Democratic Republic of the Congo Travel Fact Sheet

The official coat of arms of the .

Collecting firewood in Basankusu

Basic Info

Country Name

Democratic Republic of the Congo

What the People are Called


Ethnic Groups

Over 200 ethnic groups populate the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which the majority are Bantu peoples. Together, Mongo, Luba and Kongo peoples (Bantu) and Mangbetu-Azande peoples constitute around 45% of the population.

In 2009, the United Nations estimated the country's population to be 66 million people,[100] a rapid increase from 39.1 million in 1992 despite the ongoing war.[101] As many as 250 ethnic groups have been identified and named. The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. About 600,000 Pygmies are the aboriginal people of the DR Congo.[102] Although several hundred local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by widespread use of French and intermediary languages such as Kongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala.

U.S. Embassy

American Embassy Unit 2220, DPO, AE 09828 - USA

Telephone and E-mail: Embassy Switchboard: 081 556-0151 Fax: (243) 81 55 60 175 NOTE: When dialing from the United States dial 011.243.81 + number E-mail:

Canadian Embassy

The Embassy of Canada P.O. Box 8341 Kinshasa 1, Democratic Republic of Congo

Telephone: (243) 99 60 21 500 Fax: (243) 99 60 21 510 or (243) 99 60 21 511 Email:


Congolese Franc

Time Zone

WAT and CAT (UTC+1 to +2)

Phone/Internet Information

Calling code: +243. Internet TLD: .cd

Major Languages Spoken

French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is meant to be ethnically neutral language and facilitate communication among the many different ethnic groups of the Congo.

Approximately 242 languages are spoken in the country, but only four have the status of national languages: Kikongo (Kituba), Lingala, Tshiluba and Swahili. Although some people speak these regional, or trade languages, as first languages, most of the population speak them as a second language after their own tribal language. Primary education tends to be in the national Bantu language of the region, and secondary education, and beyond, tends to be in French. Lingala was made the official language of the colonial army, the "Force Publique" under Belgian colonial rule. But since the recent rebellions, a good part of the army in the East also uses Swahili where it is prevalent. When the country was a Belgian colony, it had already instituted teaching and use of the four national languages in primary schools, making it one of the few African nations to have had literacy in local languages during the European colonial period. During the colonial period both Dutch and French were the official languages but French was by far the most important. About 24,320,000 people of DRC speak French either as a first or second language.

Major holidays

January 1 New Year's Day January 4 Day of the Martyrs May 1 Labor Day May 17 Liberation Day June 30 Independence Day August 1 Parents' Day November 17 Army Day December 25 Christmas Day December 30 Saint Paul's Day

Source: [1] Source: [2]

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