Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eco-friendly travel guide to Democratic Republic of the Congo advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.5 / 5
- Train connections: 3.5 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks: 4.2 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.7 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 2/ 5
- Accommodation: US$45 - $255
- Budget per day: US$112 - $143
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
With the health of the environment alarmingly declining, to be a responsible citizen and to travel responsibly has become a priority of daily life and it is high-time people must not overlook this. The Democratic Republic Of Congo is a vast country with some of the most important and valuable resources available in enough proportions. However, due to political reasons and frequent civil wars, the DRC still remains as one of the poorest countries in the world. Sustainable tourism not only includes environmentally-friendly ways but also ways that have no negative impact socially and economically. Here are some ways –
- Avoid using plastic bags as much as possible, as plastics are non-biodegradable and severely affect wildlife and nature
- Buy souvenirs from local shops that have been made locally to support the economy and directly help local artisans
- Support budding artisans and local handicraft industry
- Explore the thrilling food culture by visiting the local food markets and trying the street food
- Opt for green hotels, boutiques and apartments that are both environmentally and economically good
- Respect the culture of the people as the DRC is home to more than 150 ethnic groups as well as foreign immigrants, and be sure not to hurt the sentiments by passing hurtful comments
Air Quality and Pollution
The quality of air in a place is determined by the amount of particulate matter (or PM) concentrated in the atmosphere of the area. Particulate matter is categorized into 2 kinds –
- PM2.5 – this includes fine particulate matters that have diameters less than 2.5 µm. The World Health Organization’s air guidelines have set the maximum annual limit of PM2.5 to be no more than 10µm/m3. As the fine particles are s
- PM10 – this includes coarse particulate matters that have diameters less than 10 µm. The maximum annual limit of PM10 should be 20µm/m3. It causes comparatively lesser health damage as it cannot go deep into the lungs.
Recent reports from the World Health Organization’s air survey has shown that the annual concentration of PM2.5 in the Democratic Republic of Congo is greater than equal to 45µm/m3 which exceeds far beyond the safe limit. The annual concentration of PM10µm/m3 is nearly around 50µm/m3 . This is extremely inappropriate for health and is caused as a result of poor environmental consciousness, lack of technology, rural areas, burning of woods and forests, open unchecked air and water disposal systems of plants and industries, unchecked vehicle pollution. It has been found out that the city name Kinshasa is the worst air-polluted city in the whole republic.
Respect the Culture
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a huge land size with an equally diverse population. The land size of the Democratic Republic of Congo or in short DRC can cover that of Western Europe, but it’s diversity extends more. There are almost 250 ethnic groups in the country, speaking 700 different languages and dialects. The 2 main religions that can b e found followed in the country are Christianity and Islam. There are also a huge number of people who follow native Congolese Christian sect, and smaller ethnic groups can be followers of traditional African beliefs and traditions. Just like any other country, the DRC has a number of local traditions and beliefs that foreigners may not be able to decipher at once. Although, the citizens of DRC are very friendly and open to communicate, one must not disrespect their traditions and cultures by passing on silly jokes. Some common traditions that you might come across whole visiting the country are – pouring drinks on the ground in a ceremony or festival before consuming the drink (it is a way of connecting with the ancestors through the ground), shaving the head of a widow (believed to show respect and grief to the family of the husband, and keep away bad spirits. What you will commonly come across is gender inequality as women are still often considered best for house works, and male employees show hesitation towards following the orders of a superior who is a female
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Parc Presidentiel – Mont Ngaliema – The Parc Presidentiel in the sprawling city of Kinshasa at Mont Ngaliema is the former residential stay for the President. It is spread over a large area decorated with beautiful and well-maintained garden and statues. The conference room is by far what astonishes tourists most with its hug space and ambiance. You can hire a guide, who area usually very enthusiastic in talking about their wonderful history and culture.
