Why you should visit the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Why you should visit the Democratic Republic of Congo? The Democratic republic of Congo is one of the most undiscovered jewels of Africa with the lush green forests, water bodies, and people with a great culture. A visit to DRCongo is one that you may never be to forget. The publicity that is given to this country is majorly negative due to the past scenarios however, it would need for you to visit or hear from those that have been there before recently as they can testify how much improvement in security there has been over the years. The Democratic republic of Congo is Africa’s second-largest country after Algeria covering an area of about 905,355 square miles with an estimated population of about 78 million people making the country the 4th most populated country in Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo is situated in the Central part of Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.
The Democratic republic of Congo is one of the richest countries in terms of minerals with a great existence of gold, copper, and cobalt. DRCongo is also the biggest cobalt producer and the second-biggest producer of diamonds in the whole world making it Africa’s second most industrialized country after South Africa. The mines are majorly situated in the Kisangani of the Orientale province. There are other minerals extracted from the Congo country like tantalum, tin, and coltan. These areas are highly protected as they add a lot of financial impact on the country as a whole.
The major attraction or rather the reason for most visitors to the country is for tourism purposes. The Democratic republic of Congo is a blessed country as it holds the few remaining species of 3 types of animals that is the endangered mountain gorillas, the Okapis, and the lowland gorillas. The Eastern part of DRCongo that is Nud Kivu and Sud Kivu are the major hotspots for most tourism activity in DRCongo. The Virunga national park is the home to the last individuals of the mountain gorillas in the whole world and is found in Nud Kivu. The biggest numbers of tourists that come into the country come with the purpose of visiting the gorillas. The gorilla families of Virunga national park are habituated and stay in a group of up to 40 members whom you all may be able to spot on your visit to the park. A gorilla permit to visit the gorillas in Virunga national park costs 400 USD and can be booked through a trusted tour operator like Explore Rwanda Tours.
The Virunga national park is also the home to the world’s largest lava lake at the top of the active mount Nyiragongo. Mount Nyiragongo hike is an overnight hike up and down where the hikers take about 6 hours uphill to get to the summit for dinner and overnight. You are able to see the boiling red magma from your cabin with the views of Goma town in the back. The sight is breathtaking and however much this is not the easiest of hikes, the views at the top are definitely worth it. You might think the lava keeps the summit hot but the temperatures at the top can reach up to 0 degrees so be sure to pack warm clothes to keep you warm enough. A permit to Nyiragongo costs about 300 USD excluding meals, porters, sleeping bags which can be hired from the park too. Be sure to hire or book your permits and the services necessary in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments of unavailability or even substandard offers due to the rush. A month in advance can be a good consideration. While in Virunga, also get a chance to visit the chimpanzees of Mahura forest, the wildlife in Lulimbi Sector also the Ishasha sector like the lions, hippos wallowing in the Ishasha river with also the savannah elephants at the shores.
Also, take some time off and visit the Tchegera Island with the 10 tented rooms being the only activity on the Island. This black sand beach is a great gate away for the travellers looking for a peaceful arena with less noise. The experience offered while on the Island is a luxury one and highly recommended for honeymooners. Also, a visit to Lake Kivu could be a highlight on your visit to DRCongo. Take a boat trip and do some birding or enjoy the breeze of Lake Kivu and get back to your accommodation or connect to your next destination point. Virunga national park is Africa’s oldest national park so the history it has to offer is immeasurable.
The lowland gorillas can be found in the Kahuzi Biega National park in Bukavu district in Sud kivu. The Democratic republic of Congo is one of the countries that are still blessed with the existence of the lowland gorillas along with others like Gabon, Cameroon, Central African republic, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and the Republic of Congo. The lowland gorillas are more in number as compared to the mountain gorillas but the Democratic Republic of Congo is the only country in the world that has both gorilla species. A lowland gorilla permit also costs 400 USD. You can get to visit both gorillas on our 5 days Virunga and Kahuzi Biega tour.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has much more to offer in terms of culture as the experience is the most authentic. Get to try out some local dishes in the restaurants around but also mindfully not to eat something you may be allergic too. The people of DRCongo have kept their cultures strong despite the high levels of westernization of most African cultures so you can include some cultural tours or community visits where you will get to interact with the local communities and learn more about their ways of living. The main languages spoken in the DRCongo are French, Swahili, and Lingala.
On your visit to the Democratic republic of Congo, it is important to check with your embassy if you are allowed to travel to the country and also ensure to apply for DRCongo tourist visa if you will only be visiting the national parks but if you will be going further then you will need to apply for an extended visa that costs 220 USD while the tourist VISA goes for 105 USD and lets you visit Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega national park. We help you process your DRCongo VISA if you book a travel package with us. Another important document is a valid yellow fever card with your full names because, without one, you will be denied access into the country until you get the shot so be ready with these vital documents and your clearance into the country will not be such a hustle.