Places to visit

Quick facts

  • Capital- Kinshasa
  • Currency- Congolese Francs
  • Top Languages- French, English

Tourism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is uncommon. Tourists can see wildlife, indigenous cultures, and geological phenomena not found easily or anywhere else in Africa.

In the capital city, Kinshasa, limited tourism opportunities exist. In downtown Kinshasa an ivory market exists where other than the obvious, Congolese art, tribal masks, and other beautiful goods can be procured. Outside Kinshasa is a bonobo preserve called Lola Ya Bonobo.In Kinshasa visits to the Congo River or the city golf course or downtown restaurants can be nice.

Tourists can trek to see the mountain and lowland gorillas in wild, meet pygmies still practising their traditional way of life in the forests, spot bonobos and okapi, the two rare species not found anywhere else on earth, and climb to the summits of active volcanoes and see a boiling lava lake in the crater of Mount Nyiragongo. The Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced frequent unrest in the eastern part of the country.

Private trips are cheaper in the Democratic Republic of Congo than in neighbouring Rwanda or Uganda.

Democratic Republic of the Congo offers tourists many unique opportunities to see wildlife, indigenous cultures and geological wonders not found easily elsewhere in Africa.

In the capital city Kinshasa, there is Ivory market, Congolese art; tribal masks and other beautiful goods can be procured. Outside of Kinshasa is a Bonobo monkey preserve called ‘Lola Ya Bonobo. In Kinshasa one is able to visit the river and the city golf course

In the DRC, one can trek to see both mountain and lowland gorillas in wild, meet pygmies still practising their traditional way of life in the forests, spot bonobos, and okapi, boiling Lava Lake in the crater of the Nyiragongo.

The country has various attractions which include; Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo, Congo River and Bonobo.

Why should I go?
There is something magical about the Democratic Republic of Congo,the expansive countryside is alive with colourful flowers, flourishing fruits and luscious green plants. Here, towering mountain peaks are garnished with wisps of mist and giant primates roam the rainforests, munching juicy leaves, swinging from vines and rolling playfully in the dirt.

As a visitor to the Democratic Republic of Congo, time is spent climbing to great heights for epic views, having close encounters with some of the world’s rarest creatures, and wading through thick, wet rain forests in search of adventure.

This country offers the most extraordinary experiences and, by the very essence of its splendour and variety, deserves to be seen, appreciated and protected.

Isn’t it dangerous?
It’s true that the Democratic Republic of Congo is a deeply troubled country. Beginning with the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century, and the subsequent colonisation in 1885 by Belgium, extensive pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources, slavery.

Although the Democratic Republic of Congo enjoyed some prosperous years in the 1950s, the country fell apart again after independence in 1960 and continues to face waves of violence and war, kept at bay only in some regions by the huge UN peacekeeper presence.

It’s because of this that the Democratic Republic of Congo still struggles to break free from its reputation as a country of ‘darkness’. The reality is that the country now, as ever, faces the huge challenges of protecting its rich and varied landscape, saving its precious wildlife and creating a more prosperous future for its people in a complicated political and economic climate.

So is it actually safe to visit?
It’s possible to visit parts of the DRC safely. The safest and most tourist areas of the country are Goma, Virunga National Park and Bukavu in the East, and the capital Kinshasa in the West.

Given that there are still serious security threats in the DRC for tourists, it’s best to visit with a tour company who will know how best to keep you safe.

The Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo where Virunga is located is still troubled by armed rebel groups, so tour operators will arrange armed escorts to accompany travellers at all times.

Where should I go?
There are only a couple of regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo that travellers can visit at present. One of these is the spectacular Virunga National Park, home to about a quarter of the world’s Mountain gorillas. This is Africa’s oldest national park and is famed for its thick forest, towering mountain peaks and ancient swamps.

On the Western side of the Democratic Republic of Congo is its capital Kinshasa, the world’s second largest French-speaking city. It’s known as the heart of central African music, and the bars in Bandalungwa or Matonge are worth visiting to sample the local nightlife.