Country Highlight: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (aka CONGO KINSHASA or DRC)

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 103 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
Video credit: Amazing Places on Our Planet

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

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 96 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