The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), commonly referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area since the accession of South Sudan as an independent country and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 71 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country.
It borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east. The country has access to the ocean through a 40-kilometre (25 mi) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly 9 km wide mouth of the Congo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea.
The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998, devastated the country and is sometimes referred to as the “African world war” because it involved nine African nations and some twenty armed groups. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continues in the east of the country. In eastern Congo, the prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. The war is the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people since 1998.] The vast majority died from conditions of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (Zaïre in French). These former names are sometimes referred to as unofficial names, with the exception of Mobutu’s discredited Zaire, along with various abbreviations such as Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo and DRC. Though it is located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Beautiful Places to Visit
This active stratovolcano is one of the 8 Volcanoes that form part of the enormous Virunga Massif. It is situated within the Virunga National Park, about 20 kilometers North of Goma town and Lake Kivu, and West of the Rwandan border. This impressive Volcano stands at 3470 meters above sea level making it the lowest of the 8 Volcanoes. The spectacular view of the Peak of this Mountain at night will blow your mind and its bizarre appearance is beyond the ordinary.
Lola Ya Bonobo
One reason you do not have to miss visiting this site is that it is the world’s only Sanctuary for the Orphaned Bonobos and has continuously become the most visited destination in Kinshasa. It is situated south of Kimwenza, was created in 2002 and is currently a haven to 60 Bonobos. This Sanctuary currently covers over 30 hectares of a forest Reserve. Visit this destination and see these exceptional mammal species and even become their friends through donation.
Located at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, is the impressive Lake Kivu-the 6th largest fresh water Lake in Africa. The breathtaking views of the surrounding towns and the shores of the Lake will always draw you back to this destination. This Lake covers a total surface Area of 2700 square kilometers, stands at 1460 meters above sea level and is 475 meters deep mean depth of 220 meters making is the 18th deepest Lake in the whole world. Some of the relaxing activities that await you at Lake Kivu include Fishing (the lake is a home to 28 fish species), Island-hopping (visit to Nyamirundi island and Idjwi Island), water sports such as Kayaking and wind surfing, boat cruise/water trips and swimming among others (the Lake is free from Bilharzia and dangerous animals like crocodiles.
Breathtaking Waterfalls including Zongo Falls, Boyoma Falls,
If you are looking for another version of the Victoria Falls, add DRC’s spectacular waterfalls on your bucket list and you will not look back. Some of the magnificently powerful and photogenic waterfalls you can visit for a memorable experience include Zongo Falls (located in Bas-Congo, about 130 kilometers from Kinshasa City, Boyoma falls-formerly the Stanley falls is another and smaller version of the Iguazu falls with seven cascades in the Lualaba River. Other breathtaking waterfalls you can visit in DRC include Inga falls and Lofoi falls.