The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
A Visitors Guide

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Photo Courtesy Virunga National Park Tourism Office

The Congo (DRC) is not a normal tourist destination. It is a destination for the active, adventurous traveler with a thirst for nature and a desire to seek out local culture.

With one of the world's largest chimpanzee populations and Africa's' second largest river, the Congo River, the DRC is an explores dream. But it's history of instability and violence has reduced the tourist industry and visitors to a crawl.

The Congo remains relatively unspoiled
The Congo River is one of the world's purest major rivers. The Congo remains relatively unpolluted because there are few industrial centers along its banks. In contrast, the longest river in the world, the Nile River, is seriously polluted by agricultural irrigation, industrial waste and sewage.

The Congo basin's wildlife lives in the Congolese forest and is very different from the wildlife found in Africa's savanna grasslands. In addition to the wildlife found in the forest are the creatures that inhabit the waters of the Congo.

Gorillas in the DRC
A visit with a mountain gorilla family is a life changing experience. Mountain gorillas are highly intelligent, good natured, and fascinating to observe. The silverback's powerful presence is awe-inspiring, yet his calm clearly earns him the title, "gentle giant". People are equally struck by the tenderness and care that mothers show their young. And then, of course, there are the juveniles who spend most of every waking hour at play and never cease to make visitors smile. We believe your time with Virunga's mountain gorillas will leave you feeling changed for the better.

Many of the DRC mountain gorilla tours are run by tour operators in Rwanda and Uganda with an extension into the DRC.

Recommended Tour Operators
Amahoro Tours
Green Hills Eco Tours
Kasitu Eco Tours

Travel Advisory
Virunga National Park and chief warden Emmanuel de Merode are considered to be safe areas for Gorilla Trekking. If at any time the park management feel that the security of guests is at risk, they will close the park to tourists.

Caution: Do not travel to: The eastern DRC and the three Kasai provinces due to armed conflict. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, armed home invasion, sexual assault, and physical assault, is common. Assailants may pose as police or security agents. Should you choose to travel to the DRC, you should closely monitor local news, assess local conditions and travel routes, and consult the Embassy's website for Emergency Messages.

Visas are required by all visitors and are expensive. Visas are not available at entry ports.  All travelers are required to register at their home country for travel to the DRC.

Yellow fever vaccinations are required and anti-malaria drugs are recommended as malaria is common in the DRC.

Places To Stay
Hotels near Virunga National Park - Reviews - booking