Democratic Republic of Congo is a country in Africa bordered in East by lake Albert, Lake Tanganyika and lake Kivu. It has 26 provinces: Bandundu, bas Congo, equateur, Kasai Occidental, Kasai Orientale, Katanga, Kinshasa, Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu, Oriental, untamed rivers and active volcanoes among others.

Virunga National parks located in the eastern DRC along the border with Rwanda and Uganda. Democratic republic of Congo is a vast country located in the heart of Africa containing some of Africa of Africa’s most unique and undiscovered attractions waiting to be experienced.

Democratic republic of Congo has a number of unique tourist opportunities including wildlife reserves, indigenous cultures and geological wonders not found easily or anywhere else in Africa. Twelve percent of the country is made up protected areas including 7 national parks and 57 reserve areas with great ecotourism potential.

However, many existing tourist facilities are in poor condition because of lack of proper maintenance. Democratic republic of Congo has four endemic species including Mountain Gorillas, Okapi, Bonobos and Congolese peacock. The country has a unique variety of species in its ecosystem covering almost 145 million hectares.

Tourist attractions in Democratic Republic of Congo

Museums and Historical building in Kinshasa

Kinshasa as the center of power and economic activity, Kinshasa is home to many prominent buildings worth visiting which include the National Museum of Kinshasa, palais de la Nation, the parliament building the chapel of the American Baptist Missionary Society and Roman Catholic Cathedral.

A tour of the city can be arranged with the help of a local tour operator or experienced Guide.

Marche Central market

This market it found in Matonge and is the main one in Kinshasa. Visiting the market provides numerous opportunities to observe the local people doing business and going about with their daily lives. You can also choose to buy fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, second hand clothes and brand-new Congolese fabrics.

Most of the stalls in the central market are open and only covered by umbrellas except for the larger ones and by the time you leave the market, you would have mingled with the real people of time and learnt something their way of life.

Congo River

Congo river is the second most extensive river system in the world after the Amazon. It is the deepest river in the world with an overall volume that is second only to the Amazon. Water from the river helps contribute to the remarkable scenery and biodiversity in much of the countryside.

The river is home of over 713 species of fish, crocodiles, hippos, birds and waterfalls. Congo river is capable of suppling all the Hydro-electric power needed in Africa and over 40 power plants have been built along the river.

Congolese music

Democratic Republic of Congo has produced some of the finest guitarists in Africa. Music is a great export and stars like Sam Mangwana, Franco Luambo, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomide and many others are household names in many parts of Africa. The Congolese style of Music ranges from Ndombolo, Congolese rumba and Soukous.

Congolese Musicians stood out much earlier than their counterparts in other countries because they learnt the art of producing high quality records. They spent more time in studio and produced songs with great meaning depth and instrument separation. You can also buy few Vinyl records to take back home.

Congolese food

Congolese food is heavily influenced by French and their Belgium colonizers. Mayonnaise is a favourite of the locals in the urban centers and can be mixed with peas, manioc, meat, fish, salads and chili pepper.

Other readily available foods include roast chicken, roast goat and beef brochette, capitaine and the locally bred chicken with peanut source also known as poulet a la mwambe.

There are many high-end restaurants in Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Bukavu and Kinshasa offering both local food and international cuisines. A large expatriate community consisting of aid workers and UN employees in the cities means one can also find restaurants serving Indian, Lebanese, Chinese and other continental dishes.


Kisangani is Formerly known as Stanleyville; Kisangani is the 3rd largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it is surrounded by tropical forests on all sides by forest and rapidly growing as rural citizens migrate to the urban centers.

There is a lot to do in Kisangani like visiting the Boyona waterfalls, shopping at the local markets, eating Congolese food from one of the many restaurants, Marveling at the unique city architecture visiting one of the museums, going to the zoo or botanical gardens and the University of Kisangani is a key attraction in the city as catholic cathedral in the central market.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the largest lakes in Africa and it is shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu lies next to the great Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Under the lake is a larger reservoir of methane gas which scientists believe is a disaster waiting to happen if the right conditions present itself or if a volcanic eruption occurs among one of the Virunga volcanos.

Lake Kivu is excellent for relaxation, swimming, island hopping, Visiting local fishing communities, canoeing, Kayaking, biking and other water sports. Fishing is also possible and the main fish are Nile Tilapia, Tanganyika sardines, Clarias, Haplochromis and others. There is no Hippos, crocodiles or Bilharzia to worry about while swimming.


Island also known as Idjwi; the island is found in Congo’s section of Lake Kivu. The Island covers an area of about 340 square kilometers and is considered as the 2rd largest inland island in the continent of Africa.

Idjwi Island is home of about 200,000 people. Most of them survive on subsistence farming and small-scale fishing. Idjwi island became a Kingdom in the 18th Century and had a connection to the ruling monarchy Rwanda at the time.

