Mayombe

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Coordinates: 4°15′14″S13°29′44″E / 4.2538°S 13.4955°E / -4.2538; 13.4955

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.

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Fetish with mirror from Mayombe Magische Figur.JPG
Fetish with mirror from Mayombe

Mayombe (or Mayumbe) is a geographic area on the western coast of Africa occupied by low mountains extending from the mouth of the Congo River in the south to the Kouilou-Niari River to the north. The area includes parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola (Cabinda Province), the Republic of the Congo and Gabon. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mayombe is part of the north-western province of Kongo Central on the right bank of the River Congo, and contains the cities and towns of Lukula, Seke Banza, Kangu and Tshela.

Congo River river in central Africa

The great Congo River, formerly known as the Zaire River under the Mobutu regime, is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world by discharge volume, following only the Amazon. It is also the world's deepest recorded river, with measured depths in excess of 220 m (720 ft). The Congo-Lualaba-Chambeshi River system has an overall length of 4,700 km (2,920 mi), which makes it the world's ninth-longest river. The Chambeshi is a tributary of the Lualaba River, and Lualaba is the name of the Congo River upstream of Boyoma Falls, extending for 1,800 km (1,120 mi).

Kouilou-Niari River river in the Republic of the Congo

The Kouilou-Niari River—also spelled Kwilu, Kwila, or Kwil—is the most important river flowing to the Atlantic Ocean of the Republic of the Congo coast. Moreover, it entire drainage area is completely in the Republic of the Congo. The river is called the Kouilou River while flowing in the coastal region of the Kouilou till the Sounda gorges. Upstream from the Gorges, its name is the Niari River and it flows through the Niari Valley. The river combines with the Louessé, the Loudima and the Bouenza River and eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It covers about 560 km from its origin in the Batéké Plateau of The Congo to its mouth at the coast.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Country in Central Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, East Congo, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Currently, eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.

Physical geography

Umbrella tree (Musanga cecropioides) in the Mayombe forest Mayombe-parasolier.JPG
Umbrella tree (Musanga cecropioides) in the Mayombe forest

Mayumbe is located in the west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It lies on the right bank of the Congo River (the world's second largest) just before it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Banana. It extends north from Boma into the Angolan enclave of Cabinda to the west and extends north to the Republic of Congo and Gabon.

Banana, Democratic Republic of the Congo Place in Bas-Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Banana is a small seaport in the Kongo Central province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Atlantic coast. The port is situated in Banana Creek, an inlet about 1km wide on the north bank of the Congo River's mouth, separated from the ocean by a spit of land 3km long and 100 to 400m wide. The port is located on the creek side of the spit, which shelters it from the ocean. It is about 8km south-east of Muanda to which it is connected by a paved road running along the coast.

Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo Place in Kongo Central, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Boma is a port town on the Congo River, some 100 km upstream from the Atlantic Ocean, in the Kongo Central province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It had an estimated population of 162,521 in 2012.

Mayumbe is watered by many rivers with swift currents in its hilly and mountainous regions. The three largest are the Shiloango River and two of its main tributaries, the Lukula River and the Lubuzi River.

The main peaks are:

Climate and ecology

Mayumbe is south of the equator in the equatorial zone with oceanic influence and has two main seasons. The long dry season from June to September in the Mayumbe is not as intense as in the rest of the Lower Congo because of the altitude and the influence of the forest. Temperatures range from 17 to 22, but can drop to 8 ° at night. Nights can be quite cool. The long rainy season lasts from October to May, with temperatures of 28-33°. The climate is hot and humid, especially during the rainy season when the humidity is near to 100%. This feeling of constant humidity is further increased by the condensation of the vapors of the trade winds that cool the cliffs of the Coastal Range.

Flora vary from dense forest to savannah dotted with forest trees. The forests of Mayumbe are old. Some of the trees are valuable, especially the Limba. Palm trees are plentiful in the Elais Mayumbe and are found in forests and in the savanna. They form one of the great resources of this region for its inhabitants. The area's forests were estimated in 1950 to cover 500,000 hectares (1,200,000 acres). More recently they have declined to 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres), of which Limba account for over 40%.

<i>Terminalia superba</i> species of plant

Terminalia superba, the superb terminalia, limba, or afara (UK), korina (US), frake (Africa), African limba wood, is a large tree in the family Combretaceae, native to tropical western Africa.

People

Among the ethnic groups that inhabit this region the Yombe, a subset of the Kongo people, are the most numerous.

Railway

The Mayumbe railway, August 1930 Mayumbe-Tranchee-1930.jpg
The Mayumbe railway, August 1930

The Mayombe Railway linked Boma to Tshela, with a planned extension to the Republic of Congo. It was dismantled under President Mobutu Sese Seko and the tracks were reused near Gbadolite. The Mayombe in Congo is covered by the Congo-Ocean Railway.

People from Mayombe

Mayombe is famous in Senegal because it is an important stage in the exile of the founder of mouridism, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, during the French colonial administration. He remained there five years.

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Lukula is a town in, and a territory of Kongo Central province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It lies on the road and disused Mayumbe railway line between Boma, to the south, and Tshela, to the north, on the southern bank of the Lakula river. Lukula lies at an altitude of 646 ft above sea level. Economic activity includes cement production, utilising locally occurring limestone, and commercial Logging.

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