The Democratic Republic of the Congo (République Démocratique du Congo) (Abbreviated:DROC) is a country in Central Africa. It straddles the Equator and is surrounded by Angola to the southwest, (Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province lies to the west and north of a very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean), Republic of the Congo to the northwest, Central African Republic to the north, South Sudan to the northeast, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania in the east from north to south, and Zambia to the southeast.
|Western DRC (Kinshasa)
home to the capital Kinshasa and the nation's only port. Moslty tropical forests and grazing lands.
mostly fertile plateaus for agriculture & ranching, home to much of the country's recoverable minerals; de facto independent from 1960-1966 during the "Katanga Crisis"
significant diamond mining, not much else.
|Kivu (Bukavu, Goma, Kahuzi-Biega National Park,Virunga National Park,)
influenced by neighboring Burundi, Rwanda, & Uganda this region is known for its volcanoes, mountain gorillas, and, tragically, its unfathomable conflicts .
|Congo Basin (Garamba National Park, Maiko National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Salonga National Park)
the DRC's portion and the majority of the world's second largest jungle after the Amazon.
The country has formerly been known as Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo or Zaire. The country is also known as Congo-Kinshasa to distinguish it from its northern neighbor, the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire) has had a tumultuous recent history. Congolese politics have been dominated by the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda, with the influx of refugees from that conflict adding to the factional disputes following Mobutu's overthrow. Active civil war has been taking place on Congolese territory since approximately 1998. Joseph Kabila has established a government of national unity; however, bitter divisions still exist nationwide, and the situation is unstable at this time.
This country is truly vast. At 2,345,408 square kilometres (905,567 sq mi), it is larger than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway.
The country straddles the Equator, with one-third to the North and two-thirds to the South. As a result of this equatorial location, the Congo experiences large amounts of precipitation and has the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The annual rainfall can total upwards of 80 inches (2,032 mm) in some places, and the area sustains the second largest rain forest in the world (after that of the Amazon). This massive expanse of lush jungle covers most of the vast, low-lying central basin of the river, which slopes toward the Atlantic Ocean in the West. This area is surrounded by plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest, by mountainous terraces in the west, and dense grasslands extending beyond the
Congo River in the north. High, glaciated mountains are found in the extreme eastern region.
Several parks are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Virunga National Park
- Kahuzi-Biega National Park
- Garamba National Park
- Salonga National Park
- Okapi Wildlife Reserve
- Maiko National Park