- Cathedral St Pierre et Paul – The Cathedral of Lubumbashi, also known as the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral in Lubumbashi, Haut-Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Cathedral, which dates from 1920 and is an example of Romanesque Revival architecture, was designed under Belgian colonial rule. It is a Roman or Latin rite church that serves as it's Metropolitan's headquarters.
- Lubumbashi Zoo – The zoo in Lubumbashi is undergoing some renovations at the moment, so some of the animals you will usually see are unavailable. Crocodiles were nowhere to be found, despite the fact that they are a part of the local fauna. The bulk of the local fauna is underrepresented, but some species, such as two tigers and a family of lions, delight tourists. However, foreigners visiting the zoo get discomforted when they see all animals are enclosed in cages, it is very pathetic.
- Congo Hindu Temple – Located in the capital city of Kinshasa yhe Congo Hindu Mandal (CHM) is an umbrella organisation that represents all Hindus living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, regardless of caste or country of origin. Thee authorities organize functions, festivals, and other events to promote the Hindu culture and interests.
- Jardin Botanic de Kisantu – The Jardin Botanic de Kisantu which is located in Inkisi-Kisantu has anarboretum inside the garden that holds about 200 species of mostly indigenous trees.
- Kundelungu National Park – Established in 1970, the Kundelungu National Park is home to the 340 meters high Lofoi Falls. The National Park is spread over 7600 square kilometers of land in the Haut-Katanga Provice and is home to jackals, porcupines, snakes, buffaloes, monkeys, hippos, warthogs, and others. It is a beautiful and peaceful place with savannah grasslands and forest galleries. Exotic birds like the egrets and marabouts are also be found.
- Margherita Peak – The highest point on Mount Stanley is Margherita Hill which is located on the Congo (Kinshasa)–Uganda border. It rises to 16,795 feet (5,119 m) between Lake Albert (Lake Mobutu Sese Seko) to the north and Lake Edward to the south. Tourists enjoy trekking to the top.
- Lola ya Bonobo – Founded by Claudine André, a Belgian meliorist, in 1994, Lola ya bonobo, is the world's sole sanctuary for unparented bonobos. Humans share 98.7% of our deoxyribonucleic acid with them and in many ways, they represent the simplest facet of attribute. At Lola ya bonobo sanctuary, unparented bonobos are reclaimed from the outlaw exchange life. Bonobos are nurtured back to health and cared for as long pro re nata, typically for the remainder of their lives.
- Mount Sabyinyo – Mount Sabyinyo can be said as one of nature’s wonder more glorified by man. The 3,699 meters high, Mount Sabyinyo has significant importance. Its summit forms the intersection point of the borders of three neighbouring countries – Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda, and its total surface area if divided in 3 parts according to the borders of these 3 States, each part lies within the protected national parks – that is – The Virunga National Park of DRC, the Mgahinga National Park of Uganda and the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. Not only that, the summit holds a place of religious imprortance among the local tribes. The mountain is home to endangered mountain gorilas and tourists visit the summit of the mountains by an adventurous hike.
There is a lot to explore in this beautiful country. From city parks to national parks, beaches, landmarks, museums, restaurants and what not. You will find your itinerary to be packed.
- Africa Park Avenue, Kinshasa
- Parc Présidentiel - Mont Ngaliema, Kinshasa
- Zoologique de Kisangani Garden, Kisangani
- Kahuzi Biega Park Office, Bukavi
- Virunga National Park – The Virunga National Park, also known as ‘Parc National Des Virunga’ in the local language, is the first biodiverse protected area to be formed in Africa in the year 1925. It is located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the Albertine Rift Valley, and it’s huge stretch of land covers approximately along the Uganda and Rwanda international borders and the Semliki River Valley of the Rwenzori Mountains. It is home to 1/3rd of the world’s total number of wild gorillas (specifically eastern gorillas), two active volcanos – Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, along with diverse range of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Sadly, this beautiful protected park, is enlisted in the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1994 due to active attacks by armed rebel groups.
