The Democratic Republic of Congo has previously been a destination shrouded in mystery and intrigue. This destination is off the beaten track and offers an incredibly rich and diverse travel experience. Our African Travel Specialists team rates it as one of their favourites for 2019. Read on and discover why it won’t be long before it’s one of yours too!
Gorillas are one of the most impressive creatures on the planet. Unfortunately there are less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the wild. There has never been a better time to visit the Congo. These incredible animals call home the Virunga ranges of Rwanda, Uganda as well as the Congo and Bwindi Impenetrable Park.
To visit the gorillas of the Congo, you must purchase a permit as well as arrange a tour. The purchase of this permit goes towards supporting conservation efforts; so although it is expensive, keep in mind it is going towards the survival of these breathtaking animals.
If you’re looking for an alternate gorilla experience, add the Senkwekwe Mountain Gorilla Centre to your list! Here, you will be able to see the orphaned gorillas that have been rescued from poaching, as well as explore the gardens and visit the anti-poaching Congohounds.
Established in 1935, this stunning park is one of the oldest in Africa. Situated amongst one the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, D’Odzala-Kokoua is home to mysterious forest elephants, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
This is the perfect place for travellers who wish to gain insight into untouched wilderness. Stay in one of the parks six camps and explore the spectacular biodiversity of this region
One of the best parts of travelling is getting to sample cuisine from every corner of the world and the DRC certainly has some delicious dishes! One of their most popular dishes is Saka-saka; a dish of cassava leaves, smoked fish and peanut butter. Another traditional Congolese dish is roast chicken covered served with a delicious creamy tomato sauce and rice. Much of Congolese food involves cassava, a protein, plantain and curry– some of our favourite things!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the breathtaking Virunga National Park is home to diverse and incredible landscapes. Explore thick jungle, roaming plains and most importantly, be awed by the impressive Mount Nyiragongo. This park is one of the few places left to see mountain gorillas, and is also hope to elephant, lion and hippopotamus.
During your stay you can’t pass up the chance to hike up Mount Nyiragongo, which is home to the world’s largest lava lake. As you hike up its slopes, keep on the lookout for chimpanzees, bushbuck and even three-horned chameleons if you’re lucky!
Located a short drive from Kinshasa, the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary is providing a home for orphaned bonobos. Rescued from being sold on the black market, these bonobos are rehabilitated and given 75 acres of tropical forest to roam. Our closest living relatives, bonobos and humans share many similarities. Sadly, however, they are highly endangered. Although it is uncertain how many are left in the wild, it could be as few as 5,000.
When you visit, park fee and donations go towards supporting the preservation of this incredible species. At the sanctuary, you will have the chance to explore the trails through the surrounding forest and see the bonobos are they play in their natural habitat.