The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC or DR Congo) is truly the heart of Africa in every sense of the word. It is the second largest country in Africa, after Algeria, and is centrally located on the African continent. Its location puts it in the middle of the tropic zone and both dense, tropical jungles and savannah plains can be found here.
DRC is a country that has undergone and is still undergoing a great amount of change. Prior to May 1997, DRC was known as Zaire. It was changed it from The Democratic Republic of Congo to Zaire in 1971 by then-president Sese Seko Mobutu. General Laurent Kabila was responsible for changing Zaire’s name back to DRC, the name it held prior to 1971.
DR Congo has ocean access via the might Congo River. The Congo River is the deepest river in the world and nearly 5000 km or 3000 miles long. The river winds through the Congo rainforest and provides homes for many of the country’s wildlife. The rainforests house a great many species and are where the few number of safaris occur. Animals including gorillas, chimpanzees, rhinos and a wide range of birds can be found in this little-travelled country. In fact, DRC is one of only three African countries in which the mountain gorilla can be viewed. The other two are Rwanda and Uganda. Companies which offer safari expeditions down the Congo River are starting to crop up and guests will be able to view animals and some of the major cities along the river on these excursions.
DRC is not advisable for first-time safari goers. Its large size and severely damaged and underdeveloped infrastructure make for long and, often, rough journeys. It is recommended that all people who are considering visiting this gorgeous country take all necessary precautions and check with their local travel advisory services first.