Congo is famous for its rich natural resources, including fast deposits of vast industrial diamonds, copper, and cobalt. It is also the second-largest country by area in Africa after Algeria. It borders the following countries; Burundi, Rwanda, Angola, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and the Central Africa Republic.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second-largest country in Africa. The DRC Congo is comprised of over 200 ethnic groups and sub-tribes. And nearly over 250 languages. Kinshasa is the capital city of DRC and also the second-largest French-speaking city in the world.
The Congo rainforest is greatly known for its high level of biodiversity. It consists of almost 10,000 animal species, such as forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi, leopards, hippos, lions, and 600 species. It has some interesting facts, such as the Congo River, the Bonobo, and the home of the famous Pygmy Tribe in Africa; thus, it’s a place worth visiting.
Languages- Highly Diverse Linguistic Country
In DRC, French is the national language that is used in education and government. There are also four national languages, namely;
The distribution of the four speakers in Congo is subjected to different parts of the country where Swahili is widely used in the east, Lingala in the northwest, Kituba in the southwest, and Tshiluba in the southeast.
However, Lingala is commonly used in the country, with approximately 90 million people speaking the language.
Due to a variety of ethnic and tribal lines of over 200 groups of people that stays in Congo, it is very interesting for a visitor to interact with the people of Congo.
Kinshasa – The Capital City
Kinshasa is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it’s one of the 11 provinces in Congo with over 10 million people residents. Henry Stanley established the city in the late 19th century.
In Congo, you may embark on an adventure with a boat ride and a picnic by the river’s edge, or visit the Merche des Voleurs, a lovely city market that is vibrant, intense, and a lot of fun.
There is great street art culture in Congo, if you go to small cafes on the Juin Boulevard, the artist will come to you and show you their sales where you can enjoy a great time interacting with locals and relaxing.
Visit the Sanctuary Site of Lola Ya Bonobo
Lola Ya Bonobo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kinshasa. It’s a sanctuary for orphaned bonobos which are hunted for bushmeat. When the mother is killed, the babies are taken to the black market and sold as pets.
One of the apes among the four, bonobos, was isolated until the 20th century. The sanctuary accepts volunteers. This sanctuary covers roughly 30 hectares of forest and you are allowed to visit several feeding stations of the apes that the staff used to track the apes.
The Kahuzi Biega National Park- the safe and top sites destination of the park
This park is located in the South Kivu Province, from the Congo River basin to Bukavu. This historical park was named after Mt. Kahuzi and Mt. Biega, extinct volcanoes offering incredible hiking.
This park was created back in 1970 to protect the Eastern Lowland Gorillas and later was designated to UNESCO as a world heritage site.
The park authority has greatly helped prevent Gorilla poaching, a problem for decades.
The Gorillas’ lifestyle and condition have been improved through education efforts that are conducted. In this place, you will find incredible biological diversity in the park, which includes;
- endemic plants
Nyiragongo Mountain- The volcanic mountain with devastating eruptions
Nyiragongo mountain is approximately 3000+ meters which last erupted in 2011, destroying surrounding of roughly 15% of the environment leaving over 120,000 people homeless.
Nyiragongo is located at the junction of the African tectonic plate, where the plate is breaking. The landscape around the Goma area is striking with black lava and the place looks like an above-ground coal mine.
The crater has an active lake called Lake Lava inside it, which can be visited sometimes. Lately, the area has changed from the last eruption, and you can find new shops and markets in the area.
Visit Virunga National Park to witness the Gorilla trekking safari
Virunga National Park is located along the borders of Uganda and Rwanda. The park is the country’s oldest park which was also designated to UNESCO as the World Heritage Site. It’s recommended as the most biologically diverse.
There are lava plains, savanna grasslands, forests, valleys, volcanoes, glacier peaks of the Ruwenzori Mountains, and swamps in the park.
Virunga is the only park with three of the four great apes in one geographical area. The famous Okapi, an endangered species that resembles a crossbreed between a giraffe and a zebra, makes this place their home. 25% of Mount Ruwenzori is the home of Gorillas.
When you visit this place, you can spot a variety of animals such as; elephants, lions, hippos, rare and exotic birds along the;
- Ruwenzori Mountains
- Lake Edward area
- The Mikeno Volcano area.
Lake Kivu- The greatest freshwater lake in Congo
Lake Kivu is a freshwater lake in the region located between the border of DRC and Uganda. It is the sixth-largest lake in Africa. The lake offers very beautiful scenic drives between the towns that connect with the shores of the lake.
The towns of Gisenyi and Cyangugu are located within the premises of the lake and offer winding roads whereby there are tons of bananas and eucalyptus trees lines along the road where locals will pause and wave as you pass by.
Gisenyi was once a town with a colonial beach resort thus contains some beautiful old mansions and good places to visit and relax.
The Beautifull Falls of Zango and Boyoma falls.
Falls of Zango is located around 130 km from the city of Kinshasa in Bas-Congo. These falls represent the mother of Earth at her best. You can decide to hike and take a cool dip below the falls.
Boyoma Falls is a long series of cataracts that are found along the Lualaba River. The falls merge with the Congo River.
A fishing tribe popularly known as Wagenya has lived in the region for decades and has continued to develop new fishing methods generation after generation.
Upon visiting this place, you’ll see the extraordinary people with wooden woods in rapids, relaxing in the natural holes formed between the rocks of the running water. They hold their baskets that serve as nets for fishing.
Note: You can rent a camp or rent a restaurant to explore the area for a couple of nights.
The Green Island of Idjwi
Idjwi is an Island of green mountains and incredible biodiversity. This Island feels like a different world within DRC. You can take two hours to ride from the nearest city of Bukavu, which will lead you to Idjwi.
Visitors are welcomed and greeted with fresh fruits. Walking and motorcycle are the two modes of transportation, where hiking around the Island are peaceful. The residents are proud since this place has never experienced war.
Accommodation is sparse in this area, but the adventurers who visit this Island will have good places allocated to visitors.
Garamba and Salonga National Parks- The greatest African elephants domestication centers
Garamba National Park is filled with grasslands and savannah, which are filled with animals like elephants, giraffes, hippos, black rhinos, and white rhinos.
It is always difficult to find big mammals sharing the same space, and that is why Garamba and Salonga is a famous and exciting place to visit.
Salonga is the largest African rainforest. In this place, you will find species like
the slender-snouted crocodile
The Salonga forest is a large ecosystem that plays a big role in the climate regulation of the whole country.
Tips: This park is somehow isolated and therefore you must take a boat to reach it with guiding tours who are always there to receive tourists.
The Okapi Wildlife Reserve- One of the largest drainage systems in Africa
This wildlife reserve is unique with its large variety of exotic birds and primates which live in this place. There are several waterfalls within the reserve, and visitors can trek to witness, including the landscapes along the Epulu and the stunning Ituri rivers.
The pygmy, the nomad tribes of the Efe and Mbuti hunters, live around this area where they call it home. It is great to witness the Okapi, roughly a sixth of the entire population found in this place.
The Congo River
River Congo is the deepest river in the world at 220 meters deep. According to Phys.org, it is also the world’s second-largest river, with a length of 4,700 kilometers.
The river floors between the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo countries from the Congo basin to the ocean. It is fun to visit this particular river and witness the activities carried out by local societies.
The Congo basins, the Congo River, and the largest rain forest with prime nature of both animals and birds make it a famous and ideal place to visit due to its good climatic conditions.