Democratic Republic of Congo

Studies show that Africa is the continent with the highest lightning hot spots in the world. The majority of these all occur in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From the 500 hotspots of lightning Africa leads the pack with at least 283 occurrences. Due to the high number of lightning strikes in this region, some scientists seem to think that the Democratic Republic of Congo is actually the world capital of lightning and not Maracaibo in Venezuela. This however, is still an on going debate and only time, more research and conclusive data will prove once and for all where the capital of lightning is.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is well known for its tropical rainstorms due to its location close to the equator. The country experiences hot and humid weather through out the year with barely any dry spells. This is evident by the tropical rain forest which comes in second after the Amazon rain forest. Temperatures throughout the year average 30 to 32 degrees Celsius ( 86 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit)

These constant extreme conditions make it easy for the formation of thunderstorms ad with them dangerous lightning. It is reported that the lightning is so menacing so much that at some point it struck a soccer team during a rivalry match. All 11 players from the one team were hit by this freak lightning whilst they were on the pitch. About 30 other people who were there to enjoy the spectacular match which promised classy foot work and edge of the seat excitement received severe burns.

There are at least three notable places in Congo worth mentioning. The first place in known as Kabare. Kabare is located on the western shores of Lake Kivu. It is reported that an average of about 205 flashes per square kilometer per year is witnessed in this place. The second place is kampene. It too is located close to Lake Kivu. Here an average of 177 flashes per square kilometer was recorded. This place is ranked third on the top ten list of places with the highest flashes per square kilometer per year. Last but not least is Boende which is ranked 10th on the list. It is located close to the Tshuapa River. It has recorded a staggering 128 flashes per year. Despite it coming 10th on the list, those figures are still very high and shocking.

Civil unrest has laid waste to the country such that lightning fatalities, prevention and handy tips are hardly spoken about. The media focuses more on the civil war and what the rebels are doing such that the average citizen has to get his information about this very vital issue elsewhere.