Traveling tips for Congo – what you should know before a trip to Congo

Do you intend to take an exciting trip to the Congo? A seamless and pleasurable trip depends on knowing what to anticipate before you arrive, from visa requirements to health precautions to cultural nuances.

Before embarking on your trip, it’s crucial to understand the visa and entry requirements, health precautions, and safety guidelines. You must obtain a visa before entering the DRC, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry.

In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know before setting foot in the Congo, providing valuable insights and practical tips to ensure your trip is both memorable and safe.

What do I need to know before going to Congo?

Traveling to the Congo requires some preparation and awareness of the local conditions. Here are some key points to consider before your trip:

1. Visa and Entry Requirements:

  • You must obtain a visa before entering the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); visas are not available on arrival.

2. Health Precautions:

  • yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into the country.

3. Safety and Local Laws:

  • Military and police roadblocks are common, so always carry your government-issued identification, insurance card (carte rose), registration (carte grise), and driver’s license.
  • The use of public transport is not recommended due to safety concerns.

4. Travel Destinations:

  • Goma: Known for shopping, adventure, art, and culture. It’s near the active Nyiragongo Volcano and Lake Kivu.
  • Bukavu: Offers wildlife experiences like the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, home to the eastern lowland gorillas, and cultural heritage sites.

5. Cultural Insights:

  • The DRC has a vibrant street art scene, particularly along 30 Juin Boulevard in Kinshasa, where artists sell their works.
  • Markets like the Marche des Voleurs offer a glimpse into local life and commerce.

6. Natural Wonders:

  • The country boasts panoramic views, creeks, mountain ranges, and the spectacular sight of the active volcano Nyiragongo.

Transportation and Logistics

When it comes to transportation and logistics in the Congo, there are several companies and services available. Here are some notable ones:

1. Africa Global Logistics (AGL):

AGL has been present in transport and logistics in the Congo for over 50 years. They offer multimodal logistics solutions, including maritime and port services, industrial project logistics, land, sea, and air logistics, corridor management, and more. AGL actively contributes to major development projects in the sub-region.


  • Brazzaville: 2345 Rue Félix Éboué, République du Congo
  • Pointe-Noire: 616 Avenue de Loango, République du Congo

2. Simba Transportation Sarl:

Simba Group Sarl is a Congolese asset-based company providing transportation and logistics services in the DRC Congo and the East & Central Africa region. They operate one of the largest and most modern fleets in the industry.

Their services include transportation, warehousing, and logistics. Simba focuses on flexibility, reliability, and prompt service to improve supply chain management.


  • Sulfuric Acid Tankers
  • Tippers Trucks
  • Flatbeds
  • Mobile Cranes
  • Skid Steers
  • Manitou 6.5T
  • Low Bed 55Ton-80T

3. Key Ports and Airports:

  • Matadi and Boma handle maritime cargo shipments.
  • Kinshasa International Airport serves as the primary air cargo hub.
  • Major logistics hubs like Ilebo and Goma support inland transportation and distribution.

4. Water Transport:

Traditionally, water transport has been the main mode of transportation in two-thirds of the Congo. The “National Congolese Route” is used to transport goods from the Port of Matadi to Bukavu via Kinshasa and a railway.

What should I bring to Congo?

When traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s essential to pack wisely, considering the country’s tropical climate, cultural norms, and infrastructure. Here’s a list of items to bring along:

1. Travel documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa (if required)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate

2. Health and hygiene:

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • first-aid kit
  • Water purification tablets or filter
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and paper towels

3. Clothing:

  • Lightweight, quick-drying clothing
  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants for protection against insects and sun
  • Comfortable hiking boots or shoes
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Dress modestly for cultural respect

4. Electronics:

  • Smartphone and portable charger
  • Laptop and portable charger (if necessary)
  • power bank for extra battery life
  • Universal power adapter for charging
  • Camera and charger

5. Safety and security:

  • Money belt or secure wallet
  • Copies of important documents (e.g., passport, ID)
  • Hotel or accommodation information
  • Local contact numbers

6. Miscellaneous:

  • reusable water bottle
  • Snacks (e.g., energy bars, nuts)
  • Reading material or entertainment for downtime
  • guidebook or map
  • Local currency (Congolese francs) for initial expenses

Remember to check with your airline or travel provider for any specific baggage restrictions or requirements before your trip.

How can I go to the Congo from Nigeria?

Traveling from Nigeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) requires some planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

1. Visa:

Obtain a DRC visa from the Congolese Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. You may need to provide documents like a valid passport, a flight itinerary, and proof of accommodation.

2. Flights:

Book a flight from Lagos or Abuja to Kinshasa (N’Djili International Airport). Airlines like Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Turkish Airlines operate flights with layovers.

3. Travel Documents:

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay. You may also need a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

4. Health Requirements:

Consult your doctor or a travel clinic about recommended vaccinations and medications.

