Congo Democratic Republic of the Geography - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Location

Central Africa, northeast of Angola

Geographic coordinates

0 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references

Africa

Area

total: 2,344,858 sq km

land: 2,267,048 sq km

water: 77,810 sq km

country comparison to the world: 12

Area - comparative

slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 11,027 km

border countries (9): Angola 2646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 1775 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2332 km

Coastline

37 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: since 2011, the DRC has had a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources

Climate

tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)

Terrain

vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east

Elevation

highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 726 m

Natural resources

cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber

Land use

agricultural land: 11.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 8% (2018 est.)

forest: 67.9% (2018 est.)

other: 20.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

110 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

1.283 trillion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Population distribution

urban clusters are spread throughout the country, particularly in the northeast along the boarder with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; the largest city is the capital, Kinshasha, located in the west along the Congo River; the south is least densely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley

volcanism: Nyiragongo (3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note

note 1: second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands; the narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River is the DRC's only outlet to the South Atlantic Ocean

note 2: because of its speed, cataracts, rapids, and turbulence the Congo River, most of which flows through the DRC, has never been accurately measured along much of its length; nonetheless, it is conceded to be the deepest river in the world; estimates of its greatest depth vary between 220 and 250 meters

NOTE: The information regarding Congo Democratic Republic of the on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Congo Democratic Republic of the 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo Democratic Republic of the 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

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