This vast country has taken on multiple names, ranging from DR Congo, to Congo Kinshasha, East Congo or is simply referred to as Congo. It is located in Central Africa and is sometimes called by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is the largest country in Sub- Saharan Africa and second largest in Africa after Algeria. Its population of 78 million makes it the most populous of all Francophone countries.

Following the Berlin conference of 1885 King Leopold II of Belgium acquired the Congo territory, owning it as his private property and named it Congo Free State. The ensuing years from 1885—1908 were a period of misery as millions of Congolese died of hunger, disease and exploitation on rubber plantations. In 1908 Belgium out rightly annexed Congo and it become known as Belgian Congo.

Congo later gained Independence in 1960. The party of the African Nationalist Patrice Lumumba gained majority seats in parliament and he was automatically elected as prime minister, while Joseph Kasa Vubu became the president. Soon after there was conflict regarding territorial administration in what later came to be known as the Congo crisis. To solve the crisis, Lumumba leaned toward the Soviet Union for assistance while his archrival Joseph Kasa Vubu lobbied support from Belgium and the US. In the ensuing tumultuous months, Lumumba was captured and brutally executed. His murder was widely condemned across the world. In 1965 serving Army chief of staff Mobuto Sese Seko assumed the reins of power through a military coup, renaming the country Zaire in 1971. Mobuto ruled Zaire with an iron fist. By the end of his more than three decade rule, Congo, to say nothing of its vast mineral wealth, was economically impoverished, with very poor infrastructure, riddled with corruption and dogged by political instability. Mobutu was ousted from power by military force and replaced by Laurent Kabila, reverting the country’s name to DRC. Assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Laurent Kabila’s rule came to an abrupt end on 16th Jan 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila.

DRC is bordered to the northwest by the republic of Congo, to the north by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika to the south, to the southeast by Zambia, to the southwest by Angola and to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cabinda province of Angola. This sprawling space makes it slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

DRC is a geographical phenomenon, experiencing high precipitation, with the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The Congo rain forest—the world’s second largest forest of its kind, together with the Congo River—the world’s second largest flow and watershed, trail non-but the Amazon rainforest and Amazon River respectively. The Congo River with all of its adjoining tributaries is sometimes referred to as the Congo Basin, occupies nearly the entire country— an area close to 1,000,000 square kilometers. The tributaries of river Congo form the backbone of Congolese economics and transportation. Major tributaries include; Kasai, Sangha, Ubangi, Ruzizi, Aruwiru and Lulonga. The river descends from the Albertine rift Mountains, and the Tanganyika and Mweru lakes. It takes a generally westward flow from Kisangani, below Boyoma falls, gradually bends southwest, narrows and falls through numerous cataracts in deep canyons, collectively known as Livingstone Falls, runs past Boma before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.

Congo’s geography is partly shaped by the Albertine Rift Valley. The northeastern section of the country is very mountainous with tectonic activity resulting in volcanic activity with occasional loss of life. On 17th Jan 2002 mount Nyiragongo erupted with lava jetting out at 64km/h and spread 46 meters wide. One of the streams of the extremely fluid lava flowed through to the nearby city of Goma killing 45 and leaving 120,000 homeless.

The territories in the South and East are accessible to mining. A host of minerals lay underground, ranging from copper, cobalt, cadmium, industrial and quality gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal are all found in abundant quantities especially in the south eastern region of Katanga.

DRC is widely considered one of the World’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. An estimated 24 trillion US dollars worth of natural resources lay untapped. Its deposits contain 70% of the World’s Colton, a third of the world’s cobalt, more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves and a tenth of the world’s copper are all found in Congo. Its an irony of staggering proportion that despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy remains limping, with Congolese appearing on record as one of the poorest people on earth! Its also among twenty of the lowest ranked countries on the corruption perception index.

At the time of independence, DRC was the second most industrialized country in Africa, after South Africa. It had a thriving mining sector along side a relatively productive agriculture sector. Intermittent ethnic tensions, bad governance and destructive civil wars have nipped in the bud both trajectories. Although the country’s economy is heavily dependent on mining, it is difficult to quantify production relating to each of the minerals because of endemic smuggling.