- Kahuzi-Biega National Park – The Kahuzi-Beiga National Park is stretched for 60000 hectares of lowlands between the two dormant volcanoes – Mount Kahuzi and Mount Beiga. After which it is named. The park was established in 1970. What astonishes tourists most is its unique range of biodiversity in both flora and fauna. There are over 136 species of mammals that includes the endangered, nearly extinct eastern lowland gorillas, species of Chimpanzees, aquatic and giant forest genets, colobus bai, and others.
- Garamba National Park – The Garamba National Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Centre proudly in the north-eastern side of DRC. It was established in the year 1938 and protects initially used to protect 2000 square meters of grasslands, savannahs, and woodlands. The area was once home to a large number of elephants, Kordofan elephants, and white rhinos. Due to militarized poaching, the number has drastically dropped down to near extinction for the Kordofan giraffes and the white rhinos. Fortunately, recent strict law enforcements have reduced illegal poaching by 90%.
- Congo Rainforest – Among six countries that share its part of the Congo Rainforest, the Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest share – about 170 million hectares. The Congo Rainforest has been famous for its high range of biodiversity, from 10,000 plant species and 12,000 animal species, some of which are found only in here. It is home to 150 ethnic groups that have been living for over 50 thousand years. However, due to increase in commercial logging and clearance of land for agriculture and civilization, the unique ecosystem is now in danger.
- Salonga National Park – The Salonga National Forest is an isolated/remote located at the heart of the Congo Basin spreading over 36,000 square kilometers of rainforest. The national park declared so in 2970 can be reached only by water transport. It is home to the endangered bonobo, Congo peacocks, “false” crocodiles, and bush elephants. The WWF regards the Salonga National Park as almost a virgin forest as it has still not been explored, which is in fact good to keep the animals safe from evil people.
- Okapi Wildlife Reserve – The Okapi Wildlofe Reserve is a peaceful protected area of the Ituri forest where tourists on safari commonly get to see exotic animals like the pygmies and most importantly the Okapis. Other than these, you’ll also get to see enchanting waterfalls and beautiful sceneries of semi-evergreen forests from the Pleistocene period.
- Kinshasa Beach - The capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, shares half of it's border with the sea. As it is also the largest city, you will find several spots named in several different titles of a beach - such as the Stanley Beach, the Bikeko Beach, the Kinsuka Beach, and others.
- Beach in Moanda - The seaside town of Moanda, near the river's mouth, is a rare location for locals to settle as well as vacationers from Kinshasa or elsewhere. These old colonial houses and modern buildings perched on the edge of ochre cliffs overlooking the fury of the waves define Moanda.
- Banana - Banana, port on the Atlantic coast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in far southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo, central Africa, at the source of the Congo River. The port is located in Banana Creek, a 1 km deep inlet on the north side of the Congo River.
- Nyamuragira – Nyamuragira, otherwise called Nyamulagira, is a functioning safeguard fountain of liquid magma in the Virunga Heaps of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arranged around 25 kilometers north of Lake Kivu. At regular intervals, it produces ejections frequently from spiral crevices emanating magma wellsprings and enormous, liquid magma streams voyaging numerous kilometers into the hardly populated space of tropical woods and farmland encompassing it. The last ejection was on November 2019.
- Kibuo Falls – The Democratic Republic of the Congo is well-known for its pristine, unspoiled scenery, which is a prime example of nature at its most natural. Many beautiful waterfalls can be found in the DRC, including the Kiubo Falls. Situated in Katanga province it is the tallest and widest structure with a height of 60 metres and a width of 90 metres.
- Mount Nyiragongo – Located within the protected boundaries of Virunga National Park, Mount Nyirangongo is an active volcano forming the biggest lava lake in the world. It stands at a height of 3470 meters, having two craters – both around the elevation of 3000 meters from sea level. Tourists enjoy hiking over the mountain but its tough and advisably not for beginners. Its recent eruption was in 2002, taking the lives of nearly 150 people.
- Mache Central – The Marché Central, modelled after the geometric designs of kuba cloth and other traditional Congolese art, is one of Kinshasa's largest markets and is well worth a visit. The majority of the time, stalls are organised by what they sell. Prepare to haggle; however, how much you would have to haggle depends on what you are purchasing.
