The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third largest country in Africa with a size of 2,345,410 sq km. It is situated at the heart of West Central portion of sub-Sahara Africa and is bounded by 10 countries. Its territory straddles the Equator, with one third to the North and two –thirds to the South.

As a result of its equatorial location , the Congo sustains the second largest rain forest in the world .This area is surrounded by plateau merging into savannas in the South and South-West , by mountainous terraces in the West and dense grasslands extending beyond the Congo River in the North.

The tropical climate has also produced the Congo River system which dominates the region topographically along with the rainforest it flows through. The River basin occupies nearly half of the entire country. The sources of the Congo are the highlands and mountains of the Western branch of the African Rift, as well as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru.

The North-Eastern section of the country is much more mountainous, but due to the rift’s tectonic activities, this area also experiences low level of volcanic activity. The rifting of the African continent in this area has created the famous Great Lakes which lie on the Congo’s Eastern frontier.

Congo is the most biologically diverse country in Africa with 415 species of mammals and 1086 species of birds. Congo has a number of global important flagship species, the best known being the Bonobo ,or pygmy chimpanzee, the Eastern lowland gorilla , the mountain gorillas and the Congo peafowl and the Okapi.

The country also has striking diversity with 300 different languages spoken. The principal tribes are the Mongo, Kongo, Luba and Mangbetu-Azande , with the Sudanese , nilotic and Cushitic in the North-East of Congo. The most interesting people of this country are the hunter –gatherer Mbuti Pygmies, who are among the few true forest people still living traditional lifestyles.
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