The rain forests of DRC are a bastion of great biodiversity including many rare species like the common chimpanzee, African forest elephant, the mountain gorilla, the okapi and white rhino. Five of the country’s National Parks are listed as world heritage sites. These include Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga, Virunga and Okapi wildlife reserve. Other places worth visiting include the country’s capital city, Kinshasha—a bustling metropolis on the Congo river, with a vibrant night life, an array of museums, gothic cathedrals and galleries.

Lola ya Bonobe, located in the outskirts of the city and sanctuary for orphaned primates. A number of tourists flock in to be part of the cause.

Ma Valle, this is a lake within the vicinity of the capital city, ideal for a day’s trip and popular for its serene and tranquil view. Fishing and renting of water scooters provides part of the fun.

Chutes de la Lukaya, are a small set of waterfalls located to the south of the city. They fall within radius of the city’s limits and as such, are part of the day’s excursion for enthusiasts of nature.

Zongo Waterfalls, located 180kms from Kinshasha, Zongo is an awesome scenery of rumbling white stream gushing from a great height only to strike the ground below with furious gusto. The effects of the mighty splash and the clouds aloft combine to create impressive colors of the rainbow.

River Congo, for any impassioned tourist, a visit to DRC is regarded as incomplete unless one takes a tour of this water body. A boat cruise allows visitors to get into close contact with fishermen and natives habiting the several islands, villages and towns along the banks of the great river.

Lake Kivu, this is visited for no other major reason than its beautiful scenery. It is regarded as one of Africa’s great lakes.

Although the country is home to a wide range of wildlife, the sector faces a very serious threat from poachers. Granted, it is an illegal practice yet the laws guarding against it are largely unenforced. Poaching is one of the activities the locals take to, to escape from the pangs of abject poverty. Yet at the same time, various rebel groups will poach, going especially after the forest elephant because of the pricey ivory on high demand in the Far East. This feeble approach to poaching is reflective of Congo’s long history of state absence in the management of the country’s affairs. It in part speaks volumes of the institutionalized corruption that was tacitly encouraged by former leader Mobuto Sese Seko as a way of appeasing political rivals and wading off opposition. The same tinted conduct is to be said of the gross human rights violations inform of child labor, child soldiers and the violence against women.

While in DRC, transportation in whatever form is generally difficult. The terrain and climate of the Congo Basin present serious barriers to road and rail construction, this is further exacerbated by the great distances across the vast country. Although the country has more navigable rivers—moves passengers and goods by boat and ferry than any other country in Africa, the water transport system is neither coordinated nor organized into any formal structure or run by established standards or management.  The railway is also poorly maintained, filthy, crowded and dangerous. DRC has fewer all weather-paved highways than any country of its size and population in Africa.

This vast country has taken on multiple names, ranging from DR Congo, to Congo Kinshasha, East Congo or is simply referred to as Congo. It is located in Central Africa and is sometimes called by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is the largest country in Sub- Saharan Africa and second largest in Africa after Algeria. Its population of 78 million makes it the most populous of all Francophone countries.

Following the Berlin conference of 1885 King Leopold II of Belgium acquired the Congo territory, owning it as his private property and named it Congo Free State. The ensuing years from 1885—1908 were a period of misery as millions of Congolese died of hunger, disease and exploitation on rubber plantations. In 1908 Belgium out rightly annexed Congo and it become known as Belgian Congo.

Congo later gained Independence in 1960. The party of the African Nationalist Patrice Lumumba gained majority seats in parliament and he was automatically elected as prime minister, while Joseph Kasa Vubu became the president. Soon after there was conflict regarding territorial administration in what later came to be known as the Congo crisis. To solve the crisis, Lumumba leaned toward the Soviet Union for assistance while his archrival Joseph Kasa Vubu lobbied support from Belgium and the US. In the ensuing tumultuous months, Lumumba was captured and brutally executed. His murder was widely condemned across the world. In 1965 serving Army chief of staff Mobuto Sese Seko assumed the reins of power through a military coup, renaming the country Zaire in 1971. Mobuto ruled Zaire with an iron fist. By the end of his more than three decade rule, Congo, to say nothing of its vast mineral wealth, was economically impoverished, with very poor infrastructure, riddled with corruption and dogged by political instability. Mobutu was ousted from power by military force and replaced by Laurent Kabila, reverting the country’s name to DRC. Assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Laurent Kabila’s rule came to an abrupt end on 16th Jan 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila.

