Congo, Democratic Republic of the Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Overview:

Although the country’s capital, Kinshasa, is only four degrees south of the equator, temperatures are generally moderate. In January, the average daily high is 100 ºF and the low is 80 ºF. In July, the range is from 95 ºF to 75 ºF. The rainy season for Kinshasa and for the two-thirds of the country below the equator lasts from October to May. Despite its dreary sound, the rainy season is not unpleasant. Except for perhaps one rainstorm every few days, lasting anywhere from one to two hours, the skies are usually blue and sunny. In contrast, the dry season, though not yielding any rain, is characterized by overcast and cooler days.

Geography - note:

second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; has narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highland

Climate:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo straddles the equator in the heart of central Africa and shares a border with nine other countries: the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola. Congo has access to the Atlantic Ocean on the west through a strip of territory that narrows to 13 miles wide at the coast. Its area includes the greater part of the Congo River Basin and covers 1,465,553 square miles.


The Congo River is 2,900 miles long and is the second largest in the world in terms of area drained, flow, and navigable length. With its tributaries, the river provides Congo with about 9,000 miles of navigable waterways, and its force affords Congo 13% of the world's hydroelectric power potential. With the country's abundance of natural resources--which include: copper, cobalt, zinc, industrial and gem-quality diamonds, manganese, tin, crude oil, and gold--Congo is potentially one of the richest countries in the world. The geographical features of this giant African nation are handsome and varied. The huge Congo Basin, a low-lying, bowl-shaped plateau sloping toward the west, is covered by lush, tropical rain forests. Surrounding the basin are mountainous terraces on the west, plateaus merging into savannas to the south and southeast, and dense grasslands toward the northwest. The high picturesque Ruwenzori Mountains bound the basin to the east.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Use of Natural Resources

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Environment

Climate:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo straddles the equator in the heart of central Africa and shares a border with nine other countries: the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola. Congo has access to the Atlantic Ocean on the west through a strip of territory that narrows to 13 miles wide at the coast. Its area includes the greater part of the Congo River Basin and covers 1,465,553 square miles.


The Congo River is 2,900 miles long and is the second largest in the world in terms of area drained, flow, and navigable length. With its tributaries, the river provides Congo with about 9,000 miles of navigable waterways, and its force affords Congo 13% of the world's hydroelectric power potential. With the country's abundance of natural resources--which include: copper, cobalt, zinc, industrial and gem-quality diamonds, manganese, tin, crude oil, and gold--Congo is potentially one of the richest countries in the world. The geographical features of this giant African nation are handsome and varied. The huge Congo Basin, a low-lying, bowl-shaped plateau sloping toward the west, is covered by lush, tropical rain forests. Surrounding the basin are mountainous terraces on the west, plateaus merging into savannas to the south and southeast, and dense grasslands toward the northwest. The high picturesque Ruwenzori Mountains bound the basin to the east.

Terrain:

vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east

Natural Hazards:

periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); in the east, in the Great Rift Valley, there are active volcanoes

Irrigated Land:

41 Square Miles
105 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching; mining of minerals (coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors, diamonds, and gold) causing environmental damage

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 905,350 Square Miles
2,344,858 Square Kilometers
Land Area 875,307 Square Miles
2,267,048 Square Kilometers
Water Area 30,042 Square Miles
77,810 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 6,667 Miles
10,730 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 41 Square Miles
105 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Angola 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 233 km, Central African Republic 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km, Sudan 628 km, Tanzania 459 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km
Coastline 23 Miles
37 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 0 00 N, 25 00 E
Terrain vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Highest Point 5,110 Meters
Highest Point Location Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley)
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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