- Echangeur – Limete Interchange Tower – The Limete Interchange Tower is a 210-meter-tall reinforced concrete tower 2 in Kinshasa's Limete municipality. It is a freestanding tower with four elevators that is used as a tourist attraction for providing a beautiful aerial view of the city. It is also used for telecommunication.
- National Museum of Congo – The National Museum of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or MNRDC, is a museum in Kinshasa dedicated to the cultural heritage of the Democratic Republic of Congo's many ethnic groups and historical periods. 12,000 items will be shown in their cultural sense in three 6,000 m2 public exhibition halls. 12,000 items will be shown in their cultural sense in three 6,000 m2 public exhibition halls. Representatives from the Republic of Korea formally handed it over to the Congolese government in June 2019.
‘Congolese Cuisine’ is the name given for the local cuisine of the people of Congo, aka, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The common items available in the country and are widely consumed are rice, potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, palm (its various useful products such as palm oil and palm butter), tomatoes, peas, nuts, yam, taro, maize, fufu, cassava, and other.
- Poulet moambe – A French word for the dish is the national dish of the Congos. Also known as Moambe chicken which is a thick stew-like dish made of palm butter. The thick stew is made of tomatoes, garlic, spinach, chilli, lemon, pumpkin, and okra is boiled in the chicken stock. It is either served with rice (locally grown) or with cassava.
Congolese stews typically include a starchy ingredient, as well as vegetables and meat. The starch can be found in the form of fufu or ugali, a cassava or corn flour paste or mash. When eating the fufu, it is rolled into golf ball-sized balls and dipped into the spicy stew—often a thumb indentation is made to pull up a thimbleful of sauce. Fish are abundant along the Congo River, its tributaries, and numerous streams, and are roasted, boiled, or fried for immediate consumption, or smoked or salted for long-term storage. Markets sell peppered fish baked in banana leaves that is ready to eat. The most commonly eaten meat is goat. Mwambe is a common peanut-sauce-based chicken dish. Insects that are edible, such as grasshoppers and caterpillars, are consumed.
- Nganda Restaurants - With a greater mix of ethnicities, Kinshasa's nganda restaurants are ethnic restaurants serving food from specific parts of the region, as well as Western imports including bread and beer. The nganda, which are mostly owned by single women, are a cross between bars and restaurants.
- Emergency by World Food Programme – In the Democratic Republic of Congo, conflict and hunger exacerbate each other (DRC). Insecurity, which is widespread across many provinces, is the primary cause of population displacement, which often results in hunger. Hence, small villages which are close to protected forest areas, (but these forest areas do not have any natural or man-made boundary that acts as a divider between the man and the wild), often hunt down forest animals, commonly bonobos, bush elephants, antelopes, okapis, monkeys, etc. Wildlife and meat from the forest, or "bush," are referred to as "bushmeat." For the majority of rural forest households, it is a main source of animal protein. It is distributed to the general public and can be a major source of revenue.
Soft drinks (known as sucré in Congo) such as Coke, Pepsi, Um Bongo, and Mirinda are widely available and safe to consume. Traditional drinks such as ginger ale are also popular. The local beer is made from rice and is quite flavorful. The heavy local beers are Tembo and Doppel. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, lotoko, also known as "pétrole," is a home-distilled alcoholic beverage or "moonshine." Some other drinks are – Palm wine – made from the sap of palm trees and fermented by natural yeast; white elephant – a local alcoholic drink made by mixing rum with milk and coconut; and Linguila – wine made from fermenting locally grown sugarcane. The legal age for consuming alcoholic drinks in the DRC is 18.
