Discover the undiscovered! DR Congo has long been an isolated country with no tourism prospects. This has changed dramatically over the last few years with publicity for the Virunga N.P. and other areas in this vast Central African country.
The world’s largest Gorilla’s, the Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega N.P, relaxing on Tchegera Island in Lake Kivu or tracking the endangered mountain Gorillas in the oldest national park in Africa. Congo has it all, Mum and Dad will organize everything for your once in a life time tour.
Practical Information for Travel to DR Congo
DR. Congo covers an area of about 2,345,409 km2 or 905,355 sq mi. the official languages spoken in DR. Congo is French, Swahili & Lingala. Democratic republic of Congo has a population of about 6.5 million people and its Capital city is called Kinshasa
Christians takes the highest percentage of with a population of about (47 %) second with Animists (25 %) and Muslim and syncretic minorities.
The DR. Congo lies on the Equator, with 1/3 of the country to the north and 2/3 to the south. The climate is hot and humid in the river basin and cool and dry in the southern highlands, with a cold, alpine climate in the Rwenzori Mountains. South of the Equator.
The rainy season lasts from October to May and north of the Equator and from April to November. Along the Equator, rainfall is justly regular throughout the year. During the wet season, storms often are violent but rarely last more than a few hours.
The average rainfall for the whole country is about 1,070 mm (42 in) the climate in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo mainly from the north & South Kivu provinces are similar to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda. The rain season is from October to May but only short rains occur.
During the dry season it can be quite dusty so we endorse you to get a dusk mask. Normally, the rain season is a good season to travel especially to Kahuzi-Biega national park where the Lowland Gorillas tend to be closer to the headquarters than in the dry season.
It usually quite cold in the Virunga national park especially in the evening due to the high elevation. On the top of Mt. Nyiragongo it is also cold especially at night.
Visa DR Congo
For any traveler to Democratic Republic of Congo must obtain a valid passport before arrival from the consulate or embassy in your home country or via the immigration services in Kinshasa. Mum and Dad Uganda Tours offers visa services at US$ 120 per visa.
We there for urge clients to use this service for a hassle free experience. You will have a visa acceptance form with a reference number on it and an invoice with your travel itinerary booked with the national park. Upon your arrival at the border with DR Congo you will present both documents and you will receive a stamp in your passport
The Democratic of Congo official currency is the Congolese Franc and the American dollar (For the current rates, please see Internet sites such as xe.com)
Many lodge and restaurant prices in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be set in US dollars while outside of lodges like when buying souvenirs and snacks, etc.) Congolese Francs will be highly necessary. Most items can be sold in Francs
It should be put into consideration that US dollars printed before 2004 are not accepted in the country. When you exchange money, you are advised to use big notes of 50 or 100 US dollar, small notes always comes with low rate. Make sure notes are not cut, or damaged in any way. They will not be acknowledged.
Always move with some US dollars. This is the hard currency in DR Congo and most widely used. For smaller items like souvenirs and local items we recommend you to change some of the dollars to Congolese Francs.
This can be done in Goma or Bukavu. In case times come and you are leaving if having Congolese Francs you can change it into Euros, dollars or pounds but obviously at a less favorable rate.
ATM & Credit Cards
Automated teller machine (ATM): these can only be find in major cities like Bukavu and Goma. Do realize that the amount you can take out per day is sometimes limited to about $100.
You should also note that ATMs can be empty or not working due to power cuts. Make sure you always have enough cash with you as a backup!
Credit Card: Credit cards are less used in DRC . However, only at mayor hotels and upmarket lodges can use these and these will add an extra 5 to 10% to the bill.
Traveler Cheques: These are not commonly used in DR Congo.
In Democratic Republic of Congo, it is normal and often expected that you give a tip to the local staff such as guides, rangers, and drivers. Tipping is a sign of appreciation of the service offered. Tips can range from 10-15 per day for your driver/guide
For your entire tour group, a common tip of US$10 per day can be expected for your driver / guide. When travelling on a fly-in safari it is also common to tip the ranger / guide who works for the lodge about US$ 10 to 15. In restaurants, we recommend a tip of about 10% of the bill.
