Banana is a seaport in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Atlantic coast. The port is situated on the north bank of the Zaire River's mouth.
The nearest airport is at Muanda, 15km away. The town has no hospital. A rail line connects the port to Boma and Kinshasa. There is a 390 km pipeline system linking the port to Kinshasa for the transfer of petroleum products.
The town was developed as a port in the 19th century, largely as part of the Slave trade. Morton Stanley arrived at Banana in 1879 at the start of an exploration expedition funded by Leopold II of Belgium. Following the Conference of Berlin (1884–85) the European powers recognized Leopold's claim to the Congo basin, and in a ceremony (1885) at Banana, the king announced the establishment of the Congo Free State, headed by himself, begining the dark period of European rule.
The bitter civil wars of the 1990's reached Banana, however details are scarce. One CNN report in 1998 records a battle between Kabila loyalists and Rwandan-backed rebles. The town reported fell to the rebels and two foreign imploies of the Chevron oil company were captured.