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Travel to Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire)

Travel warning is issued for traveling to Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire). For more information please visit U.S. Department of State

Last Minute Tips Before you Travel to Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire)

  • Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (+2 East)
  • Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz (bring an adapter/transformer for your hair drier, laptop, cellular phone etc.)
  • Currency: New Zaire (CFAF)
  • Country Dialing Code: 243

Must See - Properties on UNESCO World Heritage List

  • Virunga National Park
  • Garamba National Park
  • Kahuzi-Biega National Park
  • Salonga National Park
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve

Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire)

Location
Central Africa, northeast of Angola

Capital
Kinshasa

Population
60,085,804 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.) Age structure:

Regions
10 provinces (provinces, singular - province) and 1 city* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Congo, Equateur, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Katanga, Kinshasa*, Maniema, Nord-Kivu, Orientale, Sud-Kivu

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

Ethnic groups
over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population

Religions
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 10%

Languages
French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

Government type
dictatorship; presumably undergoing a transition to representative government

Background
Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several subsequent sham elections as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion led by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by an insurrection backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DROC, Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, and Congolese armed rebel groups, but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; Joseph KABILA remains as president and is joined by four vice presidents representing the former government, former rebel groups, and the political opposition. The transitional government plans to hold a series of elections in 2006 to determine the presidency and National Assembly seats

Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire) Travel and Accommodation Your Tips for Travelers

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Disclaimer: Although we have tried to make the information on this website as accurate as possible, some of the facts may not be accurate, or may have recently changed. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience suffered by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify important information with the relevant authorities before traveling.

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