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Congo (Kinshasa)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (/ˈkɒŋɡoʊ/; French pronunciation: [kɔ̃ɡo]; French: République démocratique du Congo), also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo[6][7] is a country located in Central Africa. The DRC borders the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. It is the second-largest country in Africa by area and eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 80 million,[1] the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most-populated nation in Africa and the eighteenth most populated country in the world.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (/ˈkɒŋɡoʊ/; French pronunciation: [kɔ̃ɡo]; French: République démocratique du Congo), also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo[6][7] is a country located in Central Africa. The DRC borders the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. It is the second-largest country in Africa by area and eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 80 million,[1] the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most-populated nation in Africa and the eighteenth most populated country in the world.

The territory of the DR Congo was first settled about 80,000 years ago. The Bantu migration began in the 7th century. The Kingdom of Kongo ruled from the 14th to 19th centuries. By 1879, Belgian colonization began leading to the establishment of the Congo Free State in 1885. In 1908, Belgium annexed the country which then became the Belgian Congo. During the Congo crisis, Belgium granted its independence in 1960 and in 1965, Mobutu Sese Seko came into power, renaming the country Zaire in 1971. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's regime began to weaken. The Congolese Civil Wars, which began in 1996, brought about the end of Mobutu's 32-year reign[1] and devastated the country. These wars ultimately involved nine African nations, multiple groups of UN peacekeepers and twenty armed groups,[8][9][unreliable source?] resulting in the deaths of 5.4 million people.[10][11][12][13]

The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural resources, but is politically unstable, has a lack of infrastructure, deep rooted corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital, Kinshasa, the other major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. As of 2015, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), DR Congo has a low level of human development, ranking 176 out of 187 countries.[5]

As of June 2016, DR Congo had one major national airline (Congo Airways) that offered flights inside DR Congo. Congo Airways was based at Kinshasa's international airport. All air carriers certified by the DRC have been banned from European Union airports by the European Commission, due to inadequate safety standards.[111]

Several international airlines service Kinshasa's international airport and a few also offer international flights to Lubumbashi International Airport.

The diving industry is undeveloped across both Congos, and several unique considerations exist for those wishing to do some scuba in the region. Most of the Great Lakes have a build-up of methane in the water from volcanic activity, and Lake Albert is home to a huge variety of hippos - not your friendliest diving partners. The Congo River has very little visibility, even in the Mangroves Park where one might hope to see a manatee. Lac Mai Ndombe is pitch-black.

The best option for diving would be in Lake Tanganyika, from Kalemie. Some small diving operations exist here for the purpose of collecting exotic fish - don’t count on them assisting your own diving excursions in any way.

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