DRC

Take a trip to the centre of Africa to a vast country of rainforests, low-lying plains, mountains and swamps. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s most resource-rich nations, but political instability has made it one of the poorest. Scroll down for our printable resources to test your findings.

A chimp at Virunga National Park in DRC

A Little Geography…

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo have similar names and are found next to each other, but they are different countries. The capital of the DRC is Kinshasa.
  • The DRC is found on the equator, with one-third to the north and two-thirds to the south. It borders nine countries – the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, and the Republic of the Congo. The western tip of the DRC also touches the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The country has a population of about 70 million people, living in an area of around 2.34 million square kilometres. The official language is French (but over 200 African dialects are also spoken).
  • The DRC is very rich in resources, including diamonds, oil, coal, copper, cobalt, zinc and gold. But it remains one of Africa’s poorest countries, with most people working as farmers growing what they need to survive.

A Little History…

  • Before Portuguese explorers arrived in 1483, several ethnic groups ruled the region of the DRC, including the Kongo, the Luba and the Lunda. Then in 1885, the King of Belgium claimed the area, renaming it the Congo Free State. He forced the native people to work in mines and on rubber plantations.
  • The country gained independence from Belgium in 1960, but since then has been blighted by years of civil war. The situation has been made worse by an influx of refugees fleeing the fighting in neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi.
  • From 1971 to 1997, the DRC became known as the Republic of Zaire under the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko. The name reverted back to the DRC when Seko fell from power. Since 2001, Joseph Kabila has been president.

And Some Interesting Facts…

  • Africa’s oldest national park is found in the DRC. Virunga National Park is one of five of the country’s national parks listed as World Heritage Sites for their diversity of wildlife, including mountain gorillas, lions, elephants, crocodiles and hippos.
  • Virunga National Park is also home to seven volcanoes, including Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano with a crater 2 km wide. The nearby city of Goma was badly damaged by an eruption in 2002, when lava flowed at speeds of up to 60 kph.
  • Former US basketball player Dikembe Mutombo was born in the DRC. During his career, he founded a charity to improve the health, education and quality of life for the people of his homeland.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's Flag

DRC Flag Printables

The Democratic Republic of Congo's flag is sky blue with a diagonal red and yellow stripe, and a yellow star in the top left corner. It was adopted on 20 February 2006. The yellow star represents the bright future of the country.


Our DRC Resources

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