DESTINATIONS

Democratic Republic of Congo

Explore Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also popularly known as DR Congo, Democratic Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or Eastern Congo, and called Zaire between 1971 and 1997, is one of the fifty-four countries that make up the African continent. Its capital and most populous city is Kinshasa.

 

Description

Capital: Kinshasa

Continent: Africa

Government: Republic, Semi-presidentialism

Currency: Congolese Franc

Vaccines

Mandatory vaccinations: Yellow Fever (if you come from an endemic country).

Generally recommended vaccines: Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Tetanus-diphtheria/Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, Triple Viral.

Vaccines recommended in special situations: Cholera, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Polio, Flu, Pneumococcal.

Within the framework of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, all travelers must take into account that currently any trip, regardless of the destination or its circumstances, carries a health risk. For this reason, we reiterate to all travelers the recommendation to keep informed at all times, to have the possibility of being forced to stay abroad longer than expected and to have insurance that covers all eventualities during the trip, including the risks associated with COVID-19.

What to know before you travel..


Security

The DRC is a country with a very fragile security situation, which can evolve rapidly and deteriorate, so extreme caution is strongly recommended.

The conflict in the East of the country means that it is not advisable to travel to any of the Provinces in this area (Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, and Tanganyika). The presence of armed groups in permanent conflict with these Security Forces led to the declaration of a state of siege in May 2021. This situation, which has been extended every 15 days since then, implies the transfer by the civil authorities to the military authorities. of all competitions. Even the most minor crimes or incidents, such as a traffic accident, are subject to military jurisdiction. Attacks by terrorist groups are frequent in the area and there is a presence of various military forces. You should not travel to this area of ​​the country under any circumstances.

In Kinshasa, outlying neighborhoods should be avoided, including those on the N’Djili airport road and the RN1 to the North of Kinshasa. Extreme caution should be exercised when driving through the city, as it is not uncommon for assaults on foreigners who drive in the city to occur. You should not travel outside of Kinshasa by road, due to their poor condition and the dangerous nature of the routes.

Extortion at border posts by migration agents is common, especially at the Ndjili airport, at the Ngobila river port for those entering the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Brazzaville, and on the land border with Angola, Rwanda and Zambia.

In addition, in recent months there have been “express kidnappings” and assaults, of which foreigners who venture to drive or walk through the center of Kinshasa without taking the necessary precautions are victims. In most cases, these kidnappings are carried out by fake police officers. The purpose is to steal the cash that is carried with them and go to ATMs to withdraw the largest authorized amount. Often the robbery is accompanied by injuries and beatings. There has also been a rebound in youth gang activity in the center of the capital and in other cities around the country, such as Lubumbashi. Hence, walking in Kinshasa and other cities is formally discouraged, especially at night, and it is recommended to drive in vehicles with the windows closed and the door locks activated. It is not recommended to venture on foot through any city in the country.

Domestic flights from local companies do not offer safety standards that make them recommendable.

In addition to this, the entire year 2023 will be affected by an electoral cycle that is greatly stirring up civil tensions and arousing hostility and citizen insecurity. It is advisable to carefully observe the situation at all times before traveling to the country. As the end of the year approaches, with the December elections closer, a hectic environment is expected, which will make it inadvisable to travel to the DRC.

 

Language

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC; in French, République démocratique du Congo;[14] in Kikongo, Repubilika ya Kongo Demokratika; in Swahili, Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo;[15] in Lingala, Republiki ya Kɔ́ngɔ Demokratiki; in chiluba, Ditunga día Kongu wa Mungalaata), also popularly known as D.R. Congo, Democratic Congo, Congo-Kinshasa[16] or Eastern Congo, and called Zaire between 1971 and 1997, is one of the fifty-four countries that make up the continent of Africa. Its capital and most populous city is Kinshasa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially French-speaking country in the world.

 

Money

1 EUR equals

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2,611.10 CDF

Since June 30, 1998, the monetary unit is the Congolese Franc.

The DRC is a “cash” country. However, credit cards are already accepted in many places in Kinshasa, although not yet in other regions. In any case, it is recommended to have a sufficient amount of cash to meet any type of need or urgency.

Although on some occasions payment in euros is accepted, the most used currency is the dollar, as long as they are dollars issued from the year 1996.

 

Internet

Mobile telephony and Internet in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Compared to the world average, the Democratic Republic of the Congo lags massively behind in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +243 there were a total of 46.89 million connections in 2021. Among them were 46.89 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 0.49 per person. Worldwide, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With approximately 2,515 web servers, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is below the world average by population. At the end of 2020, 345 of them, or about 14%, were protected with SSL or comparable encryption.

 

Voltage

Voltage: 220V

Frequency: 50Hz

Pegs: Type C / D / E

 

Climate

Climate zone: Tropics

High humidity and high temperatures make the weather in the Democratic Republic of the Congo sometimes pleasant, but also tropically humid. It’s hot all year. The hottest and rainiest part of the country is Bandundu. The coldest is Katanga. Due to the drier season, the best time to travel is from June to August. Most of the precipitation falls from March to December.

 

Food

Congolese cuisine is among the best in Africa. Typical dishes include fufu, a sticky cassava flour bun, and poulet à la moambé, chicken in a sauce made from the outer shell of palm nuts. The spicy pili pili sauce is served with almost everything.