The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest country of sub-Saharan Africa, occupying some 2,344,858 square kilometres (905,355 sq mi). Most of the country lies within the vast hollow of the Congo River basin. The vast, low-lying central area is a plateau-shaped basin sloping toward the west, covered by tropical rainforest and criss-crossed by rivers. The forest center is surrounded by mountainous terraces in the west, plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest. Dense grasslands extend beyond the Congo River in the north. High mountains of the Ruwenzori Range (some above 5,000 m or 16,000 ft) are found on the eastern borders with Rwanda and Uganda (see Albertine Rift montane forests for a description of this area).
Several major geographic regions may be defined in terms of terrain and patterns of natural vegetation, namely the central Congo Basin, the uplands north and south of the basin, and the eastern highlands.
The country's core region is the central Congo Basin. 44 metres (144 ft), it measures roughly 800,000 square kilometres (310,000 sq mi), constituting about a third of the DRC's territory. Much of the forest within the basin is swamp, and still more of it consists of a mixture of marshes and firm land.Having an average elevation of about
North and south of the basin lie higher plains and, occasionally, hills covered with varying mixtures of savanna grasses and woodlands. 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) near the Angolan border and falling to about 500 metres (1,600 ft) near the basin. Vegetation cover in the southern uplands territory is more varied than that of the northern uplands. In some areas, woodland is dominant; in others, savanna grasses predominate. South of the basin, along the streams flowing into the Kasai River are extensive gallery forests. In the far southeast, most of the former Katanga Province is characterized by somewhat higher plateaus and low mountains. The westernmost section of the DRC, a partly forested panhandle reaching the Atlantic Ocean, is an extension of the southern uplands that drops sharply to a very narrow shore about 40 kilometres (25 mi) long.The southern uplands region, like the basin, constitutes about a third of the DRC's territory. The area slopes from south to north, starting at about
In the much narrower northern uplands, the cover is largely savanna, and woodlands are rarer. 600 metres (2,000 ft), but it rises as high as 900 metres (3,000 ft) where it meets the western edge of the eastern highlands.The average elevation of this region is about
The eastern highlands region is the highest and most rugged portion of the country. 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) from above Lake Albert to the country's southern tip and varies in width from 80 to 560 kilometres (50 to 348 mi). Its hills and mountains range in altitude from about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) to more than 5,000 metres (16,000 ft). The western arm of the Great Rift Valley forms a natural eastern boundary to this region. The eastern border of the DRC extends through the valley and its system of lakes, which are separated from each other by plains situated between high mountain ranges.It extends for more than
In this region, changes in elevation bring marked changes in vegetation, which ranges from montane savanna to heavy montane forest.The Rwenzori Mountains between lakes Albert and Edward constitutes the highest range in Africa. The height and location of these mountains on the equator make for a varied and spectacular flora.
The Congo River and its tributaries drain this basin and provide the country with the most extensive network of navigable waterways in Africa.Ten kilometres (6.2 mi) wide at the mid-point of its length, the river carries a volume of water that is second only to the Amazon's. Its flow is unusually regular because it is fed by rivers and streams from both sides of the equator; the complementary alternation of rainy and dry seasons on each side of the equator guarantees a regular supply of water for the main channel. At points where navigation is blocked by rapids and waterfalls, the sudden descent of the river creates a hydroelectric potential greater than that found in any other river system on earth.
Most of the DRC is served by the Congo River system, a fact that has facilitated both trade and outside penetration.Its network of waterways is dense and evenly distributed through the country, with three exceptions: northeastern Mayombe in Kongo Central in the west, which is drained by a small coastal river called the Shilango; a strip of land on the eastern border adjoining lakes Edward and Albert, which is part of the Nile River basin; and a small part of the extreme southeastern DRC, which lies in the Zambezi River basin and drains into the Indian Ocean.
Most of the DRC's lakes are also part of the Congo River basin.In the west are Lac Mai-Ndombe and Lac Tumba, which are remnants of a huge interior lake that once occupied the entire basin prior to the breach of the basin's edge by the Congo River and the subsequent drainage of the interior. In the southeast, Lake Mweru straddles the border with Zambia. On the eastern frontier, Lac Kivu, Central Africa's highest lake and a key tourist center, and Lake Tanganyika, just south of Lac Kivu, both feed into the Lualaba River, the name often given to the upper extension of the Congo River. Only the waters of the eastern frontier's northernmost great lakes, Edward and Albert, drain north, into the Nile Basin.
Climate ranges from tropical rain forest in the Congo River basin to tropical wet-and-dry in the southern uplands to tropical highland in eastern areas above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in elevation. In general, temperatures and humidity are quite high. The highest and least variable temperatures are to be found in the equatorial forest, where daytime highs range between 30 and 35 °C (86 and 95 °F), and nighttime lows rarely go below 20 °C (68 °F). The average annual temperature is about 25 °C (77 °F). In the southern uplands, particularly in the far southeast, winters are cool and dry, whereas summers are warm and damp. The area embracing the chain of lakes from Lake Albert to Lake Tanganyika in the eastern highlands has a moist climate and a narrow but not excessively warm temperature range. The mountain sections are cooler, but humidity increases with altitude until the saturation point is reached; a nearly constant falling mist prevails on some slopes, particularly in the Rwenzori Mountains.
