The travel experience in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R. Congo) has always been impressive, but was still ignored by many. Outside of the Gorilla and Nyiragongo volcano, the DR Congo offers thousands of breathtaking attractions with a full immersion in the culture of the Congo and local life that remain unknown. In this context, Congo Local Guides, with its unique experience, offers you an unforgettable and incredible day and multi-day excursion to the local and remote Congo with tailor-made tours, tours off the tourist trail and real insights into local culture and customs, Congo rivers, waterfalls and forests . This article is of great interest to travelers to the Congo who are still wondering where to go, what to do, and which tour operator to take with them.
Is DR Congo safe?
Many travelers to the Congo always ask this question before planning their trips to the Congo, and of course safety as a traveler is very important. In the international media, it is possible to view the Congo as habitable, but that is not the case locally. Although the country is ravaged by wars, approximately 80% of the Congo territory poses no risk to tourists. The west, south center, and capitals of the east are safe for visits. Many Congo visitors and solo travelers have left their reviews and testimonials on Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor, where you can read about their experiences in local and remote Congo.
Therefore, there are already great, rare and historical attractions that are scattered in the safe part of the Congo. Whether you’re traveling to the Congo by land or plane, we’re open to discussion of the “to do list” and provide local guides to ensure that guests enjoy real Congo life with the locals live and experience.
How do I get a DR Congo visa?
This is the second recurring question. The lack of reliable information for visitors to the Congo has had a negative impact on travel in the Congo. As you can read on Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet, several tourists in the Congo missed their trip because they could not get a visa. It is obvious that facilitating the application for a travel visa is crucial and makes it easier to obtain the visa before or upon arrival. Regardless of whether a traveler requires an invitation letter, a Virunga visa or a visa, this remains possible and should not hinder the travel plan for the Congo. There are two possibilities:
First of all, it is recommended to determine if it is a D.R. of the Congo in the home country. If not, check if there are neighboring countries where one is located. If there is one, the traveler can go there and request all the information necessary for a successful visa application. You may need an invitation letter that a local tour operator or Congo resident can present.
If there is a D.R. A diplomatic mission in the Congo that is planning a trip to Goma or Bukavu for a gorilla or Nyiragongo hike. Here is an easy way to apply for a visa. Travelers can book for an activity offered by Virunga or Kahuzi-Biega National Parks. In addition, this visa can be extended if you stay longer than two weeks and other provinces of D.R. of the Congo. However, this is after reaching Goma or Bukavu.
How do I get to the DR Congo?
Since details of the visa are known, information about joining the Congo territory must also be exchanged before information about sights or activities can be exchanged. First, the Congo has five international airports, but only three are open for international flights. These are Kinshasa International Airport (N’djili), Lubumbashi International Airport (Luano) and Goma International Airport. Although Ethiopian Airlines also flies to Kisangani International Airport, the flight is not regular.
Many travelers have claimed that direct flights to the Congo are often expensive and therefore prefer to arrive in a neighboring country in transit. Therefore, Kigali International Airport-Rwanda is recommended for travel routes from Goma or Bukavu, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport-Zambia for travel routes from Lubumbashi and Maya-Maya International Airport-Congo Brazzaville for travel routes from Kinshasa.
In addition, the Congo territory can also be reached through one of its several entry points that serve as a border with its nine neighbors.
Attractions in the DR Congo
Congo Local Guides offers its tours in different ways to reinvent Congo tourism. We not only strive to be the leading stakeholder in the travel and tourism industry in the Congo, we also bring travelers closer to the unknown Congo through sustainable and environmentally friendly practices while we get travelers out of their comfort zone. The method helps to know the Congo from a local perspective by interacting with the people and their environment. Imagine traveling for weeks or months along one of the largest rivers in the world, in one of the largest rainforests and jungles in the world, interacting with the indigenous tribes and learning the history of the Congo from the base. This is something achievable and not impossible.
City and village tours in the DR Congo
Traditional tourism was mainly based on the tourist attractions in the capital cities. Of course, in the context of Africa, the colonial heritage is more visible in capitals than in villages: beautiful buildings, beaches, well-preserved museums, easy access to transportation, accommodation, health facilities etc. It offers the best packages for colonial architecture, old and abandoned places, historical places, Street and local markets, museums, abandoned airports, craft markets, local and foreign restaurants. Traveling through cities in the Congo is a unique memory that immerses tourists in the African culture at the local base and in the immense wealth of African soils and forests. The tours help to distinguish between colonial and post-colonial life in the Congo in the capitals. The DR Congo cities mainly: Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Goma, Bukavu, Matadi, Kindu, Kinshasa, Mbujimayi, Kananga, Mbandaka and Bandundu.
In today’s world, tourists don’t travel to popular destinations, but to look for something new, authentic, and original in their lives. The majority come from developed countries with developed infrastructures and therefore have a story about the Congo they are visiting. By the end of the tours, however, they had received several stories about the country. The main mode of transportation and the road itself will be the welcome gift for the Congo villages and the various local rich dialects spoken by around 500 tribes. The country is too big, and so many of these tribes live in remote forests where you have to hike to gain access to their livelihood. For example, one has to walk approximately 1,000 km to interact with pygmies in the equatorial forests in Ituri, and 1,500 km to the province of Equateur to interact with Chokwe in Kassai, approximately 700 km to meet Pende of Gungu and approximately To meet 1,800 km Salampasu on the Congo border with Angola. The packages include: excursion to the forest to demonstrate various types of traps, collecting medicinal plants with locals, rituals, ancestral practices, dances, enthronement, witchcraft beliefs, visiting healers, fishing, schools, orphanages etc. For lovers of authenticity, here want them out. In addition, equatorial marker lines from the 1950s can be traced in rural areas and forests.