DRC is bordered to the northwest by the republic of Congo, to the north by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika to the south, to the southeast by Zambia, to the southwest by Angola and to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cabinda province of Angola. This sprawling space makes it slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

DRC is a geographical phenomenon, experiencing high precipitation, with the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The Congo rain forest—the world’s second largest forest of its kind, together with the Congo River—the world’s second largest flow and watershed, trail non-but the Amazon rainforest and Amazon River respectively. The Congo River with all of its adjoining tributaries is sometimes referred to as the Congo Basin, occupies nearly the entire country— an area close to 1,000,000 square kilometers. The tributaries of river Congo form the backbone of Congolese economics and transportation. Major tributaries include; Kasai, Sangha, Ubangi, Ruzizi, Aruwiru and Lulonga. The river descends from the Albertine rift Mountains, and the Tanganyika and Mweru lakes. It takes a generally westward flow from Kisangani, below Boyoma falls, gradually bends southwest, narrows and falls through numerous cataracts in deep canyons, collectively known as Livingstone Falls, runs past Boma before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.

Congo’s geography is partly shaped by the Albertine Rift Valley. The northeastern section of the country is very mountainous with tectonic activity resulting in volcanic activity with occasional loss of life. On 17th Jan 2002 mount Nyiragongo erupted with lava jetting out at 64km/h and spread 46 meters wide. One of the streams of the extremely fluid lava flowed through to the nearby city of Goma killing 45 and leaving 120,000 homeless.

The territories in the South and East are accessible to mining. A host of minerals lay underground, ranging from copper, cobalt, cadmium, industrial and quality gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal are all found in abundant quantities especially in the south eastern region of Katanga.

 

DRC is widely considered one of the World’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. An estimated 24 trillion US dollars worth of natural resources lay untapped. Its deposits contain 70% of the World’s Colton, a third of the world’s cobalt, more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves and a tenth of the world’s copper are all found in Congo. Its an irony of staggering proportion that despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy remains limping, with Congolese appearing on record as one of the poorest people on earth! Its also among twenty of the lowest ranked countries on the corruption perception index.

 

At the time of independence, DRC was the second most industrialized country in Africa, after South Africa. It had a thriving mining sector along side a relatively productive agriculture sector. Intermittent ethnic tensions, bad governance and destructive civil wars have nipped in the bud both trajectories. Although the country’s economy is heavily dependent on mining, it is difficult to quantify production relating to each of the minerals because of endemic smuggling.

 

The rain forests of DRC are a bastion of great biodiversity including many rare species like the common chimpanzee, African forest elephant, the mountain gorilla, the okapi and white rhino. Five of the country’s National Parks are listed as world heritage sites. These include Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga, Virunga and Okapi wildlife reserve. Other places worth visiting include the country’s capital city, Kinshasha—a bustling metropolis on the Congo river, with a vibrant night life, an array of museums, gothic cathedrals and galleries.

Lola ya Bonobe, located in the outskirts of the city and sanctuary for orphaned primates. A number of tourists flock in to be part of the cause.

Ma Valle, this is a lake within the vicinity of the capital city, ideal for a day’s trip and popular for its serene and tranquil view. Fishing and renting of water scooters provides part of the fun.

Chutes de la Lukaya, are a small set of waterfalls located to the south of the city. They fall within radius of the city’s limits and as such, are part of the day’s excursion for enthusiasts of nature.

Zongo Waterfalls, located 180kms from Kinshasha, Zongo is an awesome scenery of rumbling white stream gushing from a great height only to strike the ground below with furious gusto. The effects of the mighty splash and the clouds aloft combine to create impressive colors of the rainbow.

River Congo, for any impassioned tourist, a visit to DRC is regarded as incomplete unless one takes a tour of this water body. A boat cruise allows visitors to get into close contact with fishermen and natives habiting the several islands, villages and towns along the banks of the great river.

