The Republic of Congo, commonly referred to as Congo, is one of the most popular countries in the African continent. This country has been colonized by a few different people, ever since 1500 BC, when the first indigenous tribe arrived in the region.
Because of that, Congo is a diverse country and it has a lot of stories to tell! The Republic of Congo has been ruled by indigenous tribes, French people, and Congolese people in the past. It has also seen several civil wars breaking out ever since its independence.
Nonetheless, this Central African country is one of the most interesting places on Earth, providing tourists and researchers with some of the most exquisite sights one will ever see. In this article, we’re going to show you 8 interesting facts about the Republic of Congo!
Republic of Congo Facts
1. French is the country’s official language.
In 1880, French colonizers started arriving in Congo. They decided that the country’s federal capital would be the city of Brazzaville and they began exploring the Republic of Congo’s natural resources, even though it cost them several Congolese lives.
The French ruled Congo for many decades, up until the country’s people started protesting against the government, which led to the independence of the country in 1960. However, even if France no longer had any power over Congo, the then newly-independent country decided to maintain French as their official language.
Though French is the official language, it is estimated that there are over 200 languages that are spoken in Congo, due to the fact that the country was ruled by indigenous tribes for a very long time before the French arrived.
In addition to French, there are four other languages that are considered as national languages: Kituba, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba, an interesting fact about Republic of Congo.
2. The Congo River is one of the largest rivers in the world.
The Republic of Congo is situated on the north side of the Congo River, whereas the Democratic Republic of Congo is situated on the opposite side. This means that this river is so large it crosses two different large countries. In fact, some people refer to this river as a highway, given that many locals and tourists go on boat journeys between both countries.
After the famous Nile River, the Congo River is the second largest river in all of Africa, at 4,700 kilometers long. On top of that, it is the second-largest by discharge volume (after the Amazon river) and it is the deepest river in the world.
3. Congo has consistent weather all year-round.
Because of its location, the Republic of Congo is crossed by the Equator line, which means that this country’s weather is pretty consistent throughout the year, just like other regions of the globe that are located on the Equator, such as some parts of Brazil, for instance.
Congo’s tropical climate is characterized by humidity, hot temperatures and rainfall in some regions. The dry season usually falls between June to August, while the rainfall period lasts from March to May and once again from September to November.
4. There is a pygmy tribe in this country.
As previously mentioned, the Republic of Congo was once ruled by indigenous tribes. An interesting fact about Republic of Congo is that one of those tribes was the Pygmy tribe, which to this day is still present in the region.
Pygmy is a group of people who have a very short stature, shorter than the average human being. The pygmy community lives in different locations across Central Africa, including the Republic of Congo, and they are a community of hunter-gatherers. That is, these people rely on hunting as their main type of subsistence.
The average height of Pygmy men is 155 centimeters, while Pygmy women are usually 147 centimeters tall.
5. The Republic of the Congo is home to the second-largest rainforest in the world.
When we think of the planet in its full size, we realize that the area of the Earth that is covered in rainforests is almost insignificant. They only cover about 6% of the planet!
However, they are the most important type of forests, for they are the home to more than half of the planet’s flora and fauna. On top of that, they are responsible for the production of clean oxygen so that we can breathe. The world’s largest rainforest is the Amazon, as we all know. But do you know what rainforest is in second place on this list?
It’s the Congo Rainforest!
This rainforest is so large it encompasses 6 different countries and it is home to over 10,000 species of plants and it is inhabited by several endangered species, such as forest elephants and mountain gorillas. On top of that, this rainforest covers about 70% of the Congolese territory.
6. The ‘Last Eden’ on Earth can be found here!
With an area of more than 4,000 square kilometers, the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park is located in the northern region of the Republic of Congo. Because it has no roads within its borders and also because it has never been logged, this park is one of the few places on the planet where we can’t identify any type of mankind’s interference. An interesting fact about Republic of Congo is that this made the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park earn the title of Last Eden on Earth.
7. Congo is the only place where one can find the bonobo great ape.
The bonobo is a species of chimpanzee that is considered to be the closest extant relative to human beings. Scientists believe that this species of chimpanzee is more closely related to humans than the common chimpanzee!
Bonobos live in a region that is known as the Congo Basin — this is where the rainforests are located, a fun Republic of Congo fact.
8. This a large country, but its population is pretty small.
The Republic of Congo comprises a total area of more than 340,000 square kilometers. That’s almost as large as the U.S. states of New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina combined!
However, the Republic of Congo has a population of a little over 5 million people, whereas the state of New York alone has almost 20 million people.
The Republic of Congo is a large country in Central Africa. It was once a French colony, thus the country’s official language is still French. The Congo, as it is usually called, is a place that is rich in history.
However, there’s more to this country than a rich history: it is also extremely rich in terms of culture and nature. The Republic of Congo is pretty diverse, being the home more than 240 different languages, and it is also the home of the world’s second-largest river and second-largest rainforest!
I hope that this article on Republic of Congo facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!