A map of Congo Congo is sometimes known as the Republic of the Congo or Congo-Brazzaville (after its capital city) to distinguish it from its larger neighbour, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Equator runs across the middle of the country. In the north is a swampy, thickly-forested region, part of the vast Congo rainforest. In the south, the land rises to a low plateau, the Batéké Plateau, part of the Crystal Mountains, before sloping down to wide plains at the coast. The country’s eastern border is formed by the River Oubangi, and further south by the immense River Congo. Congo’s location on the Equator gives it a hot, humid climate all year round; its main rainy season is between October and December.
Congo’s population is made up of Bantu peoples; about half belong to the largest group, the Kongo. Other groups include the Teke and Sanga. About three-quarters of the population live in the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, or in towns along the railway that runs between them. Congo’s Baka people, who live by hunting and fishing, have inhabited an area in the northeastern rainforest for centuries. Vast areas of Congo are almost completely uninhabited. Many Congolese people follow Christianity alongside traditional beliefs such as animism. Animists believe that non-human things, such as hills, trees and rivers, have spirits.
Congo’s capital, Brazzaville, lies immediately across the river from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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