Working for birds in Africa

Geography

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 14:34 -- abc_admin
Equateur_DRC

Equateur Province, DRC

Image Credit: 
John Sidle

The Democratic Republic of the Congo straddles the equator in central Africa and is an enormous country of 2,345,410 km2  which is divided into 26 provinces for administration purposes. It has a small coastline of 37 km and borders no less than 9 other African countries. The climate is tropical, hot and humid in the equatorial river basin, cooler and drier in the southern highlands and cooler and wetter in the eastern highlands. The wet season is from April to October and the dry season is from December to February north of the equator. South of the equator, the wet season is from November to March and the dry season from April to October.

The terrain is a vast central basin in a low-lying plateau with mountains in the east and with a variation in altitude from sea level to the highest point of Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) at 5,110 m. Natural hazards include periodic droughts in the south, Congo River seasonal flooding and in the east in the Great Rift Valley, there are active volcanoes. A very narrow strip of land controls the lower Congo River and is the only outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The central river basin and eastern highlands comprise dense tropical rain forest. The population is over 58 million and languages spoken are French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo and Tshiluba. More details can be found at CIA Factbook.

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