Country Listing

Zaire Table of Contents



The Republic of Zaire is the second largest country of subSaharan Africa, occupying some 2,344,885 square kilometers. It is roughly the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River.

Most of the country lies within the vast hollow of the Congo River basin. The basin has the shape of an amphitheater, open to the north and northwest and closed in the south and east by high plateaus and mountains. The edges of the basin are breached in the west by the passage of the Congo River to the Atlantic Ocean; they are broken and raised in the east by an upheaval of the Great Rift Valley (where lakes Mweru, Tanganyika, Kivu, Edward, and Albert are found) and by overflow from volcanos in the Virunga Mountains.

Data as of December 1993