Democratic Republic of the Congo Tourist Information and Tourism

(Democratic Republic of the Congo - DRC, CD, Central Africa)

View of downtown Kinshasa cityA country suitable for only the more intrepid of explorer, the Democratic Republic of the Congo could hardly be considered an African tourist destination. Areas of this country are not really safe for any kind of sightseeing, and so if you are planning a trip, then it is best to stick to the main tourism areas and join guide-led groups, drawing on their experience and local knowledge.

The westerly capital city of Kinshasa is amongst the safest parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and offers modern hotels, a burgeoning tourism scene and some basic tourist information, with its Ministry of Tourism being located on the Avenue Batetela in the Gombe district. The cities of Goma and Kisangani are also appealing in their own way, with Goma being home to Lake Kivu, and Kisangani being an important river port.

Elsewhere in the Democratic Republic of the Congo you will find swathes of lush rainforest, active volcanoes, fast-flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, and no less than five UNESCO biospheres. Clusters of mountain gorillas are a big draw for visitors and are to be found within parks such as both the Kahuzi Biega National Park and the Virunga National Park.

Image of Lubumbashi city centre

Democratic Republic of the Congo Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

There are few traditional tourist attractions as such in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although there are certainly some places of interest in the biggest towns and cities. In Kinshasa, the Central Market of Matongé (Marché Central) is a lively place to soak up some local atmosphere and find cheap souvenirs, while the Symphonies Naturelles forest is teaming with African wildlife. Also in Kinshasa is the acclaimed AAC Bonobo Nursery Sanctuary, which is known for its invaluable conservation work relating to endangered bonobo chimpanzees. Tourists visiting Kisantu will notice that the beautiful Kisantu Botanical Gardens certainly stand out, while in Lubumbashi, the country's number two city, the popular Valle de la Lufira nature reserve certainly comes highly recommended. More information about Democratic Republic of the Congo Tourist Attractions.

Photograph of the stunning Zongo FallsWhen it comes to landmarks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the majority have been shaped by the hand of nature. Exceptions to this include the quite breathtaking Kisantu Catholic Cathedral (Catholic Cathedral of the Jesuit Mission of Kisantu) and the Tomb of Laurent Kabila in Kinshasa. Many visitors choose to climb the smoking Nyiragongo Volcano, which has erupted several times over the past few decades and currently contains a bubbling lake of lava within its enormous crater. As the second-biggest freshwater lake in existence, Lake Tanganyika is very much a landmark in its own right and attracts hordes of divers and snorkellers each year, who come here to marvel at its brightly coloured Tanganyikan cichlid fish. Also of note is the Congo River, which flows past pockets of rainforest and to the Stanley Falls, passing the city of Kisingani and finally reaching the South Atlantic Ocean. More information about Democratic Republic of the Congo Landmarks and Monuments.

Photo showing the expansive Lake TanganyikaEven though the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a huge country, there are barely a handful of museums spread around its main cities. Kinshasa is understandably the city with the best selection and where the University of Kinshasa Museum (Musée Universitaire de Kinshasa) resides, together with the Institute of the National Museums of Congo. Also situated within Kinshasa is the Academy of Fine Arts (Academie des Beaux Arts), where fine art is accompanied by beautiful landscaped gardens. Housing local artefacts and much information about regional Congolese history, the National Museum of Lubumbashi (Musée National de Lubumbashi) is worth searching out if you are in the southerly Lubumbashi area. More information about Democratic Republic of the Congo Museums.

Picture taken at the Okapi National ParkSome of the borders surrounding the Democratic Republic of the Congo are still experiencing conflict, and so if you intend to visit neighbouring countries, choose your route carefully. That said, there are some spectacular sights for tourists to devour relatively nearby, often being easiest to reach by small private planes. Directly to the east, Tanzania is an extremely popular spot for tourists, with its biggest highlights including the diverse game reserves and national parks within the Serengeti, and the world-famous Mount Kilimanjaro. To the south, Zambia also contains more than its fair share of wildlife parks and is a popular gateway to the breathtaking Victoria Falls in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Other bordering countries are Burundi, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR), Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda. More information about Democratic Republic of the Congo Attractions Nearby.

More Democratic Republic of the Congo Information / Fast Facts and Orientation