Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 14:20 -- abc_admin
Mbeli_Bai_Noambali_National_Park_Congo

Mbeli Bai, Noambali National Park, Republic of Congo

Image Credit: 
John Flynn

The Republic of the Congo or Congo (Brazzaville) straddles the equator in West Africa. It has borders with Angola (Cabinda), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon and has an Atlantic Ocean coastline of 170 km. It has a land area of 342,000 km2 and an estimated population of 3 million about 70% of whom live in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them.

The climate is warm and humid with little seasonal fluctuation in temperature with July and August the coolest months. In the south, the country experiences a single rainy season from October to mid-May. North of the equator, there is a single dry season from December to February. Total annual rainfall varies from 1,200 to 2,000 mm.

The terrain includes a coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau and a northern basin and the land elevation ranges from sea level to Mount Berongou at 903 m. About 60% of Congo is covered by rainforest. The main forest areas are the Mayombe and Chaillu massifs in the south-west which are a southern extension of the Lower Guinea forest block, and the Sangha and Likouala in the north which are part of the Congo basin. The rest of the country is savanna or a forest - savanna mosaic.

French is the official language and there are many local languages and dialects of which Kikongo is the most widespread. More details can be found at CIA Factbook.

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