Information about the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Matadi

Introduction


Matadi is the chief sea port of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the capital of the Kongo Central province. It has a population of 245,862 (2004). Matadi is situated on the left bank of the Congo River 148 km (92 mi) from the mouth and 8 km (5.0 mi) below the last navigable point before rapids make the river impassable for a long stretch upriver. It was founded by Sir Henry Morton Stanley in 1879.
The construction of the Matadi–Kinshasa Railway (built between 1890 and 1898) made it possible to transport goods from deeper within Congo’s interior to the port of Matadi and the city became an important trading center. Portuguese and French West-African commercial interests influenced the city’s architecture and urban design which borrowed from the neighboring colonies in Angola and the Congo-Brazzaville.
The word Matadi means stone in the local Kikongo language. The town is built on steep hills and there is local saying that to live in Matadi, you must know the verbs “to go up”, “to go down” and “to sweat”. Upstream is a series of caves known as the “rock of Diogo Cão”, after graffiti carved by the Portuguese explorer in 1485 marking the limit of his travels up the Congo River.
The mouth of the Congo forms one of Africa’s largest harbours. In addition to Matadi which is the furthest upriver, three ports are located within it, the others being Boma and Banana in DR Congo and Soyo in Angola. Matadi serves as a major import and export point for the whole nation. Chief exports are coffee and timber. The state fishing company “Pemarza” uses the port to supply fish to Kinshasa. Tshimpi Airport is nearby but is reportedly inactive

 

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Port Ehoala

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Lokaro Beach

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National Park of Andohahela

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Nahampoana Reserve

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Pic Saint Louis

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Saiadi Botanic gardens

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Nahampoana Natural Reserve
Nahampoana Natural Reserve is situated 7 km to the north of Fort Dauphin (about 15 minutes by road). It is a small private reserve of only 67 ha, but serves as an alternative to the overpriced Berenty, when it comes to a close encounter with Sifaka’s and other lemurs. This park has four species of habituated lemurs, ring-tailed, red-fronted brown and bamboo lemurs as well as sifakas, which are the stars of the park. Their small, white, fuzzy head, with a black face and snout balances graciously when they move over the ground in their famous ?dance?. The well-kept gardens show a good sample of Madagascar?s dry plants with their three-cornered palms, spiny Desiderata trees and stands of bamboo. In the forest there are waterfalls and natural swimming pools that offer quiet and secluded picnic sites. One can also make a short excursion by pirogue through the mangroves.

Andohalela National Park
Although Andohahela has been protected since 1939, it was not declared National Park and opened to tourism until 1998. It is located about 40 km northwest from Fort Dauphin and offers a perfect overview of the fauna, flora and landscapes of the East and South of Madagascar. Andohahela spreads over 760 km? and contains the last dense and humid forests of the southern part of Madagascar. The altitude goes from 100 to almost 2,000 m at the highest point of the Anosy mountain range. This means that in one day you will be able to wander through rainforest, get familiar with the different flora of transition forest and photograph the bizarre landscapes of the semi-arid spiny forest.

Saiadi Botanic gardens
The access is on the road to Sainte-Luce, near the Nahampoana reserve. The walk through the gardens will take at least half a day., All species of Madagascar’s superb flora are represented. Lemurs live here too, as well as crocodiles and a countless number of birds

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