The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, Congo, or DRC, is a country in Central Africa bordering the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda to the east, Zambia and Angola to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. With a surface area of 2,345,000 square kilometres, DR Congo is the second largest country in the continent.
Though not your typical tourist destination, the Democratic Republic of the Congo offers its visitors the ultimate African adventure.
What to see & do
Virunga National Park - Formerly Albert National Park, Virunga National Park encompasses 7,800 square kilometres of area from the Virunga Mountains in the south, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the north. Established in 1925, it is Africa's first national park. Virunga National Park boasts of a wide diversity of landscapes and ecosystems, and exceptional biodiversity. Some of its most notable residents are the mountain gorilla, as well as savannah and forest elephants, chimpanzees, low land gorillas, giraffes, and several endemic birds.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve - Another one of the DR Congo's UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, situated in the Ituri Forest in the northeast, near the borders with Uganda and Sudan. The reserve covers roughly 14,000 square kilometres of land with the help of the Okapi Conservation Project in 1992. The okapi, which are considered as the major flagship species of the Ituri Forest, are found only in DR Congo. The project and reserve were created to protect the animal and its habitat from poachers.
Garamba National Park - Garamba National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the Orientale Province. It was home to the world's last known wild population of the now extinct in the wild Northern White Rhinoceros.
Congo River - The Congo River has an overall length of 4,700 kilometres, and with measured depths in excess of 220 metres, is the world's deepest river.
Lola ya Bonobo - Lola ya Bonobo, or Paradise for Bonobos, is the only sanctuary in the world for orphaned bonobos. The bonobos normally arrive as infants, confiscated from people who buy or sell them as pets. Lola ya Bonobo aims to nurture the young bonobos in an environment very similar to their natural habitat.
How to get around within DR Congo
The quickest way to get around the country is by plane, especially if going long distance. If you would rather stick to the ground, note that the roads are in a state so terrible that smaller vehicles will not be able to navigate through it. Trucks are more appropriate; go to a truck park near the market and negotiate with a truck driver.
How to get there
N'Djili International Airport, also known as N'Djili Airport or Kinshasa International Airport, is the largest of the four international airports in DR Congo. It is located in the city of Kinshasa, near the Ndjili River. The airport is served by several airlines, including Air Côte d'Ivoire, Air France, Arik Air, ASKY Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Camair-co, Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Korongo Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, South African Airways, TAAG Angola Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Westair Benin. There are flights to DR Congo from Paris, Douala, Lagos, Libreville, Brussels, Istanbul, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Addis Ababa, among others.