Lake Kivu, this is visited for no other major reason than its beautiful scenery. It is regarded as one of Africa’s great lakes.

Although the country is home to a wide range of wildlife, the sector faces a very serious threat from poachers. Granted, it is an illegal practice yet the laws guarding against it are largely unenforced. Poaching is one of the activities the locals take to, to escape from the pangs of abject poverty. Yet at the same time, various rebel groups will poach, going especially after the forest elephant because of the pricey ivory on high demand in the Far East. This feeble approach to poaching is reflective of Congo’s long history of state absence in the management of the country’s affairs. It in part speaks volumes of the institutionalized corruption that was tacitly encouraged by former leader Mobuto Sese Seko as a way of appeasing political rivals and wading off opposition. The same tinted conduct is to be said of the gross human rights violations inform of child labor, child soldiers and the violence against women.

While in DRC, transportation in whatever form is generally difficult. The terrain and climate of the Congo Basin present serious barriers to road and rail construction, this is further exacerbated by the great distances across the vast country. Although the country has more navigable rivers—moves passengers and goods by boat and ferry than any other country in Africa, the water transport system is neither coordinated nor organized into any formal structure or run by established standards or management.  The railway is also poorly maintained, filthy, crowded and dangerous. DRC has fewer all weather-paved highways than any country of its size and population in Africa.

This vast country has taken on multiple names, ranging from DR Congo, to Congo Kinshasha, East Congo or is simply referred to as Congo. It is located in Central Africa and is sometimes called by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is the largest country in Sub- Saharan Africa and second largest in Africa after Algeria. Its population of 78 million makes it the most populous of all Francophone countries.

Following the Berlin conference of 1885 King Leopold II of Belgium acquired the Congo territory, owning it as his private property and named it Congo Free State. The ensuing years from 1885—1908 were a period of misery as millions of Congolese died of hunger, disease and exploitation on rubber plantations. In 1908 Belgium out rightly annexed Congo and it become known as Belgian Congo.

Congo later gained Independence in 1960. The party of the African Nationalist Patrice Lumumba gained majority seats in parliament and he was automatically elected as prime minister, while Joseph Kasa Vubu became the president. Soon after there was conflict regarding territorial administration in what later came to be known as the Congo crisis. To solve the crisis, Lumumba leaned toward the Soviet Union for assistance while his archrival Joseph Kasa Vubu lobbied support from Belgium and the US. In the ensuing tumultuous months, Lumumba was captured and brutally executed. His murder was widely condemned across the world. In 1965 serving Army chief of staff Mobuto Sese Seko assumed the reins of power through a military coup, renaming the country Zaire in 1971. Mobuto ruled Zaire with an iron fist. By the end of his more than three decade rule, Congo, to say nothing of its vast mineral wealth, was economically impoverished, with very poor infrastructure, riddled with corruption and dogged by political instability. Mobutu was ousted from power by military force and replaced by Laurent Kabila, reverting the country’s name to DRC. Assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Laurent Kabila’s rule came to an abrupt end on 16th Jan 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila.

DRC is bordered to the northwest by the republic of Congo, to the north by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika to the south, to the southeast by Zambia, to the southwest by Angola and to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cabinda province of Angola. This sprawling space makes it slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

DRC is a geographical phenomenon, experiencing high precipitation, with the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The Congo rain forest—the world’s second largest forest of its kind, together with the Congo River—the world’s second largest flow and watershed, trail non-but the Amazon rainforest and Amazon River respectively. The Congo River with all of its adjoining tributaries is sometimes referred to as the Congo Basin, occupies nearly the entire country— an area close to 1,000,000 square kilometers. The tributaries of river Congo form the backbone of Congolese economics and transportation. Major tributaries include; Kasai, Sangha, Ubangi, Ruzizi, Aruwiru and Lulonga. The river descends from the Albertine rift Mountains, and the Tanganyika and Mweru lakes. It takes a generally westward flow from Kisangani, below Boyoma falls, gradually bends southwest, narrows and falls through numerous cataracts in deep canyons, collectively known as Livingstone Falls, runs past Boma before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.