The Democratic Republic of Congo located in almost the heart of the Congo Basin of Great Africa, it is naturally blessed with more than half of the total freshwater resources in the whole of Africa. Unfortunately, due to poor management and infrastructure networking, there is dire fresh drinking water crisis. As the DRC has the lowest access to th supply of fresh drinking water, it is strictly advisable not to consume tap water, and preferably not to use it for bathing or brushing mouth as well as cooking. Waterborne diseases like cholera and diarrhea are common among the citizens. Packaged drinking water bottles are available at very cheap prices and that is what every citizen uses to drink. Also, at reputed hotels that might claim to serve clean drinking tap water, do carry with you an activate charcoal filter for the taps to use them on skin or rinsing the mouth.
- When visiting the Virunga National Park, pay a visit to the loyal bloodhounds. They are kept pets and professionally trained to shield the critically endangered mountain gorillas of Virunga from poachers, as well as to help in the hunt for missing rangers in the difficult terrain.
- Although the hiking is tough, and there is immense heat from the crater, you must try to hike to the top of Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. It is definitely one in lifetime experience.
- On your sustainable trip, share your love and care with the orphan chimpanzees and gorillas nurtured in their respective orphanage centres which are the only one of their kinds present in the world.
- A number of volunteering and research activities are filed out by various NGO’s that genuinely want to help people. Gather a little information from online websites and newspapers or magazines about what kind of volunteering work you want to participate in, and other information.
- Enjoy a stay in the Tchegera Island. The only sign of human habitation on Tchegera Island, an emerald-green oasis just off the northern shore of Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the eight tents of Tchegera Island Camp. Book a room for a night or two and go for a walk around the island, keeping an eye out for the island's multi-colored birdlife, swim in the croc-free waters, or just chill and enjoy the stars with a beer in hand.
- Hike across the Rwenzori Mountains – If active volcanoes aren't your favorite, how about Rwenzori trekking instead? The highest elevation of the 'Mountains of the Moon,' located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a dizzying 5109 meters, and the range is home to the only glaciers on the African continent.
There are plenty of accommodation options from hostels, apartments to hotels which include green hotels as well. Couch surfing can also be a feasible option.
- Kin Plaza Arjaan – by Rotana group of hotels. The eleven-story hotel has 101 luxury apartments, studios, and suites with double glazing windows, a professionally furnished kitchenette, and balconies with commanding views of the city and the Congo River. All modern apartments are furnished to provide you with a luxurious stay that complements the exclusive five-star hotel service.
Some of it’s sustainable efforts are : Buying locally to promote employment and to provide business opportunities that benefit the local communities the most. Reducing the amount of waste produced and managing it responsibly. Community effort of building wells in the village and have provided and electricity connection to the primary school. Reading books and getting access to Zanzibar communities for free to promote literacy and learning for all ages.
- Pullman Kinshasa Grand Hotel – The 5-star Pullman Kinshasa Grand Hôtel has been fully redesigned and is located in the Gombe municipality, which serves as Kinshasa's administrative and diplomatic base. You'll appreciate its vivid and sleek architecture, the lively atmosphere of its pubs, and the refined cuisine of its gourmet restaurant. Some of the fundamental commitments by the hotel management and authorities to maintain a sustainable and ethical atmosphere are - curbing its environmental footprint, and identifies new objectives which dovetail with both the changes to the business model and its strategic priorities, such as Food & Beverage and the sustainable management of its property.
- Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia Hotel – The Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia Hotel on the shores of Lake Kipopo offers a relaxing stay in its large garden. With 197 spacious, air-conditioned rooms and suites include a private bathroom, desk, flat-screen TV, and free WiFi, it also has 2 conference rooms, 1 outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, 2 pubs, and 1 restaurant for both business and leisure travellers. Amenities such as 24-hour front desk, Restaurant and 2 bars/lounges, Conference centre, 2 outdoor tennis courts, Childcare, Terrace, Outdoor pool, 197 guestrooms, Spa facilities, Regular housekeeping are available. It follows similar ethical values like the Kinshasa Grant hotel of the Pullman Group.
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Mukumba House – Situated in Lubumbashi, Mukuba House is 2.6 km from Shops and 3.3 km from the South African Consulate. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, free WiFi and room service. The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a fridge. The property also offers a garden and a terrace.
