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EG
2 Recommendations Central Africa
Officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a country located in Central Africa. Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name evokes its location near both the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. It is the only sovereign African state in which Spanish is an official language. Equatorial Guinea has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The country consists of a mainland territory, Río Muni, which is bordered by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the east and south, and five small islands, Bioko, Corisco, Annobón, Elobey Chico (Small Elobey), and Elobey Grande (Great Elobey). Bioko, the site of the capital, Malabo, lies about 40 kilometers (25 mi) off the coast of Cameroon. Equatorial Guinea spans several ecoregions. Río Muni region lies within the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests. The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion covers most of Bioko and the adjacent portions of Cameroon and Nigeria on the African mainland, Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion covers the highlands of Bioko and nearby Mount Cameroon. The majority of the people of Equatorial Guinea are of Bantu origin. The largest ethnic group, the Fang, is indigenous to the mainland, but substantial migration to Bioko Island since the 20th century means the Fang population exceeds that of the earlier Bubi inhabitants.  For years, the official languages were Spanish (the local variant is Equatoguinean Spanish) and French. Portuguese was also adopted as an official language later in 2010. Spanish is the language of education and administration. There is little popular music coming out of Equatorial Guinea. Pan-African styles like soukous and makossa are popular, as are reggae and rock and roll. Acoustic guitar bands based on a Spanish model are the country's best-known indigenous popular tradition.
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Gu
2 Recommendations Central Africa
officially the Republic of Guinea is a country on the western coast of Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea. Guinea shares its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali, and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. The nation forms a crescent as it curves from its western border on the Atlantic Ocean toward the east and the south. The sources of the Niger River, Gambia River, and Senegal River are all found in the Guinea Highlands. Guinea is divided into four main regions: Maritime Guinea, also known as Lower Guinea or the Basse-Coté lowlands, populated mainly by the Susu ethnic group; the cooler, mountainous Fouta Djallon that run roughly north-south through the middle of the country, populated by Fulas, the Sahelian Haute-Guinea to the northeast, populated by Malinké, and the forested jungle regions in the southeast, with several ethnic groups. Guinea's mountains are the source for the Niger, the Gambia, and Senegal Rivers, as well as the numerous rivers flowing to the sea on the west side of the range in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. The wildlife of Guinea is very diverse due to the wide variety of different habitats. The southern part of the country lies within Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot, while the north-east is characterized by dry savanna woodlands.. Guinea has abundant natural resources including the world's known bauxite reserves. Guinea also has diamonds, gold, and other metals. Other industries include processing plants for beer, juices, soft drinks and tobacco. Agriculture employs 80% of the nation's labor force. Guinea was a major exporter of bananas, pineapples, coffee, peanuts, and palm oil. Guinea has considerable potential for growth in agricultural and fishing sectors. Soil, water, and climatic conditions provide opportunities for large-scale irrigated farming and agro industry. Due to its diverse geography, Guinea presents some interesting tourist sites. Among the top attractions are the waterfalls found mostly in the Basse Guinee (Lower Guinea) and Moyenne Guinee (Middle Guinea) regions. The Soumba cascade at the foot of Mount Kakoulima in Kindia. The official language of Guinea is French. Other significant languages spoken are Pular (Fulfulde or Fulani), Maninka (Malinke), Susu, Kissi, Kpelle, and Loma. Polygamy is generally prohibited by law in Guinea, however, there are exceptions. Guinean cuisine varies by region with rice as the most common staple. Cassava is also widely consumed. Part of West African cuisine, the foods of Guinea include jollof rice, maafe, and tapalapa bread. In rural areas, food is eaten from a large serving dish and eaten by hand outside of homes
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DR
2 Recommendations Central Africa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. The DRC borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia to the south; Angola to the southwest; and the Republic of the Congo and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second-largest country in Africa after Algeria and the area sustains the Congo Rainforest, the second-largest rain forest in the world after the Amazon. This massive expanse of lush jungle covers most of the vast, low-lying central basin of the river, which slopes toward the Atlantic Ocean in the west. This area is surrounded by plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest, by mountainous terraces in the west, and dense grasslands extending beyond the Congo River in the north. High, glaciated mountains (Rwenzori Mountains) are found in the extreme eastern region. The name for the Congo state is derived in part from the river. The river basin (meaning the Congo River and all of its myriad tributaries) occupies nearly the entire country. The river also has the second-largest flow and the second-largest watershed of any river in the world (trailing the Amazon in both respects). The Albertine Rift plays a key role in shaping the Congo's geography. Not only is the northeastern section of the country much more mountainous, this area also experiences volcanic activity. The geologic activity in this area also created the famous African Great Lakes, three of which lie on the Congo's eastern frontier: Lake Albert, Lake Kivu, Lake Edward, and Lake Tanganyika.  The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most biodiverse African country.  