Kinsasa, DRC 

Formerly Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in central Africa and has a small coastline. In Africa, it is the third largest country and the world’s 12th largest. It has Africa’s fourth highest population and the 18th highest in the world with 71 million people.

The country is often referred to as DR Congo, DROC, DRC, or RDC. It is also called Congo-Kinshasa after the capital. The country borders the Central African Republic and Sudan to the north. To the east, it borders Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, Zambia and Angola to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. In the east, Lake Tanganyika separates it from Tanzania. At Muanda, DR Congo has a 40 km coastline. There, the Congo River empties in the Gulf of Guinea.

The country was formerly known as the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, Congo-Knshasa, and Zaire. As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), it is affiliated with southern Africa despite being in the central African region.

The country was devastated by the Second Congo War, which began in 1998. It involved seven different armies and is often referred to as “African World War.” Fighting continues in the country’s east despite a peace agreement signed in 2003. In that region, the amount of sexual violence is described as the world’s worst. The deadliest conflict since World War II, the Second Congo War has killed 5.4 million people.

DRC’s citizens are among the world’s poorest, with the second lowest per capita GDP.

Epic Democratic Republic of the Congo Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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