DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Located in Central Africa and formerly called Zaire, DRC is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the largest in all of Africa after Algeria and the 11th largest in the world. It was colonized by Belgium which makes it the 4th most populous Francophone country in Africa. DRC’s capital city is Kinshasa with the country’s official language is French but other recognized national languages include Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba. The two next biggest cities after the capital are Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi which are both mining communities. DRC is extremely rich in natural resources especially timber, gold, diamonds, cobalt,oil, cassiterite, tantalum, tin.
One of the unique cultures of DRC is its music which is a blend of the ethnic musical sources of Cuban rumba and merengue to birth Congolese soukous. Famous musicians in DRC include Pepe Kalle, Awilo Longomba, Papa Wemba, Kanda BongoMan, Shala Mwana, Mbilia Bel, Fally Ipupa, Werrason with live bands like Wenge Music.
DRC is home to the third highest mountain in Africa called Mt Stanley. Virunga National Park is home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas and contains two of the world’s most active volcanoes. Nyiragongo volcano soars above Goma city occasionally plumes of smoke into the sky before becoming a flaming beacon visible for miles around after sundown. In this volcano’s crater is the largest and most voluminous lava lake in the world. Virunga National Park home to a quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas. Other animals in the park include warthogs, lions, hippos, elephants, okapis, antelopes, pelicans. There are close to 20,000 hippos in the rivers and a variety of birds from Siberia. DRC has the second longest river in Africa and the largest river in the world by discharge called Congo River which flows throughout the entire country.
In Kinshasa in 1994 Lola ya Bonobo, the world’s only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos was built. Come and watch them forage for food in fruits and edible plants, learn to avoid dangers like stepping on venomous snakes and compete for mates. They are protected here because out of the sanctuary they are killed for bush-meat or sold to foreigners for pets.
Visit Lake Kivu which is vast, deep Great lake you can swim in, fish or go on a boat ride not forgetting the beautiful mountain view you get from here.