Democratic Republic of the Congo, country located in central Africa. Officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country has a 25-mile (40-km) coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked. It is the second largest country on the continent; only Algeria is larger. As a result of its equatorial location, the Congo sustains the second largest rain forest in the world. This area is surrounded by plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest, by mountainous terraces in the west, and dense grasslands extending beyond the Congo River in the north. High glaciated mountains are found in the extreme eastern region.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Congo is the most biologically diverse country in Africa with 415 species of mammals and 1,086 species of birds. With 37 species and 18 genera of primates, it has the highest level of primate diversity. Congo has several globally important flagship species, the best known being the bonobo, or pygmy chimpanzee, the eastern lowland gorilla, the Congo peafowl, and the okapi, all of them endemic and of great international significance. Also of importance is the mountain gorilla which lives on the Uganda/Rwanda/DRC borders. The country also has striking cultural diversity with some 250-300 different languages spoken. Over 99% of the populations are black Africans and there are around 200 tribes which are mostly of Bantu origin. The four principal tribes are the Mongo, Kongo, Luba and Mangbetu-Azande, with Sudanese, Nilotic and Cushitic influences in northeast Congo. The most interesting people of this country are the hunter-gatherer Mbuti Pygmies, who are among the few true forest people still living traditional lifestyles.
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