The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Brief History

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second-largest country on the African continent and has more than 200 different ethnic groups. The area was inhabited by native people for thousands of years, and human remains have been found that dated to 90,000 years ago. These early people were Central African Foragers, and the Bantu people reached the area around 3,000 years ago. The Kingdom of the Kongo ruled what is now the western part of the DRC between the 14th and 19th centuries. The area was negatively affected by the Atlantic slave trade from approximately 1500 to 1850. Belgian King Leopold II came to the area in 1885 and claimed it as his colony. By 1908 the Belgian government had control of the area. In 1960 there was an uprising by the Congolese people and the country became independent. A leader named Mobutu changed the name of the country to Zaire in 1965, but when he lost power in 1997 it was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo

National Flag

The national flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is sky blue with a yellow star in the upper left corner. It also has a diagonal red stripe from the lower left to the upper right which is bordered with thin yellow lines. The blue color symbolizes peace, the red represents the blood of the country’s martyrs, and yellow represents its wealth. The star symbolizes the country’s bright future. This flag was adopted in 2006.


The DRC is located in central Africa on the equator and has a short Atlantic Ocean coastline. The country’s middle region is the Central Congo Basin. There are uplands north and south of the basin and highlands in the east. The DRC is a large country and includes rainforests, swamps, plateaus, plains, and mountains.


World Land Mass Ranking: 11th


Highest Mountain: Mount Stanley, 5109 m           (16,762 ft)


Longest River: Congo River, 4,370 km (2,920 mi)

Main Languages

Kituba, Lingala, Tshiluba, and Swahili

DRC Population: 89.56 million (as of 2020)

Capital City: Kinshasa

Capital City Population: 17.07 million


The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a tropical climate with high temperatures. The country receives a lot of rainfall and has high humidity. The DRC receives at least 48 inches of rainfall each year. In the north, the rainy season is April through October and the south has its rainy season November through March.

Key People

Camille-Pierre Pambu Bodo

Emmanuel Kabeya Mudiay

Barbara Kanam

Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo

  • Cuisine

    The cuisine of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is called Congolese cuisine. The most commonly cultivated crops in the DRC are cassava, sweet potatoes, taro, yam, plantains, okra, tomatoes, beans, and ground nuts. Cassava is made into fufu and served at most meals. Chicken and goat meats are the main source of protein, but because of the cost, they are only served on special occasions. Poulet à la Moambé (Moambe Chicken) is considered to be Congo’s national dish. It is chicken in moambe sauce, which is made from palm oil or peanuts.

  • Sports

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their national team has won the African Cup of Nations twice and many players originally from the DRC have played professionally in Europe. Other sports that are popular in the DRC are basketball, track and field, volleyball, and boxing.

  • Culture

    The DR Congo is an extremely diverse country and its culture reflects that diversity. The culture combines traditions of those native to the area with the influence from abroad. The folk instruments commonly played are the xylophone and the myvet. Art is a significant part of Congolese culture, including painting, textiles, and traditional handicrafts. Music and dancing are traditional and modern forms of expression and enjoyment. Christianity is the most common religion in the DRC, particularly Catholocism.

10 facts about The Democratic Republic of the Congo

1. The Congo River is the deepest river in the world.


2. The DR Congo is about one-fourth the size of the USA.


3. The average lifespan in DR Congo is about 61 years.


4. Only 10% of people in the DRC have access to electricity.


5. The DRC is the second-largest country in Africa.


6. The DRC is home to 60% of the Congo’s rainforest.


7. 1087 species of birds live in the DR Congo.


8. The DR Congo exports gold, diamonds, copper, and coffee.


9. DR Congo’s national motto is “Justice, Peace, Labor.


10. DR Congo has a coastline of only 23 miles.


Q&A Corner

1. What is the most popular sport in the DR Congo? +
2. What is the population of Congo (as of 2020)? +
3. What is the capital city of the DR Congo? +
4. Name a main language spoken in Congo? +
5. What is in the top left corner the DR Congo’s flag? +
6. What is the longest river in the DR Congo? +
7. How many different ethnic groups live in the DRC? +
8. What type of climate does the DR Congo have? +
9. What type of climate does the DR Congo have? +
10. What was the DR Congo formerly called? +