Rivers, waterfalls and lakes in the DR Congo
The DRC, known as a geological scandal, has 54% of African fresh water, 13% of global fresh water, the second largest forest in the world, arable land equivalent to China, and is estimated to double the planet’s deficit. The country has numerous waterfalls, many of which are remote and hardly accessible. With friendly and prominent local guides, you’ll get to the remote areas.
For example, Inga Falls has a capacity of 100,000 megawatts enough to illuminate Africa, part of West Asia and Mediterranean Europe. The list of lakes and waterfalls is inexhaustible, but includes: Livingstone Waterfalls, Zongo Waterfalls, Wagenia Waterfalls, Boyoma Waterfalls, Kiubo Waterfalls, Lofoi Waterfalls (Africa’s largest, 384 m in a jet), Gate of the Hell -Waterfalls, Kayo Falls, Ipera Falls, Kwanza Falls, Munte Falls, Dikolongo Falls, Kalule Falls, Masansa Falls, Lutshipuka Falls. Lakes are Kivu, Edouard, Albert, Moero, Mai-Ndombe, Tumba, Tanganyika etc.
Rivers, waterfalls and lakes offer popular activities such as kayaking, canoeing, boat trips, fishing, swimming, etc. The Congo has over 200 rivers that are part of the Congo Basin. The longest is the Congo with a length of about 4,700 km. Expeditions can be organized between Kisangani and Kinshasa as well as between Kindu & Ubundu and Bukama & Kongolo. For several days, travelers discover rain and primary forests in the Congo, swampy and flooded forests and fishing tribes that live in the Congo. Visitors will also interact with tribes that live in these remote areas. Why should you visit the Congo? There are seven main facts: ü The Congo is that deepest river in the worldreaches a depth greater than 720 feet in the lower Congo; ü The Congo is that second longest on the African Continent, behind the Nile. However, its 2,920-mile length brings iteighth under the rivers of the world; ü It is the most powerful African river with nearly 2 million cubic feet of water flowing into the ocean during the rainy season;
- Double equator crossing: The Congo winds its way through the depths of the rainforest to cross the equator in one direction and then in the other.
The Congo is a Main road: The difficulty of traveling overland and the expensive flights make traveling on the Congo’s waterways essential. The economies of neighboring communities and businesses along the river and far inland depend on the accessibility of steamers and other water vessels to meet a certain need.
- The second largest rainforest in the world: The Congo catchment area alone covers more than one million square kilometers and forms part of the second largest rainforest in the world.
- About seven hundred species of fish were recorded when they moved to the Congo. The total is probably much larger. They are known among these species Mbenga and the Goliath tiger fish are wild carnivores and fish eaters with long crocodile-like teeth that are endemic to the water in the Congo.
Mountains, volcanoes, fauna, flora
As a geological scandal, the eastern Congo Virunga and Rwenzori mountain ranges are an important opportunity for hikers and hikers. It is a lifelong experience to reach Marguerite Pic with its 5,109 m height of Mount Stanley (Rwenzori), the third African high point after Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, which is historically described as legendary of ancient Egypt and later of ancient Greece.
Another lifelong and unforgettable experience is the hike on the majestic stratovolcano Nyiragongo, the most active African volcano (erupted 34 times, the youngest in 2002) and the world’s largest crater lake with a height of 3,470 m. Hiking with local guides immerses hikers at the same time in the numerous outbreak stories, as this has changed Goma and its surroundings as well as everyday life for fear of unexpected outbreaks.
In addition to its eight national parks and the recently created Lomami Park, the Congo is known for its huge savannas, meadows, forests and a variety of endangered species such as Congo peacocks, mountain and eastern lowland gorillas, bonobos, etc. Places to visit include Salonga im Congo Basin and the Garamba National Park, one of the oldest parks in Africa and declared a World Heritage Site. Maiko National Park is located in one of the most remote forest areas in the country, the majestic Virunga National Park, the oldest in Africa, Kundelungu, Upemba and the Kahuzi Biega National Park, one of the 100 most sustainable travel destinations.
It is important to know that most of the Congo’s falls and rivers are in national parks and forests. This makes it easy to visit animals, rivers and waterfalls, hike mountains and gain local experiences in dealing with people in the area in a single route.
With over 60 reserves across the country, the Congo also invites students and researchers to its unexplored country. Through this learning experience, Congo Local Guides will provide comprehensive instructions to enable easy personal interaction with locals and officials. For example, Yangambi, a port city 90 km downstream from Kisangani, is one of the largest tropical forests in the world with 4,000 hectares of biosphere reserve. Here travelers and researchers explore: the largest herbarium in Africa, which consists of 150,000 species, including 6,500 national varieties; Xylotheque (collection of wood samples from 1,250 specimens); A library of great historical value; An arboretum of 1,000 hectares; A natural (primary) forest of 2,200 ha; A 250 hectare managed forest; A rubber plant; A surprising guest house in ruins; the majestic tree of authenticity, over three centuries old, where the kings of the Belgians who passed through the resort rested; Yangambi Experimental Agronomic Station, which offers a unique opportunity to visit some of the extinct rare animal species: the tarantula and the fruit bat with a dog’s face, as well as rare living species such as the recently discovered panda bat.
DR Congo overland trip: how does it work?
To ensure that guests feel the true taste of local Congo life, we prefer to travel by land and water. In some cases and upon request, we can use the flight for some distances, especially if you don’t have enough time to stay in the Congo for a long time. This also aims to minimize the budget while expanding the exploration and discovery list.
This contribution will be sent to you by Local guides to the Congo. You can find more information on travel tours in the DR Congo on their website.
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