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Facts About Congo

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There are two countries that are commonly known as the Congo. This is all about the Democratic Republic of Congo located in Africa. This country is the third largest in Africa and it straddles the equator. Differing geographical features such as a plain in the center of Congo and the mountains in the northern part of the country. If you are interested in more about the Democratic Republic of Congo, please check out some of the interesting facts below.

Map of CongoMap of Congo (view online).

History of Congo

In 1908, Congo was a Belgian colony and the republic won independence in 1960. Social and political instability marred the early years. Joseph Mobutu seized power in 1965 in a coup. The country was then called Zaire. His regime was toppled in 1997 in a rebellion led by Laurent Kabila. The country became known then as Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1998, he faced a challenge due to insurrection. A cease fire was ordered in 1999. He was assassinated in 2001 and his son Joseph is now the President.

Congo’s economy

Congo’s economy has declined very rapidly since 1980. War has altered the output of the nation as well as the revenue of the government. Increased national debt has also played a part in the problem. Conditions improved during 2002 as President Kabila initiated reforms. Corruption and an uncertain legal framework hamper growth. In 2005, mining began boosting growth once again.

Flag of the Democratic Republic of CongoFlag of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tourism in Congo

At present, there is not much sightseeing to be done here as most of the country is under rebel control. Travel outside the capital is discouraged. However, Kinshasa has ethnological and prehistoric museums. Kinkole and Ma Vallee are also good to see. In Southwest Congo, Insiki Falls at Zongo and caves in Mbanza-Ngungu are also good sites to see. In Kasai, the Upemba National Park is a must.

Visa and passport

When you are in country, you will need to have either a passport or a visa depending on where you are originating from. Different people will need different items for entry into the country at any point.