This island offers cultural tours, hiking and also to explore the beautiful lake Kivu, boat rides to the island from Bukavu which takes about 2 hours and the only means of transport is by Bike, motorcycle or walking.

Okapi wildlife Reserve

Okapi wildlife reserve is one of the many beautiful attractions and UNESCO World Heritage sites in Congo which have been hidden way from Much of the world. The reserve covers about 14,000 square kilometers and one fifth of it consists of dense forest.

Okapi wildlife Reserve rewards those who are fortunate enough to visit with amazing scenery, a chance to observe the elusive okapi and other wildlife species, waterfalls and a cultural encounter that is second to none in Africa.

The search is interesting because it is led by Mbuti pygmies and they are the ones who know the secrets of the forest and can locate the okapi using instinct or small leads. While tracking the okapi, the pygmies will introduce you to their lifestyle of hunting and gathering in the forest.

Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve

Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve is located along the Congo River and remote part of the country known as Mandaka. Visiting this remote reserve provides the best opportunity to observe wild pygmy chimpanzees.

It is a birders paradise. Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve is recommended for those who love adventure and wish to discover the natural beauty of the country.


Lola Ya Bonobo begun as sanctuary and it was located in the middle of Kinshasa, it later changed name to Lola Ya Bonobo and was shifted to its current location in Kimwenza just outside Kinshasa.

It is an excellent option for tourists who would love to see primates but cannot visit the Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve or others and it one of the most visited places in Kinshasa and it sits on a 30-hectare forest. It is the only orphanage for pygmy chimpanzees in the world.

The sanctuary helps rescue these orphaned bonobos that are wounded or traumatized undergo rehabilitation before joining those already at the center. They live in similar conditions to their relatives in the wild and can forage on wild fruits or learn how to deal with any danger lurking in the forest.

Virunga National Park

Virunga national park is the oldest national park in Africa and one of the many UNESCO world heritage sites in Democratic Republic of Congo. Virunga national park was established in 1925 and is located in the eastern part of the country.

Virunga was first named Albert National Park and by then included the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and parts of Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda. Virunga is the most visited national park in DRC.

Apart from volcanoes and mountain gorillas is the remarkable biodiversity, Virunga is home to lions, leopards, chimpanzees, elephants, hippopotamus and rare creatures like Okapi. Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park is the most popular activity followed by hiking Mount Nyiragongo.

Garamba National Park

Garamba National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its collection of plant and animal life and it was established in 1938 making it one of the oldest national parks in Africa.

The park consists of the endless savannah grasslands and woodlands which continue all the way to South Sudan and Central African Republic. Garamba once home to African elephants and is arguably the best for standard game drives in the Democratic Republic of Congo where you will view all the Big 5, hippos, antelopes, giraffes and birds.

Maiko National Park

Maiko National Park covers an area of about 10,885 square kilometers and one of the most of forests and an important global carbon sink. Like most of the National parks in the country and it is located in a very remote area. Maiko National Park is Congo’s most inaccessible game park.

The park consists of 3 sectors which are Maniema, province Orientale and North Kivu. Maiko National Park is one of the last strongholds of the Grauer’s gorilla which also known as the Eastern lowland gorillas.

These are the largest subspecies of Gorillas and there is other animals’ endemic to the Congo but found in Maiko which include the Congo Peafowl and Okapi. Maiko National Park is an important conservation site for aquatic genet, African forest elephants and chimpanzees.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is one of UNESCO World heritage sites in Congo and found in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Rwanda and close to Lake Kivu.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park gets its name from two extinct volcanoes known as Kahuzi and Biega. These are two volcanoes paint the landscape and are joined together by a small stretch of forest. It offers travelers that complete wilderness charm and feeling that only the Congo can provide these days.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is one of the last strongholds for the last largest gorilla species on earth. Despite not having the largest population of the primates, Kahuzi Biega is the best Place to see in the Eastern Lowland gorilla. Gorilla trekking is the most popular activity but tourists also register for chimpanzee tracking, visiting the chimpanzee sanctuary in Lwiro, birding, mountain hiking and nature walks to discover amazing waterfalls.

Salonga National Park

Salonga National Park is located within the Congo River basin and covers an area of about 3600 square kilometers and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the dense forests and remarkable creatures that call it home.

The park was declared a World Heritage site in danger since 1999 because of continuous civil wars in the eastern Congo. These civil wars and poaching. Salonga remains a major tourist attraction for the future because of its extensive forests and remarkable biodiversity.

Among the wildlife found in the park include the rare Congo peafowl, forest elephants, bonobos, salonga monkeys, Tshuapa red Colobus monkeys, Okapi and African slender-snouted crocodile. The only way to access the park is via the river.

Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga

Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga is a lesser-known activity which is open to visitors. It is organised close to the park headquarters in Rumangabo. There is only one fully habituated group with about twelve individual chimps. Chimpanzees love to spend time on tree tops and they don’t stay in one place for long and you might have to follow them for some time before taking good photos.