The seasonal pattern of rainfall is affected by the DRC's straddling of the equator. 1,000 to 2,000 millimetres (39 to 79 in). Annual rainfall is highest in the heart of the Congo River basin and in the highlands west of Bukavu and with some variation tends to diminish in direct relation to distance from these areas. The only areas marked by long four-month to five-month dry seasons and occasional droughts are parts of the Southeast.In the third of the country that lies north of the equator, the dry season (roughly early November to late March) corresponds to the rainy season in the southern two-thirds. There is a great deal of variation, however, and a number of places on either side of the equator have two wet and two dry seasons. Rainfall averages range from about
total: 2,344,858 km2
land: 2,267,048 km2
water: 77,810 km2
Area - comparative: The 11th-largest country in the world (and 2nd in Africa); it is smaller than Algeria but larger than Greenland and Saudi Arabia. It is slightly larger than the U.S. state of Alaska, three times the size of the state of Texas and about a quarter the size of the United States as a whole.
total: 10,481 km
border countries: "Angola 2,646 km, Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2,332 km"
Coastline:37 km (23 mi).
territorial sea:12 nmi (22 km)
exclusive economic zone: boundaries with neighbors
Climate: tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler-cold and wetter in eastern highlands and the Ruwenzori Range; north of Equator - wet season April to October, dry season December to February; south of Equator - wet season November to March, dry season April to October
Terrain: vast central plateau covered by tropical rainforest, surrounded by mountains in the west, plains and savanna in the south/southwest, and grasslands in the north. The high mountains of the Ruwenzori Range on the eastern borders.
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
arable land: 3.09%
permanent crops: 0.36% 96.55 (2012 est.)
Irrigated land: 105 km2 (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 1,283 km3 (2011)
total: 0.68 km3/yr (68%/21%/11%)
per capita: 11.25 m3/yr (2005)
periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); in the east, in the Albertine Rift, there are active volcanoes
Environment - current issues:
Poaching threatens wildlife populations (for example, the painted hunting dog, Lycaon pictus, is now considered extirpated from the Congo — a mineral used in creating capacitors, diamonds, and gold) causing environmental damagedue to human overpopulation and poaching); water pollution; deforestation (chiefly due to land conversion to agriculture by indigenous farmers ); refugees responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching; mining of minerals (coltan
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
D.R. Congo is one of six African states that straddles the equator; it's the largest African state that has the equator passing through it. Very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is the only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rainforest in the central river basin and eastern highlands.
This is a list of the extreme points of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.
Africa is a continent comprising 63 political territories, representing the largest of the great southward projections from the main mass of Earth's surface. Within its regular outline, it comprises an area of 30,368,609 km2 (11,725,385 sq mi), excluding adjacent islands. Its highest mountain is Mount Kilimanjaro, its largest lake is Lake Victoria.
REDIRECT:Geography of Brasil
Chad is one of the 48 landlocked countries in the world and is located in North Central Africa, measuring 1,284,000 square kilometers (495,755 sq mi), nearly twice the size of France and slightly more than three times the size of California. Most of its ethnically and linguistically diverse population lives in the south, with densities ranging from 54 persons per square kilometer in the Logone River basin to 0.1 persons in the northern B.E.T. (Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti) desert region, which itself is larger than France. The capital city of N'Djaména, situated at the confluence of the Chari and Logone Rivers, is cosmopolitan in nature, with a current population in excess of 700,000 people.
At 475,440 km2 (183,570 sq mi), Cameroon is the world's 53rd largest country. It is slightly larger than the nation of Sweden and the US state of California. It is comparable in size to Papua New Guinea. Cameroon's landmass is 472,710 km2 (182,510 sq mi), with 2,730 km2 (1,050 sq mi) of water.
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Rwanda is located in central Africa, to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at the co-ordinates.
Uganda is located in eastern Africa, west of Kenya, south of South Sudan, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north of Rwanda and Tanzania. It is in the heart of the Great Lakes region, and is surrounded by three of them, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, and Lake Victoria. While much of its border is lakeshore, Uganda is landlocked with no access to the sea.
Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. Ethiopia has a high central plateau that varies from 1,290 to 3,000 m above sea level, with the highest mountain reaching 4,533 m (14,872 ft).
The Global 200 is the list of ecoregions identified by WWF, the global conservation organization, as priorities for conservation. According to WWF, an ecoregion is defined as a "relatively large unit of land or water containing a characteristic set of natural communities that share a large majority of their species dynamics, and environmental conditions". So, for example, based on their levels of endemism, Madagascar gets multiple listings, ancient Lake Baikal gets one, and the North American Great Lakes get none.
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Lake Edward or Lake Rutanzige is one of the smaller African Great Lakes. It is located in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda, with its northern shore a few kilometres south of the equator.
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The Albertine Rift is the western branch of the East African Rift, covering parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. It extends from the northern end of Lake Albert to the southern end of Lake Tanganyika. The geographical term includes the valley and the surrounding mountains.
The wildlife of Burundi is composed of its flora and fauna. The small, landlocked country is home to 2,950 species of plants, 596 birds, 163 species of vertebrates, 52 species of reptiles, 56 species of amphibians, and 215 fish species. The wildlife has been drastically reduced in recent years, mainly on account of intense population pressure, conversion of large areas of forest into agricultural land, and extensive livestock farming. The protected area encompasses little more than 5% of the total area of the country.
The rattling cisticola is a species of bird in the family Cisticolidae which is native to Africa south of the equator, and parts of East Africa. It is a common to abundant species in open savanna and scrubland habitats, whether in arid, moist or upland regions. Especially during summer, it is highly conspicuous due to its strident and repetitive call-notes from prominent perches.
Angola is located on the western Atlantic Coast of Central Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to the east. The country consists of a sparsely watered and somewhat sterile coastal plain extending inland for a distance varying from 50 to 160 km. Slightly inland and parallel to the coast is a belt of hills and mountains and behind those a large plateau. The total land size is 1,246,700 km2 (481,400 sq mi). It has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 518,433 km2 (200,168 sq mi).
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/.