Congo’s geography is partly shaped by the Albertine Rift Valley. The northeastern section of the country is very mountainous with tectonic activity resulting in volcanic activity with occasional loss of life. On 17th Jan 2002 mount Nyiragongo erupted with lava jetting out at 64km/h and spread 46 meters wide. One of the streams of the extremely fluid lava flowed through to the nearby city of Goma killing 45 and leaving 120,000 homeless.

The territories in the South and East are accessible to mining. A host of minerals lay underground, ranging from copper, cobalt, cadmium, industrial and quality gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal are all found in abundant quantities especially in the south eastern region of Katanga.

DRC is widely considered one of the World’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. An estimated 24 trillion US dollars worth of natural resources lay untapped. Its deposits contain 70% of the World’s Colton, a third of the world’s cobalt, more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves and a tenth of the world’s copper are all found in Congo. Its an irony of staggering proportion that despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy remains limping, with Congolese appearing on record as one of the poorest people on earth! Its also among twenty of the lowest ranked countries on the corruption perception index.

 

At the time of independence, DRC was the second most industrialized country in Africa, after South Africa. It had a thriving mining sector along side a relatively productive agriculture sector. Intermittent ethnic tensions, bad governance and destructive civil wars have nipped in the bud both trajectories. Although the country’s economy is heavily dependent on mining, it is difficult to quantify production relating to each of the minerals because of endemic smuggling.

 

The rain forests of DRC are a bastion of great biodiversity including many rare species like the common chimpanzee, African forest elephant, the mountain gorilla, the okapi and white rhino. Five of the country’s National Parks are listed as world heritage sites. These include Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga, Virunga and Okapi wildlife reserve. Other places worth visiting include the country’s capital city, Kinshasha—a bustling metropolis on the Congo river, with a vibrant night life, an array of museums, gothic cathedrals and galleries.

Lola ya Bonobe, located in the outskirts of the city and sanctuary for orphaned primates. A number of tourists flock in to be part of the cause.

Ma Valle, this is a lake within the vicinity of the capital city, ideal for a day’s trip and popular for its serene and tranquil view. Fishing and renting of water scooters provides part of the fun.

Chutes de la Lukaya, are a small set of waterfalls located to the south of the city. They fall within radius of the city’s limits and as such, are part of the day’s excursion for enthusiasts of nature.

Zongo Waterfalls, located 180kms from Kinshasha, Zongo is an awesome scenery of rumbling white stream gushing from a great height only to strike the ground below with furious gusto. The effects of the mighty splash and the clouds aloft combine to create impressive colors of the rainbow.

River Congo, for any impassioned tourist, a visit to DRC is regarded as incomplete unless one takes a tour of this water body. A boat cruise allows visitors to get into close contact with fishermen and natives habiting the several islands, villages and towns along the banks of the great river.

Lake Kivu, this is visited for no other major reason than its beautiful scenery. It is regarded as one of Africa’s great lakes.

 

Although the country is home to a wide range of wildlife, the sector faces a very serious threat from poachers. Granted, it is an illegal practice yet the laws guarding against it are largely unenforced. Poaching is one of the activities the locals take to, to escape from the pangs of abject poverty. Yet at the same time, various rebel groups will poach, going especially after the forest elephant because of the pricey ivory on high demand in the Far East. This feeble approach to poaching is reflective of Congo’s long history of state absence in the management of the country’s affairs. It in part speaks volumes of the institutionalized corruption that was tacitly encouraged by former leader Mobuto Sese Seko as a way of appeasing political rivals and wading off opposition. The same tinted conduct is to be said of the gross human rights violations inform of child labor, child soldiers and the violence against women.

 

While in DRC, transportation in whatever form is generally difficult. The terrain and climate of the Congo Basin present serious barriers to road and rail construction, this is further exacerbated by the great distances across the vast country. Although the country has more navigable rivers—moves passengers and goods by boat and ferry than any other country in Africa, the water transport system is neither coordinated nor organized into any formal structure or run by established standards or management.  The railway is also poorly maintained, filthy, crowded and dangerous. DRC has fewer all weather-paved highways than any country of its size and population in Africa.

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