Mount Nyiragongo

Nyiragongo Volcano is one of the key attractions in Virunga National Park and its plumes of smoke can be seen from as far as Rwanda during the night. Nyiragongo is an active volcano with the largest lava lake on the earth.

Ever since 1984, the mountain has erupted 34 times with the last occurring in 2011. Every year thousands ignore the bad press and security reports from their embassies for a chance to call themselves as one of the few who have observed a lava lake up-close. When combined with gorilla trekking in Virunga.

Gorilla Trekking in Virunga

Mountain gorillas are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth. Virunga National Park allows tourists to have close encounters with these majestic creatures at a relatively cheap price.

Tracking the Gorillas takes you deep in the forest hence allowing you to see many of the park animals.

Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage

This is the only Mountain gorilla orphanage in the world and about 7 individuals call it home. The center also rehabilitates Eastern Lowland gorilla orphans for a while before relocating them to the Eastern Lowland.

Gorilla orphanage known as the Gorilla rehabilitation and Conservation Education Centre which was named after a giant silverback known as Senkwekwe. Senkwekwe was killed by poachers as he attempted to protect his family and recover an infant captured by animal traffickers.

Senkwekwe’s death and the capture of other infant Gorillas laid the foundation for the establishment of the center which is set on the stretch of forest allowing the primates to experience the same conditions of their wild relatives.

Congo bloodhounds

In an effort to curb poaching in Virunga National Park, the management acquired bloodhounds. Bloodhounds are known for possessing a strong sense of smell and can trail humans who enter into the park illegally. Here there are trained dogs and have been successfully in tracking mountain gorilla poachers as well as injured rangers.

Virunga national park and have some spare time after a morning activity, you can spare time to meet the Congo bloodhounds where you will learn about their extensive training program and contribution to conservation.

Mount Nyamuragira

Mount Nyamuragira is one of an active volcano found within the Virunga National Park along with Nyiragongo where they are the most active volcanoes in the world. It also has a permanent lava lake on the summit.

Nyamuragira is also fascinating and an amazing natural wonder. It is one mountain you must climb especially if you have already conquered Nyiragongo.

River Lukaya

River Lukaya is one of the most prominent water bodies in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it gets waters from the Crystal Mountains and then flows to the East through Bas-Congo before releasing its waters into River Ndjili.

There are several important tourist attractions can be found along the river path which includes the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary, waterfalls, beaches and even a lake formed by the river at a certain valley and the best way to experience this amazing water body is to take a train from Kinshasa to Matadi or vice versa. The rail line runs along the river valley for while in two sections.

Zongo falls

Zongo falls offer tourists a chance to gaze at the one of the great wonders of nature in Congo where falls are beautiful on their own, the scenery around it is equally amazing and will leave you wondering at just how naturally beautiful the Democratic Republic of Congo is.

You can visit these waterfalls to escape the chaos and hustle in Kinshasa for a few days and take delight in exploring the falls or swimming below it.

Boyoma falls

Boyoma falls formerly known as Stanley falls which are a collection of 7 rapids where each measuring about 4.5 meters high along the Lualaba river. The Wagenya tribe in areas around the falls and use ancient fishing methods which have been passed on from generation to generation.

You will awe the beauty of these falls when you travel between Ubundu and Kisangani, after visiting the falls, you can also visit the Wagenya tribe to learn more about their way of life and unique fishing methods which work effectively in the fast-flowing rapids and rocks.

Livingstone waterfalls

The Livingstone waterfalls are collection of large rapids found in the Congo River. The falls begin from Malebo pool all the way to Bas-Congo.

Livingstone waterfalls are one of the top attractions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and worth visiting when you have a safari in the country.

de la Lufira

de la Lufira is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve found in Lubumbashi and a collection of the country’s flora and fauna. Both local and international tourists go to the reserve for nature walks, relaxation, picnics, bird watching and other activities.

When you visit Lubumbashi and you don’t have time to visit the nearby national parks, this is the best option which will offer you a beautiful scenery, trees, plants, moths, birds, butterflies and primates.


Democratic republic of Congo is blessed with diversity of primate species. It hosts not only the mountain gorillas but also other species including the Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park, Maiko National Park, bonobos, golden monkeys which thrive within only the Virunga conservation Area of which Virunga National Park of the DR Congo part to mention but few which set the country aside from the rest of the world and without forgetting Allen’s swamp monkeys.


Democratic Republic of Congo is a birder’s paradise. It hosts diverse bird species that make it a premier birding destination, the notable birds to look out on Congo birding tour include Congo peafowl, black herons, shoebill, ibis, Hamerkop, pheasants, francolins, bush warblers, African barbets, kingfishers and many others.

The Congo River

The Congo River features among the deepest rivers on the planet and ranks second after the Amazon River and the most extensive rivers. Congo river Basin is hosts over 700 species of fish as well as crocodiles.

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