. Burundi’s primary exports are coffee, gold and tea, but it is one of the world’s poorest countries.

4. Burundi has the second-largest population density in sub-Saharan Africa, with only 13% of the population living in urban areas. Most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil.

5. Major languages: Kirundi (national and official), French (official), English (official)

6. Major Ethnic Groups: Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%), Twa (1%)

7. Major Religions: Christianity (90%), Islam (5%), Traditional indigenous religions (5%)

8. It is one of the few African countries whose borders were not determined by colonial rulers.

9. During colonization, first Germany, and then Belgium, ruled Burundi and neighboring Rwanda as a common colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. At independence from Belgium in July 1962, Burundi and Rwanda became two separate countries.

9. Burundi’s currency is the Burundian franc (BIF). At current exchange rates, $1 USD equals approximately $1,894 BIF.

10. Burundi is considered an off the beaten path destination for most visitors. Tourism infrastructure is limited due to years of unrest, but its growing tourism industry mostly centers around nature, wildlife and culture.

11. Burundian drummers, locally known as Abatimbo, are one of the major cultural attractions.

12. Tourist attractions include: Kibira National Park (home to the country’s largest rainforest and rare colobus monkeys and chimpanzees), Rusizi National Park (home to hippos), Gasumo (the southernmost source of the Nile River), Lake Tanganyika (the world’s longest freshwater lake), Karera waterfalls, 10 thermal water sites, tea plantations, National Museum, Museé Vivant, and Gishora Drum Site.

Photo credit: timesfreepress.com
Video credit: PNUD Burundi