Formerly known as the Zaire, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa. She borders South Sudan, The Central African Republic, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia and the Republic of Congo. The capital Kinshasa has the highest population of residents in Africa – About 14,950,000 residents. It is also the second largest French speaking city in Africa. The high population in Kinshasa is attributed to the insecurity in some parts of the country. Residents also find it easier to get employment opportunities and basic social services.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country with great natural resources and wonders. Apart from gold, diamonds and oil, the Congo has over 15 other mineral resources. I should point out at this point that the uranium ore used to build the first atomic bombs were got from the Shinkolobwe Mines in the country. Minerals aside, Congo is a paradise for wildlife and nature lovers. From Africa’s big 5 animals to birds and reptiles, the country has it all. The Congo is home to wildlife species found nowhere else on earth including the elusive okapi, bongo, bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees), Congolese Peafowl, eastern lowland gorillas and mores. It is only in the Congo where tourists can track both wild mountain gorillas and Grader’s gorillas (Eastern Lowland gorillas). Other beautiful attractions include active volcanoes, waterfalls.

Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is one of the largest lakes in Africa. It is shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu lies next to the great Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Under the lake is a large reservoir of methane gas which scientists believe is a disaster waiting to happen if the right conditions present itself or if a volcanic eruption occurs among one of the Virunga volcanos. After a long safari in Congo or Rwanda, Lake Kivu is excellent for relaxation, swimming, island hopping, visiting local fishing communities, canoeing, kayaking, biking and other water spots. Fishing is also possible and the main catches are Nile Tilapia, Tanganyika sardines, Clarias, Haplochromis, Barbus and Limnothrissa miodon. There are no hippos, crocodiles or bilharzia to worry about while swimming in Lake Kivu.

Virunga National Park: Virunga is the oldest national park in Africa and one of the many UNESCO World heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park was established in 1925 and is located in the eastern part of the country. Chimpanzee Trekking in Virunga: Chimpanzee tracking is a lesser known activity which is open to visitors in Virunga. It is organized close to the park headquarters in Rumangabo.

Mount Nyiragongo: The Nyiragongo Volcano is one of the key attractions in Virunga National Park and its plumes of smoke can be seen from as far as Rwanda during the night. Nyiragongo is an active volcano with the largest lava lake on earth. Ever since 1984, the mountain has erupted 34 times with the last occurring in 2011. Every year thousands ignore the bad press and security reports from their embassies for a chance to call themselves as one of the few who have observed a lava lake up-close.

Livingstone waterfalls: The Livingstone waterfalls are a collection of large rapids found in the Congo River. The falls begin from Malebo pool all the way to Bas-Congo (Matadi). They are one of the top attractions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and worth visiting if you happen to be planning a safari in the country. The waterfalls are named after the famous British explorer known as David Livingstone.