About the Democratic Republic of Congo

Officially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this Central African country is the second largest country in Africa after Algeria, and borders nine countries (Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia).

The climate of the DRC is tropical, with slight variations between the north and south of the country. In general, expect warm year-round temperatures of around 30°C. Droughts are not uncommon in the south; on the other hand, areas along the Congo River can experience flooding.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a history marred by conflict and corruption. Even though peace prevails now, the presence of the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission in the DRC is one of the strongest in the world.

The landscape, however, has remained all but unharmed from the years of conflict — the winding rivers still run as fast, the gorillas trail through the mountains, and the rainforest provides a home to thousands of birds and animals.

The people of the DRC come from 200 different ethnic groups, and the impressive number of about 250 languages and dialects is spoken throughout this vast country. The capital city of Kinshasa is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

Despite the country’s abundance of natural resources (especially oil), the DRC has a weak economy, mainly due to the systemic corruption, which has stalled economic growth.