- Kalz Guest House – Situated in Lubumbashi, Mukuba House is 2.6 km from Shops and 3.3 km from the South African Consulate. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, free WiFi and room service. The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a fridge. The property also offers a garden and a terrace.
- William House Lubumbashi – 3.5-star guesthouse with 2 restaurants and free breakfast. Free English breakfast, free WiFi in public areas and free valet parking are also provided. Free local calls, in-room massages and safes are among the other amenities. 40-inch flat-screen televisions come with satellite channels and there is an outdoor pool. The guest house also has a coffee shop/café and a 24-hour front desk. The housekeeping service is offered on a daily basis.
- Villa Isango - It is situated in Bukavu and has a terrace as well as free WiFi and garden views. There is a lawn and free private parking at this residence. The apartment has two beds, two baths, a satellite TV, a living hall, a fully fitted kitchen, and a balcony with lake views. The apartment offers car rental services. The closest airport is Kavumu Airport, which is 23 kilometres away from Villa Isango.
- Park Hotel - Park hôtel is located in Lubumbashi, 400 metres from Lubumbashi University, and offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a pub, and a communal lounge. The 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms and free WiFi and a terrace. For visitors' convenience, the hotel has a 24-hour front desk, room service, and currency exchange. Every room in the hotel has a wardrobe.
- Mukina Inn - Mukina Inn is located in Kinshasa, 2.3 km from Mbatu Museum, and features a cafeteria, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a pub. The land is 2.8 kilometres from the US School of Kinshasa, 3.2 kilometres from the UN Medical Centre, and 3.4 kilometres from the United Nations. The hotel has an indoor pool, free WiFi inside, and a 24-hour front desk.
Couchsurfing is an online community of people who love traveling. The website www.couchsurfing.com is a place where a traveler, when visiting a foreign land can choose to stay in the home of another traveler, who is also a couchsurfer. The ideal purpose of this is to not only to exchange cultural values and get to know the foreign place more deeply, it also helps in saving money. Now, you might be thinking whether Couchsurfing is dangerous and fraudulent? The answer to that is No. Couchsurfing is very much safe to use, even for solo female travelers, and the authorities pay special attention to the verification of its users. Nevertheless, once in a while you might come across some bad comments about the host who’s been trying to take money or has offered sexual advancements to a traveler. BUT, these happens very rarely. Here are some guidelines so that you can choose to travel safely while using Couchsurfing –
- When selecting a place, look for hosts that have good, and more number of reviews. Also, send requests to more than one hosts (if they have good revies), but even if there’s one host with bad to no reviews, try avoiding it unless you are confident on your self-defense martial arts skills.
- ALWAYS REMEMBER, Couchsurfing is a free to use non-profit organization. Neither the host should ask for money, nor the traveler should offer it. If this happens, quit.
- If you have agreed to travel your destination with a host, make sure to do some research. This means, before meeting the couchsurfer host, keep the police number, emergency number, and some self-defense safety gadgets ready. Be careful, and don’t carry too much of liquid money.
- Do a video call before meeting the host in real. See if he/she makes you feel uncomfortable or not. Not only is safety a big issue for solo female travelers, it carries similar importance to solo male travelers and couples too. Don’t think its rude to deny a host, be open-minded and speak up. It is a group of friendly travelers.
- Don’t share your personal phone number or email before meeting the person in real and feeling comfortable around them.
There are also other points to travel safely while Couchsurfing, such as not to drink or party too hard so that your conscience and safety is in someone else’s hands, knowing your area of travel, etc. However, the above stated points should be enough to help you choose a safe host for a great travel experience!
