Democratic Republic of Congo

The largest and most populated country in Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is often referred to as D.R Congo or Congo-Kinshasa, to distinguish it from its neighbour the Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville. D.R Congo is a destination for seasoned travellers, not backpackers or anyone looking for a luxury safari holiday. This is an extreme adventure, filled with lush rainforests, thundering rivers and rocky volcanoes. The country’s tragic and often violent past has meant that there are warnings in place for those considering travel here, but those who do make the journey are rewarded with an immersive African experience they’ll never forget.


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Destination Information for Democratic Republic of Congo

From hiking on Mount Nyiragongo to spending the night on the rim of a lava lake, from trekking to see families of mountain gorillas to spending days floating down the river Congo on a loaded barge, there are some incredible experiences to be had here. Thanks to its equatorial position, D.R. Congo has a high frequency of thunderstorms and large amounts of rainfall. Visit during the dry season between December and March for the easiest travel conditions, and the best chances of spotting a mountain gorilla.

D.R. Congo is the centre of African music, which is best heard live at one of the local discos or bars in Bandal or Matonge in the capital Kinshasa. Here, you’ll also find lively markets for picking up locally-made crafts, but be prepared to haggle!

The D.R. Congo is a land locked country in central Africa. It was formally known as Zaire until 1997. Travel vaccinations are essential when visiting the country, with a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate required upon entry to the country – for anyone above 9 months old – along with hepatitis A, typhoid and the tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccine. You should also be prepared for the risk of rabies, Hepatitis B, cholera, meningitis ACWY and malaria, and at London Travel Clinic we provide a range of antimalarials, so make sure to book a consultation.

Infections and Outbreaks frequently change from country to country and by attending our clinics you will be given the most up to date clinical and safety advice from our team of specialists. Our advice to you often includes aspects such as:

  • Food and water hygiene
  • Insect and animal bite avoidances
  • Personal safety
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Sun protection
  • Altitude sickness

Malaria and regions within country:

There is a high risk of P.Falciparum malaria throughout the country and anti-malarial medication is advised.

Additional Health Risks Information for Democratic Republic of Congo

If you are planning a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, check advice for your specific destination before you travel. Some areas of the country are advised against for all visitors, due to political unrest, armed violence at protests and demonstrations. The security situation may cause flights to be cancelled, roads to be closed and public services to be suspended without notice. You may not be able to get assistance in leaving the country during a crisis, so always have a contingency plan.

For those travellers who do make the trip to D. R. Congo, you should be constantly aware of the risk of street crime and other attacks at all times. Foreigners may be a target. Medical care in the country is extremely limited. If you become ill during your trip, there is a basic clinic in Kinshasa, which may be able to treat minor ailments, but otherwise it will be difficult to find anything approaching a good standard for care. Ensure that you have appropriate insurance in place that will cover the cost of medical evacuation by air ambulance. Democratic Republic of Congo is high risk for malaria and Yellow fever, it is advisable to visit a Travel clinic to get the necessary vaccines, medications and advice before you travel.

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