The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (Zaïre in French).
A case that has particularly alarmed conservationists is that of primates. The Congo is inhabited by three distinct great ape species; the common chimpanzee, the bonobo and the gorilla.
It is the only country in the world in which bonobos are found in the wild.
The chimpanzee and bonobo are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, is a state located in Central Africa, with a short Atlantic coastline (37 km). It is the third largest country in Africa by area after Sudan and Algeria and the 12th largest in the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is, with a population of nearly 71 million, the eighteenth most populous nation in the world, and the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country.
In order to distinguish it from the neighboring Republic of the Congo to the west, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is often referred to as DR Congo, DROC, DRC, or RDC (from its French abbreviation), or is called Congo-Kinshasa after the capital of Kinshasa (in contrast to Congo-Brazzaville for its neighbor). It also borders the Central African Republic and Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Atlantic Ocean to the west; and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east. The country enjoys access to the ocean through a 40-kilometre (25 mi) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda the roughly nine-kilometer wide mouth of the Congo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea.
Flora and Fauna
The rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo contain great biodiversity, including many rare and endemic species, such as the common chimpanzee and the bonobo formerly known as the Pygmy Chimpanzee), the forest elephant, mountain gorilla, okapi and white rino. Five of the country's national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites: the Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The civil war and resultant poor economic conditions have endangered much of this biodiversity. Many park wardens were either killed or could not afford to continue their work. All five sites are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage in Danger. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most biodiverse African country.
Over the past century or so, the DRC has developed into the center of what has been called the Central African “bush meat” problem, which is regarded by many as a major environmental, as well as, socio-economic crisis. "Bush meat" is another word for the meat of wild animals. It is typically obtained through trapping, usually with wire snares, or otherwise with shotguns, poisoned arrows or arms originally intended for use in the DRC's numerous military conflicts.
The "bush meat crisis" has emerged in the DRC mainly as a result of the poor living conditions of the Congolese people and a lack of education about the dangers of eating it. A rising population combined with deplorable economic conditions has forced many Congolese to become dependent on bush meat, either as a means of acquiring income (hunting the meat and selling), or are dependent on it for food. Unemployed and urbanization throughout Central Africa have exacerbated the problem further by turning cities like the urban sprawl of Kinshasa into the prime market for commercial bush meat.
This combination has caused not only widespread endangerment of local fauna, but has forced humans to trudge deeper into the wilderness in search of the desired animal meat. This overhunting results in the deaths of more animals and makes resources even scarcer for humans. The hunting has also been facilitated by the extensive logging prevalent throughout the Congo's rainforests (from corporate logging, in addition to farmers clearing out forest for agriculture), which allows hunters much easier access to previously unreachable jungle terrain, while simultaneously eroding away at the habitats of animals. Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa.
For the detailed information about DR Congo’s tourist attractions, please visit THE Online Travel Guide for DR Congo: ENJOY CONGO.
Acess Rwanda Safaris has introduced a series of the PURE PRIMATE SAFARIS, in the eastern DR-Congo, taking in the giant, rare, eastern Lowland Gorillas, in the Kahuzi Biega national park, the exotic camping on top of Mt. Nyiragongo active volcano, and the tracking of the Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga national park, in the DR-Congo.
This is in combination with the tracking of the Mountain Gorillas, and the Golden Monkeys, in the Volcanoes national park, and the trekking of Chimpanzees, and the Colobus Monkeys, in the Nyungwe Forest national parks, in Rwanda.