The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a vast country in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa after Algeria and has a population of close to 80 million people. The country borders 9 countries which include Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The country’s terrain consists of a vast basin of low lying in the central part of the country and a mountainous in the eastern region. The mean elevation of the country is 726 meters, while the highest point is Pic Marguerite on mount Stanly with a height of 5,110 meters and the lowest point is on the shore of Atlantic Ocean with an elevation of 0 meters. The country is French speaking with more than 200 African ethnic groups
Mount Stanley is the highest mountain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the third highest mountain in Africa, with an elevation of 5,109 meters. Mount Stanley was named after a Welsh journalist and an explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. It is in the Ruwenzori Range and it is also part of the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park. The mountain is a tourist destination for both local and international visitors, who enjoy mountain climbing. The mountain has huts around that offer accommodation at night for tourists. However since the mountain borders both Uganda and DRC, many a times there have been border issues mostly affecting the tourists who find they paying more at the DRC border compared to what they pay at the Ugandan border.
Mount Emin Pasha is the second highest mountain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with an elevation of 4,798 meters. It is located along the border with Uganda. It is the third highest mountain in DRC and is also part of the six Ruwenzori Mountain range. The mountain was named after a Prussian doctor, Mohammed Emin Pasha who is said to have given scientific and geographical knowledge regarding Central Africa while exploring the country. The mountain has very narrow and rocky ridges. The lower plain of the mountain is home to the people from Zaire and Mutsori who act as guides through the mountain.
With an elevation of 4,507 meters, mount Karisimbi is a dormant volcano located along the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the highest among the eight mountains of the Virunga Mountains. Its name was borrowed from Kinyarwanda’s word amasimbi, which means "white shell", and that’s because the mountain spots of snow at the peak of its volcano.
Mikeno is a dormant volcanic mountain with an elevation of 4,437 meters. It is the third highest of the Virunga Mountains and the thirteenth highest mountain in Africa. The name Mikeno was borrowed from a local tribe meaning poor referring to its cruel nature to human beings. The mountain has thick forests that are home to gorillas making it a tourist attraction.
Mount Visoke, also known as Bisoke, is an active volcano with an elevation of 3,711 meters. It is located in Virunga National Park. Being a tourist destination site, the mountain attracts tourists and mountain climbers. Since the mountain borders Rwanda and DRC, ethnic conflicts have led deforestation on the forest surrounding the mountain. Some of the animals in the region include gorillas. The name Bisoke was borrowed from Swahili which means soaked with water and this is because Mount Visoke’s peak has two craters that formed two crater lakes after an eruption in 1957.
With an elevation of 3,634 meters, Mount Sabyinyo is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo along the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. It is an extinct volcano in the Virunga Mountains along Lake Kivu’s northeastern part. The mountain’s name originates from Kinyarwanda’s word iryinyo which means "teeth". The mountain’s saw-shaped peak is said to resemble damaged teeth in a gum-line. The mountain also hosts gorillas, which attract both local and international tourists, boosting the economy through tourism. However with the mountain bordering three countries, many a times these gorillas move to the different locations in the three countries thus forcing a tourist to head to the various borders to see them.
Mohi is the sixth highest mountain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with an elevation of 3,480 meters. It is located along the west shore of Lake Tanganyika’s northern part. Due to its thick forest the mountain hosts a number of wildlife promoting the country’s economy through tourism. The area is inhabited by the Bashi, Banyindu, and Bafuliro people. However with refugees from Rwanda settling in the area has resulted to conflicts between the inhabitants and the refugees. The increasing inhabitants along the forest that secures the mountain have also led to forest destruction forest for timber and firewood and the land use for mining and agriculture.
Mount Nyiragongo is in the Virunga National Park, and has an elevation of 3,470 meters. The mountain is believed to have been named after a rogue of the Bantu legends who were chased out of the volcano and each time the villain was fought a volcano erupted. Being an active stratovolcano, the mountain has a two kilometers crater and a lava lake with reports that the volcano has erupted at least 34 times since 1982. The localized carbon dioxide, referred to by the natives as mazuku, has led to deaths of children around the area. Opening of new vents of the crater also poses a risk of a possible volcanic eruption.
Poaching within the region is a serious threat to wildlife. Refugees have been responsible for forest destruction leading to deforestation and loss of flora and fauna. Mining of minerals around the region for minerals such as diamonds, coltan, and gold has led to environmental degradation