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Africa Travel: Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo are two separate neighboring countries with several similarities. For one, these two Africa lands have long been under civil unrest for many years, unstable, dark and as wild as ever. Situations in the Republic of Congo are said to have improved while the DRC is a still a huge recommended hands-off zone. Neither country is experiencing the joys from herds of tourists and probably won't for some years to come unless the armed militias and government troops both lay down their weapons.
To examine the countries differences and commonalities further, the DRC sits in Central Africa northeast of Angola and the Republic of Congo in Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean between Angola and Gabon. French is the official language of both with several local langs and dialects throughout the countries. Instead of trying to navigate our way into the country by way of Orbitz or Expedia, lets play it safe and stick to a virtual tour of the Congo. Here are a few web resources to hold you over until things simmer down, but if you're a real rebel and wish to lend your hand into making the Congo a more peaceful place check out some of the sites below and take action!
- If you were to look Congo up in a dictionary Jane Goodall would probably be seen next to it. While I haven't personally followed her work or the institutes projects in Africa, she has long been associated with the sanctuary of wildlife, such as chimpanzees. Explore more about the Ngamba Island Sanctuary and Tchimpounga Reserve here.
- Read rockers of Sum 41's account in the northeastern Congolese town of Bukavu in the DRC when they experience first-hand what the violence between rebels and government troops is like during their stay when they had to flee the country themselves.
- Amel Larrieux, one of my favorite singers had a track titled "Congo" on her latest record reflecting on the country from which so much history rests and how through it all they still find time to sing and play a song in Congo. Click here to hear the track.
- See how Amnesty International is doing its part and how you can too, to protect human rights in Kinshasa, DRC.