World Wide Fund for Nature ecoregions located in the Congo include: Central Congolian lowland forests – home to the rare bonobo primate, The Eastern Congolian swamp forests, The Northeastern Congolian lowland forests, with one of the richest concentrations of primates in the world, Southern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic, Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands. World Heritage Sites located in Democratic Republic of Congo are: Virunga National Park (1979), Garamba National Park (1980), Kahuzi-Biega National Park (1980), Salonga National Park (1984) and Okapi Wildlife Reserve (1996). The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered one of the world's richest countries in natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world's largest producer of cobalt ore and a major producer of copper and diamonds. The DRC is the second-largest diamond-producing nation in the world. 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. The Kongo people are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although several hundred local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by widespread use of French and the national intermediary languages Kituba, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala. Another feature in Congo culture is its music. The DRC has blended its ethnic musical sources with Cuban rumba, and merengue to give birth to soukous. Other African nations produce music genres derived from Congolese soukous. Some of the African bands sing in Lingala, one of the main languages in the DRC.  Less than two percent of the land is cultivated, and most of this is used for subsistence farming. Congo's farmland is the source of a wide variety of crops. These foods are eaten throughout the country, but there are also regional dishes. The most important crops for export are coffee and palm oil. Congolese meals often consist of a starchy ingredient, along with vegetables and meat in the form of a stew. The starch can come in the form of a paste or mash made of cassava or corn flour, called fufu or ugali. When eaten, the fufu is rolled into golf ball-sized balls and dipped into the spicy stew—often an indentation is made with the thumb in order to bring up a thimbleful of sauce.
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TC
2 Recommendations Central Africa
The Congo Republic is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by five countries: Gabon and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; Cameroon to the northwest; the Central African Republic to the northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the east and south; and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to the southwest.  The capital, Brazzaville, is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The southwest of the country is a coastal plain for which the primary drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River; the interior of the country consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. Since the country is located on the Equator, the climate is consistent year-round. The Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in heavily forested regions centered on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Region. They suggest a population on the order of 125,000 western lowland gorillas, whose isolation from humans has been largely preserved by inhospitable swamps. The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on petroleum. Petroleum extraction has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy. The Republic of the Congo also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits. Ethnically and linguistically the population of the Republic of the Congo is diverse. The Kongo are the largest ethnic group and form roughly half of the population. The second largest group are the Teke who live to the north of Brazzaville. The Congolese culture has been influenced by a wide variety of natural landscapes, stretching from the savannah plains in the North Niari flooded forests, to the great Congo River, to rugged mountains and forest of Mayombe, and including 170 km of beaches along the Atlantic coast. The presence of numerous ethnic groups and various political structures once provided an enormous amount of diversity in the traditional cultures as well as in many ancient artistic expressions. Vili Nail fetishes, Bembe statuettes which are very expressive despite their small size, the strange masks of the Punu and Kwele, reliquaries Kinabalu, Teke fetishes, curious cemeteries, with their monumental tombs and the Lari country are all such features. The Congolese also have a considerable colonial architectural heritage, which they are rediscovering today as part of their ancestry, and their tourist capital. They are also taking great pains to restore these artefacts, at least in Brazzaville. Tourism remains a very marginal resource in the Congo, reception facilities based out of Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville lack a sufficient and consistent communications network. Many sites are difficult to visit but, paradoxically, some of the South's most populous and developed locations are often the least accessible. For example, the massive Chaillu Mountains are almost impossible to visit.  
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Ga
2 Recommendations Central Africa
Officially the Gabonese Republic, is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Gabon generally has an equatorial climate with an extensive system of rainforests covering 85% of the country. Gabon's economy is dominated by oil, gross domestic product (GDP) and exports. Almost all Gabonese are of Bantu origin. Gabon has at least forty ethnic groups with differing languages and cultures. The Fang are generally thought to be the largest, Ethnic boundaries are less sharply drawn in Gabon than elsewhere in Africa. Most ethnicities are spread throughout Gabon, leading to constant contact and interaction and no ethnic tension. One important reason for this is that intermarriage is extremely common It is estimated that most of Gabon's population can speak French, and that of Libreville residents are native speakers of the language and Fang language as a mother tongue nationwide. It was later clarified that the country intended to introduce English as a first foreign language in schools, while keeping French as the general medium of instruction and the sole official language.French, the language of its former colonial ruler, is a unifying force. Gabon is rich in folklore and mythology. "Raconteurs" are currently working to keep traditions alive such as the mvett among the Fangs and the ingwala among the Nzebis.Gabon also features internationally celebrated masks, such as the n'goltang (Fang) and the reliquary figures of the Kota. Each group has its own set of masks used for various reasons. They are mostly used in traditional ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals. Traditionalists mainly work with rare local woods and other precious materials. The country boasts an array of folk styles, as well as pop stars like Patience Dabany and Annie-Flore Batchiellilys, a Gabonese singer and renowned live performer. Also known are guitarists like Georges Oyendze, La Rose Mbadou and Sylvain Avara, and the singer Oliver N'Goma.
