Dem Rep of Congo Travel Facts

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Rainy Seasons: Nov-Dec

Climate: The country experiences a tropical climate. It is hot and humid in the central part, somewhat cooler and drier in the southern savannah regions, and wet in the eastern mountainous part of the country. The northern part of the country is wet from April to October while the south is wet from November to March, but directly around the equator, it is wet throughout the year.

Getting There:

Air: Kinshasa, the international airport, is 25km southeast of the city.

Rail: There are rail connections to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa . The rail link to Lobito in Angola is unreliable due to the unstable political situation.

Road: There are connecting roads to surrounding countries, the major routes being through Sudan, Uganda and Zambia. All areas bordering Rwanda are very dangerous due to the conflict and the refugee situation. The Kivu area and specifically the areas around Goma should be avoided due to the ongoing conflict.

Sea: The international port is Matadi on the Zaire River. There are services to Antwerp run by Compagnie Maritime Belge and the Compagnie Maritime du Zaire, and to the UK by Elder Dempster Lines and Palm Line.

Travel Around:

Air: There are connections from N'Djili Airport (Kinshasa) to over 40 internal airports and 150 landing strips. Small planes may be available for charter.

Road: Traffic drives on the right. Due to poor maintenance, the roads are bad and only achieve a fair standard around the main towns. It is also wise to check that bridges are safe before crossing.

Sea and Lakes: Over 1600km of the Zaire River are navigable and there are services from Kinshasa to the upriver ports of Kisangani and Ilebo. This is one of the best ways to travel, but services are unreliable due to fuel shortages.

Rail: The main internal railway runs from Lubumbashi to Ilebo, with a branch to Kalemie and Kindu, and from Kinshasa to the port of Matadi.

Driving: International Driving permit required.

Passport and Visa: Required, but NOT by the following:

  1. Children under 15 years of age travelling on their parents' passport and accompanied by the passport holder.
  2. Holders of a Military Identity Card with movement order issued to members of United Nations Armed Forces.
  3. Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer and Identity Card.

Notes: (1) All passports must be revalidated two months prior to expirty date and all documents must be issued in French. Passport Validity: Please contact nearest Embassy/Consulate. Visas: Required, but

NOT by the following: (1) Holders of a re-entry permit.

Recommended Immunisation: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B,malaria, meningitis, polio, TB, tetanus, typhoid. Recommended in some circumstances, seek further advice.

Compusory Vacination: Yellow fever certificate required by all. Exempt infants under 1 year.

Religion: Kimbanguist, Muslim, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Traditional beliefs

Languages: Fr, Kikongo, Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Ln

Currency: Zaire (zrz)

Credit Cards: Are not accepted and traveller's cheques are difficult to exchange.

Time: GMT+ 1

International Dialing Code: 243

International Radios: BBC KHz: (daytime) 17830.15400,6005. (evening) 17830,15400,11835

Business Hours: Government offices are open on from 0730 to 1500 Monday to Friday. Business are open from 0800 to 1200 and from 1300 to 1630 Monday to Friday and from 0800 to 1230 on Saturday. Shops are open from 0800 -1800 Monday to Saturday.

Weekly Days Off: Sunday

Public Holidays: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Martyrs Day (Jan 4), Labour Day (May 1), MPR Day (May 20), Zaire Day (June 24), Independence Day
(June 30), Parents' Day (Aug 1), President's Birthday (Oct 14), Armed Forces Day (Nov 17), New Regime Anniversary (Nov 24), Christmas Day (Dec 25).

Last Updated on Monday 30th November 2009