Plugs and Voltage
In Democratic Republic Congo, European style plugs: 240 V, 50 Hz are the norm.
Internet cafes can be found in most parts of DRC although in some parts connections is generally very slow. WIFI is mostly available in lodges/hotels and it is possible to buy a 3G mobile internet USB dongle to be used with your laptop. This cost around US$ 30 and is for sale in most towns.
Charging camera and phone
Phones, cameras and other electric items can be charged in hotels or Lodges. If you bring a couple of chargeable items you might consider bringing an adaptor with extra outlets since the amount of outlets is often limited.
You are advised to bring spare batteries for your camera, since some hotels don’t have power and power cuts might occur.
We request you to bring a bag or suitcase made from a soft material. Hard cover suitcases are difficult to place in the car and are likely to break on the bumpy roads. When traveling with 4 persons or more we request you to limit the weight of your bag/suitcase to 15 kg.
These have become very big in DR Congo. Throughout the country sim cards sell for less than a US dollar which you then can top up with credit and make reasonably priced calls to most international destinations.
Please note that rural areas like Kahuzi-Biega national park and Virunga national park have very poor reception. The country code for DR Congo is 00243 or + 243
Gay travelers are allowed to travel freely in DRC and the all of Africa although homosexuality is not accepted in DRC it is not advisable to openly speak about it or show any of your sexual unlikely that gay travellers will experience any particular difficulties bias
Before travelling TO DRC , it’s always better to Contact your general practitioner at least 8 weeks whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures, this will help travelers to travel when safe.
Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Democratic Republic of Congo has limited facilities especially outside major towns. Medical help at the scene of accident is likely to be limited.
Make sure your Yellow Fever vaccination is up to date before arriving in DRC as this is often asked for by immigration officials.
You are required to travel with healthy insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or repatriation. In the case of a serious accident or illness, evacuation by air ambulance may be required.
Safety and Risks
Every country in the world has a negative travel advice for traveling in Congo/ DRC. Mum and Dad Uganda tours can only be held responsible for the organization of the trip itself.
Traveling against the travel advice of your country therefore will be on your own risk and you will have to sign for this before going on tour.
Please check the status from the website of your own embassy and check if this will affect the validation your travel- or medical insurance. You might have to take alternative or additional travel and health insurances to be covered.
Contacting Mum and Dad Uganda Tours
Below you can find emergency contacts to reach Mum and Dad Uganda Tours. We would advise you to use the office phone for all regular questions.
Please respect the privacy of our staff and only use the emergency numbers when it’s a real emergency.
|Emergency phone:||+256 (0) 0754787409|
|Contact:||Kevin Siri (Virunga national park)|
|Office phone:||+44 7511919244|
Travel with the right attitude
Although the county is considered one of the safest countries with little risks as it used to be, it remains a country for only the most seasoned, uncompromising African traveler.
It is not a country for the casual “tourist”: the average traveler, holidaymaker, and especially those seeking luxury safaris or organized cultural experiences. The DRC remains one of the least developed countries in Africa.
When you travel to DRC expect that almost every activity runs late, most of the people do not speak English and service at hotels and activities are not to be compared with more experienced tourist destinations in Africa. Even some of the information provided by guides and rangers can be a bit poor.
You are urged to always be flexible and patient. Those who do brave the elements to travel here are in for quite the adventure.
Nyiragongo volcano experience
If you are traveling to the Nyiragongo volcano during your visit to DR Congo you will have an overnight backpack provided by Mum and Dad Uganda tours.
In this backpack you will find a lunch package, drinking water, a sleeping bag and a fleece vest. You will have a personal cook who will prepare a hot meal on the crater rim.
If you need a porter to carry your luggage this costs US$ 24 per porter and needs to be paid on ground. You will spend the night in the basic summit shelter on the crater rim of the Nyiragongo volcano.
There are no shower facilities on the crater rim only a pit latrine as a toilet. We will guarantee you that it is a once in a lifetime experience you will not soon forget!
Other items that we advise you to bring during your hike
Good hiking shoes
Wet towel/wipes for freshen up
Long pants and long sleeves short
Change of clothing for the next day