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Ca
2 Recommendations Central Africa
 officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is often referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, and the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua. Both English and French are official languages, although French is by far the most understood language (more than 80%). Cameroonian Pidgin English is the lingua franca in the formerly British-administered territories. A mixture of English, French, and Pidgin called Frananglais has been gaining popularity in urban centres since the mid-1970s.  The government encourages bilingualism in English and French, and as such, official government documents, new legislation, ballots, among others, are written and provided in both languages.  Music and dance are an integral part of Cameroonian ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling. Traditional dances are highly choreographed and separate men and women or forbid participation by one sex altogether. Traditionally, music is transmitted orally. In a typical performance, a chorus of singers echoes a soloist. Traditional instruments include bells worn by dancers, clappers, drums and talking drums, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, and xylophones; the exact combination varies with ethnic group and region. Some performers sing complete songs by themselves, accompanied by a harplike instrument. A large, one-course, evening meal is common throughout the country. A typical dish is based on cocoyams, maize, cassava (manioc), millet, plantains, potatoes, rice, or yams, often pounded into dough-like fufu. This is served with a sauce, soup, or stew made from greens, groundnuts, palm oil, or other ingredients. Meat and fish are popular but expensive additions, with chicken often reserved for special occasions. Dishes are often quite hot, spiced with salt, red pepper sauce, and Maggi. Cutlery is common, but food is traditionally manipulated with the right hand. Breakfast consists of leftovers of bread and fruit with coffee or tea. Generally breakfast is made from wheat flour in various different foods such as puff-puff (doughnuts), accra banana made from bananas and flour, bean cakes and many more. Snacks are popular, especially in larger towns where they may be bought from street vendors. Water, palm wine, and millet beer are the traditional mealtime drinks, although beer, soda, and wine have gained popularity. 33 Export beer is the official drink of the national soccer team and one of the most popular brands, joining Castel, Amstel Brewery, and Guinness. Traditional arts and crafts are practiced throughout the country for commercial, decorative, and religious purposes. Woodcarvings and sculptures are especially common. The high-quality clay of the western highlands is suitable for pottery and ceramics. Other crafts include basket weaving, beadworking, brass and bronze working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and leather working. Traditional housing styles make use of locally available materials and vary from temporary wood-and-leaf shelters of nomadic Mbororo to the rectangular mud-and-thatch homes of southern peoples. Dwellings made from materials such as cement and tin are increasingly common. Contemporary art is mainly promoted by independent cultural organizations (Doual'art, Africréa) and artist-run initiatives (Art Wash, Atelier Viking, ArtBakery).
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CA
2 Recommendations Central Africa
The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, South Sudan to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, the Republic of the Congo to the southwest and Cameroon to the west. The Central African Republic's two official languages are French and Sango (also spelled Sangho), a creole developed as an inter-ethnic lingua franca based on the local Ngbandi language. CAR is one of the few African countries to have an African language as their official language. The climate of the Central African Republic is generally tropical. The Central African Republic is the focal point of the Bangui Magnetic Anomaly, one of the largest magnetic anomalies on Earth. Much of the southern border is formed by tributaries of the Congo River; the Mbomou River in the east merges with the Uele River to form the Ubangi River. The Sangha River flows through some of the western regions of the country. The eastern border lies along the edge of the Nile River watershed. It has been estimated that up to 8% of the country is covered by forest, with the densest parts generally located in the southern regions. The forests are highly diverse and include commercially important species of Ayous, Sapelli and Sipo. The country is noted for its population of forest elephants and western lowland gorillas. In the north, the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is well-populated with wildlife, including leopards, lions, cheetahs and rhinos, and the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park is located in the northeast of CAR. Basketball is the country's most popular sport and a good way to connect with its people. Its national team won the African Championship twice and was the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the Basketball World Cup.  
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Ch
2 Recommendations Central Africa
Chad, officially the Republic of Chad, is a country in northern Central Africa. With more than 120 languages and dialects spoken. A largely semi-desert country, Chad is rich in gold and uranium and stands to benefit from its recently-acquired status as an oil-exporting state. "Republic of the Chad", is a landlocked country in Central Africa bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. It is the fifth largest country in Africa in terms of area. Chad has several regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanian Savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second-largest in Africa. The capital N'Djamena is the largest city. Millet is the staple food throughout Chad. It is used to make balls of paste that are dipped in sauces. In the north this dish is known as alysh; in the south, as biya. Fish is popular, which is generally prepared and sold either as salanga (sun-dried and lightly smoked Alestes and Hydrocynus) or as banda (smoked large fish). Carcaje is a popular sweet red tea extracted from hibiscus leaves. Alcoholic beverages, though absent in the north, are popular in the south,where people drink millet beer, known as billi-billi when brewed from red millet, and as coshate when from white millet.
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