Democratic Republic of Congo

Congolese Franc (CDF), US dollar (US$)

French (official), Lingala, Swahili, Tshiluba

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the provinces of Kasaï, Kasaï Central, Kasaï Oriental, Haut-Uele, Haut Lomami, Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and Tanganyika, areas to the west and east of Kananga including Tshikapa and Mwene-Ditu, and within 50km of the border with the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The FCO also advice against all but essential travel to the rest of the country, including Kinshasa. Click here for more information.

Sights

Top ChoiceNational Park in Eastern DRC

Parc National des Virunga

DRC's magnificent calling card is Virunga, Africa's oldest national park and home to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and the incredible, active Nyiragongo volcano (climbed on a thrilling two-day expedition)....

Top ChoiceVolcano in Parc National Des Virunga

Nyiragongo

Perhaps DRC's most magnificent single sight, active volcano Nyiragongo soars above the city of Goma and the surrounding Virunga National Park and sends plumes of smoke into the sky, before becoming a flaming...

Top ChoiceWildlife Reserve in Democratic Republic of Congo

Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Ninety minutes west of Kinshasa, just beyond the city's sprawl, this excellent project provides a home for orphaned bonobos. Long thought to be chimpanzees, bonobos are actually a separate species known for being...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Bukavu

Parc National de Kahuzi-Biéga

South Kivu's star attraction is this national park, where you can track habituated eastern lowland gorillas (Grauer’s gorillas) for just US$400 per person, a relative bargain! The park also contains a chimp...

Top ChoiceWaterfall in Democratic Republic of Congo

Chutes du Zongo

A popular day trip from Kinshasa despite the expensive 4WD hire (US$200) necessary to get here, the gorgeous 65m-high Zongo Falls are one of DRC's most spectacular sights. Getting to the viewpoints involves some...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Kinshasa

Musée National de Kinshasa

Musée National de Kinshasa

This amazing ethnographic archive comprising some 45,000 objects has been waiting patiently for its new home, a US$10 million prestige investment from South Korea currently under construction in the Lingwala area...

Top ChoiceZoo in Kinshasa

Serpents du Congo

This excellent snake farm is located 28km from downtown Kinshasa and makes for a great day out. Owner Franck will gladly show you the poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes here, and you even have the opportunity to...

Wildlife Reserve in Parc National Des Virunga

Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage

Provided you make it back from your gorilla track in a timely fashion, it should be possible to visit the world’s only mountain gorilla orphanage, which is integrated into the grounds of the Mikeno Lodge. Named...

Waterfall in Kisangani

Boyoma Falls

Formerly Stanley Falls, Boyoma Falls are a series of rapids (waterfalls is a bit of a stretch) on the Congo River spread out over 100km south from Kisangani. The last rapids are just to the east of town, which is...

Island in Bukavu

Idjwi Island

Floating out in the middle of Lake Kivu, Idjwi Island is, at 340 sq km, the second-largest lake island in Africa. Isolated from Congo's decades of war, as well as missing out on what little development the...

Notable Building in Kinshasa

Palais de la Nation

Built in 1956 as the official residence of the Belgian governor general in Kinshasa, the Palais de la Nation was where Congo's first president, Patrick Lumumba, denounced colonialism during a speech following his...

Monument in Kinshasa

Laurent Kabila's Tomb

This tomb of former president Laurent Kabila (1939-2001) is worth seeing, although reaching it involves passing through several layers of security in the middle of Kinshasa's main government and diplomatic...

Lake in Democratic Republic of Congo

Chutes de Lukaya

A great day trip from Kinshasa, the Chutes de Lukaya have a wonderful natural setting, a decent restaurant (open at the weekend only), natural lakes to swim in and rapids that swell to an impressive size and...

Beach in Kisangani

Tshopo Falls

Tshopo Falls, 3km north of Kisangani by the dam and the old Skol Brewery, is a pleasant place to enjoy the river. The sandy beach here was swept away in floods in 2014, but is slowly re-forming. There's a...

Market in Kinshasa

Marché Central

This one of the largest markets in Central Africa, and is worth visiting for the intrepid. Watch your belongings (better still, bring nothing with you at all) and be sure to go with a local who knows the place.

Mosque in Kisangani

Mosque

Looking rather more like something you'd find in Northern India than Central Africa, Kisangani's imposing green, turreted mosque overlooks the Congo River and is the town's most striking building. You'll pass it...

Notable Building in Kinshasa

Palais du Peuple

The Palais du Peuple (People's Palace) is home to DRC's legislature, made up of the National Assembly and Senate. It is not open to the public.

Cathedral in Kinshasa

Nôtre Dame Cathedral

Built under Belgian rule in 1947, this brick cathedral is one of Kinshasa's most important religious buildings.