Travel Advice for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo.
Capital: Kinshasa

Time Zone Kinshasa and Mbanaka GMT + 1 Haut Za´re, Kasai, Kivu and Shaba GMT + 2.
Telephone
Services
Country Code: 243
IDD: International Direct Dialling is available
Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency
Telephone
Numbers
Not present
Tourist
Information
Office Nationale du Tourisme, BP 9502, 2a/2b avenue des Orangers, Kinshasa-Gombe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tel: (12) 30070.
Passport
Information
Valid passport required by all. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa
Information
Visa required. Obtain prior to travel.
Health
Information
Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Malaria : Exists all year round in the Falciparum variety throughout the country. Reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required for travellers over one year of age.
Other Health Risks: Bilharzia, Cholera, Plague, Rabies.
Food
& Drink
Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency Za´re (Z) = 100 makuta has been replaced by the Congolese franc (July 1999).
Exchange: There is a large market for exchanging money but this is illegal.
NOTE: Import and export of local currency is prohibited. The purchase of airline tickets can only be made with officially exchanged money.
All major credit cards are accepted on a limited basis in Kinshasa, only. Travellers cheques are accepted in large towns and cities. US dollars are the preferred currency.
ATM availability: Unavailable
Cost of
Living
All travellers are considered extremely wealthy by local people and will be charged accordingly.
Languages French and many local dialects.
Weather North: Dry season = Dec - Mar. South: Dry season = May - Oct. It can be humid throughout the year.
Electricity 220 Volts AC 50 Hz.
Post Takes 4 - 18 days to reach Europe.
Transport There are indefinite restrictions on tourist travel within DRC. Overland journeys by hitchhiking or local public transport or foreign vehicle are forbidden. Nothing runs on time. Don't take any roads marked on a map as anything other than a possibility.
ROADS: These are amongst the worst in Africa. Drivers are required to move as far off the road as possible when the Presidential cavalcade approaches.
DOCUMENTATION: IDP is recommended.
RIVER: This is one of the best ways to travel, although can be unreliable due to river shortages.
Special
Information
EXTREME RISK: Eastern Zaire should be considered a war zone. There is extreme risk in DRC and you are recommended not to travel there. If travel is essential this should only be to Kinshasa and you should only travel in daylight.