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Information on Congo DRC Travel
Capital City: kinshasa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, RDC, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply Congo is a country located in Central Africa. From 1965 to 1997 it was named Zaïre. It borders the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the East, Zambia and Angola to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 75 million the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most populated nation in Africa and the nineteenth most populated country in the world.
The Congolese Civil Wars, which began in 1996, brought about the end of Mobutu Sese Seko's 31-year reign and devastated the country. The wars ultimately involved nine African nations, multiple groups of UN peacekeepers and twenty armed groups, and resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Virunga National Park: This got listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a protected piece of land. What you will see here are a diversity of Congo's native floras and faunas. Among the most popular animals to see here are its mountain gorillas as well as its hippopotamuses.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park: This is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, you will see some extinct volcanoes that are always a sight to behold, and these extinct volcanoes are the Kahuzi and the Biega volcanoes. Furthermore, they also have gorillas that are well protected from poachers as well as a plethora of other animals and plants.
Garamba National Park: When you visit the Garamba National Park (also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List), you will be awed by the vast savannahs it has as well as its majestic grasslands and woodlands. These are filled with all kinds of animals like the giraffes, hippopotamuses, and elephants. You will also see here the unique white rhinoceros as well as the black rhinoceros.
Salonga National Park: This is a tropical rainforest national park and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List as well. In this immense rainforest, you will see the antics of the dwarf chimpanzee and be amazed of the Congo peacock. This is also made more famous because of the African slender-snouted crocodile or what is also called a false crocodile.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve: Also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, this reserve is popular for the variety of birds and primates that it has. It also gives anybody who visits this place a true sense of what the beauty of nature is about as they gaze at the waterfalls. Be amazed at the wonderful scenery Ituri and Epulu Rivers offer.
Nyiragongo Volcano: Another beautiful tourist destination, this volcano is a must-see in Congo. Here, you will marvel at the sight of the lava lake. But remember, this magnificent sight posts danger to the people living near it.
Kinshasa: This is the capital city of Congo. Here, you can stay at budget hotels like Al Dar and La Bloque. If you want a nightlife, go to Matonge at night because this is where you can find most of the bars as well as restaurant and popular night clubs.
Falls of Zongo: This is also a great place to go to if you are a nature lover. Here, you will surely love the splendid view of the Zongo Falls and admire the beauty of the nature that surrounds it. You can also stay the night here as you can camp here in a tent or you can rent a bungalow for a night's stay.
Bombo-Lumene Game Park: This is a wonderful place to spend some quality time with our loved ones. You can spend a quiet and peaceful time in the many small gazebos located here. Or you can take a short nature walk along its trails and rest on a quaint bamboo bench if your legs get tired from all the walking.
Bukavu: This is a city in Congo that you can also visit. Here, you will be given a scenic view of Kivu Lake. From here, you can visit the gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega Nation
Visitors to Democratic Republic of the Congo must obtain a visa from one of the Democratic Republic of the Congo diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries, or from a country with no embassy, in which case they can obtain a visa confirmation followed by a visa on arrival.
Visitors requiring a visa need to submit a legalised letter of invitation from a DRC person or organization. For tourists, a hotel booking confirmation may be accepted, at least by the embassy in Bern as of May 2015, in case the traveler has no contact in the DRC.
Minerals and economy
The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural resources, but political instability, a lack of infrastructure and a culture of corruption have limited development, extraction and exploitation efforts. Besides the capital, Kinshasa, the other major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. As of 2013, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), DR Congo has a low level of human development, ranking 186 out of 187 countries
Economy and infrastructure
The Central Bank of the Congo is responsible for developing and maintaining the Congolese franc, which serves as the primary form of currency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2007, The World Bank decided to grant the Democratic Republic of Congo up to $1.3 billion in assistance funds over the next three years. Kinshasa is currently negotiating membership of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$24 trillion. The Congo has 70% of the world's coltan, a third of its cobalt, more than 30% of its diamond reserves, and a tenth of its copper.
Despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The African country generated up to 70% of its export revenue from minerals in the 1970s and 1980s, and was particularly hit when resource prices deteriorated at that time. By 2005, 90% of the DRC's revenues derived from its minerals (Exenberger and Hartmann 2007:10). The country's woes mean that, despite its potential, its citizens are among the poorest people on earth, the Congolese being consistently assigned the lowest, or near lowest, nominal GDP per capita in the world. The DRC is also one of the twenty lowest ranked countries on the Corruption Perception Index.