Destination Information for Democratic Republic of Congo
The largest and most populated country in Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is often referred to as D.R Congo or Congo-Kinshasa, to distinguish it from its neighbour the Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville. D.R Congo is a destination for seasoned travellers, not backpackers or anyone looking for a luxury safari holiday. This is an extreme adventure, filled with lush rainforests, thundering rivers and rocky volcanoes. The country’s tragic and often violent past has meant that there are warnings in place for those considering travel here, but those who do make the journey are rewarded with an immersive African experience they’ll never forget.
From hiking on Mount Nyiragongo to spending the night on the rim of a lava lake, from trekking to see families of mountain gorillas to spending days floating down the river Congo on a loaded barge, there are some incredible experiences to be had here. Thanks to its equatorial position, D.R. Congo has a high frequency of thunderstorms and large amounts of rainfall. Visit during the dry season between December and March for the easiest travel conditions, and the best chances of spotting a mountain gorilla.
D.R. Congo is the centre of African music, which is best heard live at one of the local discos or bars in Bandal or Matonge in the capital Kinshasa. Here, you’ll also find lively markets for picking up locally-made crafts, but be prepared to haggle!
Malaria and regions within country:
There is a high risk of P.Falciparum malaria throughout the country and anti-malarial medication is advised.
Malaria chemoprophylaxis for high risk zones:
If all other anti-malarials are not deemed suitable, Chloroquine plus Proguanil can be used but it is less effective.
Ebola Virus Disease in Democratic Republic of Congo (Update)
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) that was first reported to WHO on 24 August 2014, has been declared over. The end of an EVD outbreak in a country can be declared once 42 days have passed and no new cases have been detected. The 42 days is twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola (21 days). The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached the 42-day mark on 20 November 2014.
There have been seven outbreaks of EVD in DRC since 1976, when the Ebola virus was first identified in the country.
Advice for Travellers
The risk of travellers becoming infected or developing EVD is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Healthcare workers are at particular risk, although practising appropriate infection control should effectively prevent transmission of disease in this setting.