What is the terrain and geography like in Congo, Republic of the ?
The country has four topographical regions: a coastal plain extending inland about 40 miles to the foothills of the Mayombe Mountains; the alluvial soils of the fertile Niari Valley in the south-central area; the Central Bateke Plateau separating the basins of the Ogooue and Congo Rivers; and the Congo River basin in the north, composed of mainly impassable floodplains in the lower portion and dry savanna in the upper portion. Much of the Congo is densely forested.
In December 1993, nearly a million acres of land in the north became Nouabale-Ndoki National Park—one of the most significant tropical forest preserves in the world.
Brazzaville, a city of over 900,000 people, lies on the north bank of the Congo River, 315 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and 4.25 degrees south of the Equator. Surrounded by a vast savanna of high grasslands and dark green thickets of low trees spread over rolling hills, the town is fairly level, with an altitude of 1,043 feet.
Violent rapids make the Congo River un-navigable from Brazzaville to the Atlantic. To the northeast the river widens into Stanley Pool—15 miles wide and dotted with many small islands (during the dry season). From Brazzaville inland, the river becomes navigable for 1,000 miles.
Goods arriving at the Atlantic seaport of Pointe-Noire are shipped by rail or truck to Brazzaville, which, due to its position above the rapids, is a transit point for commercial and passenger traffic heading North.
The city of Pointe-Noire, with over 500,000 people, is one of the best ports on the African west coast between Luanda, Angola, and Lagos, Nigeria. Almost all goods moving into and out of the Congo pass through Pointe-Noire.