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Congo, Democratic Republic of the Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCentral Africa, northeast of Angola
Geographic coordinates0 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 2,344,858 sq km
land: 2,267,048 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Land boundariestotal: 10,481 km
border countries (9): Angola 2,646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2,332 km
Coastline37 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources
Climatetropical; 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)
Terrainvast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 726 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural resourcescobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
Land useagricultural land: 11.4%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 8%
forest: 67.9%
other: 20.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land110 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley
volcanism: Nyiragongo (elev. 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 - current issuespoaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notesecond largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; has narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017