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.