Vast, unruly and freewheeling, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the central beating heart of Africa. It’s style, embodied by the Sapeurs of Kinshasa, combines old and new with flare and confidence. For the adventurous a trip along the Congo river to the jungle city of Kisangani is a must. This isolated river port made famous by Conrad’s “heart of darkness”, it’s crumbling colonial buildings steaming in the tropical heat. Our favourite region are the Kivus, beautiful and anarchic. The active volcano of Mount Nyiragongo backdrops lake Kivu and the town of Goma. Gateway to the vast Virunga National park home to mountain gorillas and the Rwenzori Mountains. The highest glaciers make for a true alpine experience, including skiing, in the very middle of Africa. Large and unwieldy, the Democratic Republic of Congo never ceases to provide the unexpected

KINSHASA

Kinhasa Democratic Republic of CongoKinshasa, affectionately called Kin by its residents, is one of the largest cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Located along the banks of the Congo river, the bustling city is bursting with energy as manic drivers zoom past yelling street hawkers. Get style tips from the Sapeurs of Kinshasa, listen to the dance beats of Congolese Rumba or visit the National Museum.

KINSANGANI

Kinsnagani DRCTracing the Congo River upstream you find the jungle city of Kisangani in the heart of the country. Featured in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, the secluded port is filled with crumbling colonial buildings unable to withstand the tropical heat. The waterfront brings life to the city, pumping out African jazz into the humid air. Watch the fisherman trap fish in conical baskets by the waterfalls or travel inland in search of the rarely seen Okapi.

LAKE KIVU

Lake Kivu DRCLake Kivu sits on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The lake is opportune for water activities such as fishing or kayaking or just to sit by and stare at the mountainous landscape. Rising above the lake is the active volcano of Mount Nyiragongo, whilst the bustling hub of activity is found in the lakeside towns of Goma and Bukavu.

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK

Virunga National Park DRCOf the numerous national parks in DRC, a stand out has to be the Virunga National Park. The oldest national park in Africa is famed for its biological and geographical diversity. Tracking mountain gorillas or climbing to look into the world’s largest active lava lake are unforgetable experiences. It’s even possible to ski in the North of the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Rwenzori Mountain.

VISAS

Visa to be obtained before travel from DRC embassy or consulate. For trips to the Kivus and Virunga National park we can arrange visas on the border with Rwanda.

WEATHER

Equatorial – more or less same all year round. There are rainy seasons….check out Goma weather…

MONEY

For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com

ELECTRICITY

Two prong European style system (type C and E). Three pronged style also found in India, Sri Lanka and African countries (type D).

WIFI

Very poor wifi connection/speed.

FOOD

The national dish is moambe – a hearty chicken stew.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol is permitted and is widely available

LANGUAGE

French

RELIGION

Christian: Catholic and Protestant

DRESS CODE

No special dress code.

SAFETY & SECURITY

The FCO Advises against travel to many parts of DRC. Primarily this is due to anti-government forces operating in the country. We avoid travel to certain areas of the country and take precautions in the areas we do travel. Contact us for information on where we do and do not guide in this region and how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

Before the Birth of the Moon – Valentin Y Mudimbe

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters – Jason Stearns

Interested in a trip to Democratic Republic of Congo?

Get in touch to find out more.