- Lango Camp - From gorilla tracking and game drives throughout the savannah to pirogue trips through river systems and woodland stream hikes, there is something for everybody. You can also go on night drives here and, of course, observe the busy forest bai's wildlife. To remain here, you must be fit and stable, as the workouts can be strenuous. There are only six rooms, each beautifully constructed and inspired by the styles of the local Ba'Aka Pygmy tribes, and each with the smallest possible footprint. Materials such as hardwood, bamboo, and raffia palm for matting were sourced in a sustainable manner. These same environmentally friendly materials have been used to construct hides at the bais where you can relax and wait for forest animals. Each space has a 360-degree view.
- Mbeli Camp - Mbeli Camp is a basic but relaxing camp that allows you to relax and enjoy your surroundings. There are no habituated gorillas here, but there is a very high population of around 150 in the region around the Bai.
- Mboko Camp' - Extending along the banks of the Lekoli River within the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Mboko Camp is situated at an interface between tropical rainforest and lush meadow-like savannah. The open grassland is home to an abundance of flowers and butterflies, and forest buffalo and elephant are frequent visitors to the camp. Mboko also provides spectacular chances for stargazing, as well as proximity to wildlife. Mboko also offers spectacular opportunities for star-gazing, as well as access to the villages on the outskirts of the park, where you can meet and interact with the local people.
|Western DRC (Kinshasa)|
home to the capital Kinshasa and the nation's only port. Mostly tropical forests and grazing lands.
mostly fertile plateaus for agriculture & ranching, home to much of the country's recoverable minerals; de facto independent from 1960-1966 during the "Katanga Crisis."
significant diamond mining, not much else.
|Kivu (Bukavu, Goma, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Virunga National Park,)|
influenced by neighboring Burundi, Rwanda, & Uganda this region is known for its volcanoes, mountain gorillas, and, tragically, its unfathomable conflicts .
|Congo Basin (Garamba National Park, Maiko National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Salonga National Park)|
the DRC's portion and the majority of the world's second-largest jungle after the Amazon.
- Kinshasa - Capital
- Mbuji-Mayi - formerly Bakwanga
Getting There and Moving Around
Details about the transportation system in the DRC are given below:
No country or city has direct fight lines to the Democratic Republic Of Congo, except the fellow African countries and their cities. One must fly to Dubai International Airport, and then board a second flight to the DRC which has a total of 60 airports. Observations have shown that the cheapest month to fly to the Democratic Republic of the Country is in December. CAA Congo, KIN-AVIA and Congo Airways are generally considered to be the best of the domestic airlines. Air travel is not cheap, however; reckon on paying US$300 one way from Kinshasa to Goma, and around US$120 from Kinshasa to Kisangani.
Buses are accessible where the roads are adequate, but they are at the bottom of the DRC travel ladder. It's difficult to recommend taking local long-distance bus services right now because they're crowded, uncomfortable, and vulnerable to error, breakdown, and ambush.
Trains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are sluggish and inefficient, and are generally not a good way to get around. The rail connection between Kinshasa and Matadi is an exception to this rule, as it now provides a daily and reasonably stable service. Other train services in the DRC are so inefficient that they are mainly of concern to enthusiasts. Having said that, there is a remarkably good network of train lines in DRC that date from the days of Belgian rule (and have been barely repaired since), but this is concentrated in southern DRC, where few tourists venture these days.
There are currently only three relatively small areas safe for tourists, backpackers and hitchhikers. Those are the capital Kinshasa in western Congo, the town of Goma on the border to Rwanda in eastern Congo and the bush land of the easternmost part of the Orientale province in north-eastern Congo. There are few roads and plenty of militias between these areas, and trying to get from one to another overland will cost you months of traveling and most likely your life. It's not worth trying!
Experience in 2012 from member Thumbingmyway goes to show that the above paragraph is not up to date, with all due respect. One can hitch-hike across the DRC from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa in 2 or 3 weeks, weather, road conditions, and vehicle reliability taken into account. The drivers of vehicles will expect payment. The mere presence of a westerner makes instantly far wealthier than more than 80% of the population, which is incredibly impoverished. However, hitch-hiking long distances is more than possible.
As of 2013, the statement on the top is indeed flase with fighting raging in Goma and the Kivu provinces. This only goes to show how essential it is to check the current security status before hitting the road in DRC.
