Countries That Start With D — And What to Do in Each One
Let's play a geography game: Name every country that starts with "D."
Try to do so right now. We'll help you out by telling you there are five of them. Did you get them all?
If not, read on to know what are the countries that start with "D." And if you got them all, find out the best things to do in each one.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Population: 89.56 million
Language: French (official), Kituba (Kikongo), Lingala, Swahili, Tshiluba
Best time to visit: Dry season offers drier weather and lasts from May to September.
Visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (not to be confused with the Republic of the Congo) gets a bad rap because of decades of conflict and political instability. And while this does mean a limited tourism infrastructure and a need for increased caution, we'd like to point out that the United States Department of State currently rates it at a level 3 risk. For perspective, that's the same level as popular tourist spots like Egypt, Taiwan and Colombia.
Nature lovers in particular love the DRC. Virunga National Park is the country's main draw. As the first national park in all of Africa, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and plays a key role in the preservation of mountain gorillas. Visitors have a chance to see these gentle creatures while supporting conservation efforts.
Another cool natural wonder to see is the Nyiragongo Volcano, which has the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Population: 5.83 million
Best time to visit: Summer is warm without being too hot, making it the perfect time to walk around cities or visit beaches.
Denmark is mostly known for Copenhagen, its pretty capital that sports colorful 17th-century houses by the water. The city also houses royal palaces, museums and a famed Little Mermaid Statue that makes for cute pictures.
But there are also plenty of things to do outside of the capital. Its surprisingly nice beaches make for a great summer vacation without the crowds you'll find in Spain or Greece. You can also visit Kronborg Castle, which inspired "Hamlet," hike around the beautiful Thy National Park or learn about Viking history in ancient burial grounds and museums.
Though it's small in size, some think Denmark is the best country in Europe.
Language: French, Arabic
Best time to visit: Temperate season lasts from October to March and offers cooler temperatures.
A small country bordering Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, Djibouti tends to be off the radar for all but the most intrepid travelers. A former French colony, the Arabic country is arid and dry but boasts a coastline and destinations free from pesky hoards of tourists.
Because travelers can still operate from the erroneous idea that all African countries are dangerous, we'll say that Djibouti is currently at a level 2 warning, which is the same as France, the Maldives or Costa Rica.
Lake Assal is probably the most popular place to visit in Djibouti. As the saltiest body of water on Earth (yes, even saltier than the Dead Sea), it provides a fun swimming experience — though be prepared to protect your eyes or suffer a deep sting.
Travelers also love the 12th-century port city of Tadjoura, known for its white-washed houses. And for a peaceful beach vacation, head to Dorale and Khor Ambado, located near the capital city. You'll find black lava cliffs, tons of water sports opportunities and uncrowded reefs to dive.
Continent: North America
Language: English, French patois
Best time to visit: Winter travel provides good rates, fewer crowds and milder temperatures.
Dominica is often confused with the Dominican Republic. This small Caribbean island is located between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. And while it's not as famous as other countries in the region, it has no reason to envy its more popular counterparts.
The country provides the typical Caribbean experience of pretty beaches and also has a national park with a gigantic boiling lake and tall mountains covered with tropical forest. But the absolute coolest thing about Dominica is that you can see (or swim with) sperm whales all year round.
Divers and savvy travelers who like going off the beaten path love to come here and have an incredible experience with one of the largest animals on Earth.
Continent: North America
Capital: Santo Domingo
Population: 10.85 million
Best time to visit: Travel in winter to avoid hurricane season and the sweltering heat.
Visiting Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a trendy tourist destination, but it's still very easy to immerse yourself in the true culture of the island. Punta Cana is the hub of national tourism and the place where you're more likely to see foreigners than locals.
People love it for its beautiful beaches and convenient all-inclusive resorts that are perfect for a vacation where you actually rest. Other beach towns with a more alternative vibe include Samana Town and Las Terrenas.
Once you step outside this resort town, local culture is everywhere. Even in the capital of Santo Domingo, it's incredibly easy to find yourself being the only tourist around.
The city is the oldest Spanish colonial settlement in the Americas, so it carries a strong history within its fortified walls. Here, you can admire the beauty of the architecture while learning about the painful past of genocide and colonization.
But it's not all seriousness. Far from it. Dominicans are notorious party people so you won't have a hard time finding places for a fun night out.