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Tuesday 27th June
DRC Information - Page 1
Geography
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is in Central Africa. Countries bordering DRC are Angola, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia.

Kinshasa is the capital. Other major urban areas include Bukavu, Goma, Kananga, Kisangani, Lubumbashi, Matadi, Mbandaka and Mbuji-Mayi.

The terrain of DRC consists of a very short coastline, low-lying plateau, highland areas and high mountains in the east. The principal river is the Congo.

The climate is tropical, with cooler temperatures in the highlands.

Environment
A number of parks in DRC are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, because of the effects of wars, immigration and poaching, the parks were inscribed on the World Heritage in Danger List.

Salonga National Park, the largest equatorial forest in Africa, is in the central basin of the Congo River. The park is home to the bonobo, a small chimpanzee-like ape, which is man's closest genetic relative.

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies part of the Ituri forest. The reserve is named after the okapi, a relative of the giraffe, which inhabits the region. Traditional nomadic [pygmy] Mbuti and Efe hunters live in the reserve.

Garamba National Park consists of grasslands, savannahs, woodlands, forests and rivers. Animals include the elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus and white rhinoceros.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, an area of tropical forest, is named after its extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega. A group of mountain gorillas live in the park.

Mountain gorillas also live in Virunga National Park. Nyiragongo, part of the Virunga Volcanic Chain, is one of Africa's most active volcanoes.

Architecture
Kinshasa, the capital of DRC, is a modern city consisting of office blocks, government buildings, high-rise apartments, shops and supermarkets.

The move to urban areas since the war has led to pressure on housing. Many people live in buildings constructed from materials such as concrete or corrugated iron.

Population
The population of DRC was estimated at 66,514,500 in 2008.

Languages
Around two hundred and fifty languages and dialects are spoken in DRC. French is the official language. National languages are Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christians: Roman Catholics, Protestants and Kimbanguists (Church of Jesus Christ on Earth by the Prophet Simon Kimbangu). There are also Muslims and followers of indigenous beliefs.

Food
Cassava is a staple food in DRC. It can be made into fufu and served with sauce. Stew, with fish or meat, is also a basic food. Rice is eaten where available.

Palm oil and peanuts are used in recipes and are cooked with ground cassava leaves.

Vegetables and fruits include aubergines, plantains, squash, sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples.

Coffee and tea are grown. Beer and palm wine are brewed locally.

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