- Bicycling - The best eco-friendly option
There is no doubt that crossing the DRC by land is a thrilling adventure. The DRC's 'route' network is usually so bad that even overlanders who drive in their own vehicles find a car or jeep to be a hindrance. To attempt to ride here, you must be fully self-sufficient and very adventurous.
- Boat -
River traffic moves up and down the Congo River, and if you have a couple of weeks to spare, you can take a slow barge from Kinshasa upriver to Kisangani.
- Car and Motorcycle Companies -
Despite a road-repair spree, most roads in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are still gravel, making rainy-season travel sluggish and challenging. A 4WD vehicle is needed almost everywhere, and driving yourself as a tourist is usually not practical – almost all car-hire companies can only rent you a vehicle with a driver. Motorcycle travel is similarly difficult and can only be attempted by those who are absolutely invincible.
If you are looking forward to buy some locally handmade art pieces and paintings then head over these famous places - the Galerie d'Art Contemporain du Musee D'Art de Lubumbashi, Texaf Bilembo, Bandombe Gallerie, and Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Marche de La Katuba, and Mrche Noudeavu DAIPN are two fresh farmers market where farmers themselves sell their local produce.
Value Market is a great place to buy antique pieces.
Central Market, Marché aux Tissus, and Marche Somba Zigida are common flea markets.
Since the Second Congo War (1998–2003), the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Congolese civil society have attempted, with the support of international partners, to tackle consecutive cycles of armed mobilization. Amidst other peace efforts, a key strategy has always been the DDR of combatants. This briefing analyses why and how previous DDR processes have failed, and provides a sketch of the current state of affairs and future prospects for demobilization. It reviews the impact of CONADER and the potential of DDR III, focusing on the role of combatants, commanders and politicians.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) lacks the required equipment to successfully complete the recycling process. Local knowledge, on the other hand, can come in handy quickly. For the time being, the process proceeds from compilation to counting through sorting. Per week, 100 waste bales are stored. Every day, almost 9,000 tonnes of garbage pile up in Kinshasa. The Congolese capital lacks a functional garbage collection system. The consequences for the "Kinois'" welfare are disastrous. Even though more can be done, locals here attach seriousness to the work. They hope similar initiatives will grow in other parts of the country to make Kinshasa, the pearl of Central Africa.
Work and Study Abroad
The Democratic Republic Of Congo is a common choice for many people to travel abroad and work. In order to secure a job, one must be an expertise in his specific field of study and have some sort of experience. French, and Spanish are preferred languages along with English. If you can speak multiple languages, then it's more better! However, a woman might experience some sort of gender discrimination in workplace.
There are 9 schools, and universities in total that provide Exchange Programmes for students. The program can either be half-yearly for 3 months, or an annual program for 9 months. During the exchange, a student who has come to DRC is legally allowed to work part-time jobs, for a fixed-hour in a week, for his/her own needs.
An au pair is an international helper who works for and looks after a family in the destination world (known as the host family). In return for the international helper's assistance, the host family welcomes the au pair as a temporary member of their family, offering accommodation and food, allowing the au pair to save money. In exchange, the host family provides a small monetary allowance to the foreigner for the duration of the stay. Most Au Pairs are women, as staying with a host family is much safer than staying alone in an unknown land. People are known exclusively for their fun-loving, friendly and bright side! There are many families in Brazil that are looking for au pairs, and previous reviews have How been positive about almost every host family.
Volunteering abroad can be a great experience as the process involves getting into the life's of local people or animals by knowing their problems and helping in their welfare. Here are some reasons why you should volunteer in the DRC -
- Learn about excellent work being undertaken on the ground
- Authentic experience as it is far less touristy than, say, volunteering in South Africa
- Nurture orphaned and baby bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas
- Become friends with the locals
- Get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
- Make a genuine difference.
HELP Congo is a well-known volunteer hub for visitors and expats alike. It is a Congolese association and non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of primates, especially chimps, and their habitat.