5. Flight Connections:

If you can’t find a direct flight, consider connecting through cities like Addis Ababa, Nairobi, or Istanbul.

6. Travel Insurance:

Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical evacuations and other risks.

7. Research and Planning:

Learn about the DRC’s culture, security situation, and local conditions to stay informed and safe.

What vaccines do I need to go to Congo?

Before traveling to the Congo, it’s important to be up-to-date with certain vaccinations to protect your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities, here are the recommended vaccines for travelers to the Congo:

  1. Routine Vaccines: Ensure you are current with all routine vaccinations, such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot.
  2. Yellow Fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into the Congo.
  3. COVID-19: All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. Polio: Some international destinations have circulating poliovirus, so make sure you are up to date on your polio vaccines.
  5. Cholera: There is active cholera transmission in the Congo. While cholera is rare in travelers, certain factors may increase the risk.
  6. Other Vaccines: Depending on your travel plans, you may also consider vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, and rabies, as these diseases are present in the Congo

What are the local customs and etiquette?

When visiting the Congo, it’s essential to be aware of local customs and etiquette. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Greetings:

Congolese people value respectful greetings. When meeting someone, a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact are customary. It’s a sign of politeness and acknowledgment.

Address people with appropriate titles, especially when interacting with elders. Respect for age and wisdom is highly valued.

2. Hospitality and Etiquette:

Congolese society places great emphasis on community and hospitality. If offered food or drinks, it’s polite to accept.

When visiting someone’s home, it’s customary to bring a small gift as a token of appreciation.

3. Dress Code:

Congolese people take pride in their appearance, especially on special occasions. Dressing formally shows respect for the event and the people you’re meeting.

When visiting local communities or religious sites, dress modestly.

4. Religious Practices:

Catholicism and Protestantism are the dominant religions in Congo. Traditional ancestral beliefs also play a significant role in many communities.

Be respectful when visiting religious sites or participating in ceremonies.

5. Cultural Celebrations:

The Congo hosts vibrant festivals throughout the year, showcasing its diverse culture. Some notable ones include:

  • Fête de la Victoire: Celebrated on January 4th, marking the country’s independence. It includes parades, music concerts, and traditional dances.
  • Yam Festival: Held in the Kasai region, paying homage to the yam harvest with colorful processions and dance performances.
  • Kinshasa Carnival: The capital city hosts an exciting carnival in February, featuring extravagant costumes, music, and street performances.

Wildlife Encounters and Eco-Tourism

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to incredible wildlife and eco-tourism opportunities! The country is known for its:

  1. Mountain gorillas: Virunga National Park is one of the best places to trek and observe these magnificent creatures.
  2. Okapi: The Ituri Rainforest is home to this elusive and endangered species, often referred to as the “African unicorn.”
  3. Congo Basin: The second-largest rainforest in the world, offering encounters with chimpanzees, lowland gorillas, and forest elephants.
  4. Wildlife reserves: Garamba National Park, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, and Salonga National Park offer opportunities to spot various animals, including elephants, antelopes, and crocodiles.
  5. River Congo: Take a boat trip or cruise along the mighty Congo River to spot crocodiles, hippos, and various bird species.
  6. Active volcanoes: Explore the unique landscapes and ecosystems surrounding Nyiragongo Volcano and Nyamuragira Volcano.
  7. Indigenous communities: Visit local villages and learn about the cultures and traditions of the Congolese people.
  8. National parks: Virunga, Garamba, Kahuzi-Biega, and Salonga offer guided tours, hiking, and camping opportunities.
  9. Responsible tourism: Support eco-lodges, local guides, and conservation efforts to promote sustainable tourism and protect the DRC’s incredible biodiversity.


How much is a visa to Congo?

The cost of a visa to the Republic of the Congo (also known as Congo Brazzaville) depends on the type and duration of the visa. Here are the details:

1. Visa on Arrival:

Citizens of certain countries can obtain a visa on arrival at the port of entry. These countries include Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mauritania, Togo, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates.

No prior application is required for a visa on arrival. Travelers will be issued a Republic of the Congo visa upon arrival, provided they have a valid passport and proof of accommodation.

2. Embassy/Consulate Application:

To apply for a visa for the Republic of the Congo, follow these steps:

  • Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the Republic of the Congo and book a visa appointment.
  • Fill out the Republic of the Congo visa application form.
  • Gather all the required documents (including a valid passport).
  • Submit the required documents to the embassy or consulate.
  • Wait for an email or SMS with your visa result.

3. Republic of the Congo Visa Requirements:

When applying for a visa, you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • A travel document (passport) valid for at least 6 months after your planned stay in the Republic of Congo.
  • A completed and signed Republic of the Congo visa application form.

4. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) e-Visa:

  • If you’re planning to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), you can apply for an e-Visa online. The DRC e-Visa is an electronic travel authorization that simplifies the visa process.
  • The e-Visa is required for tourists, business travelers, and individuals in transit who wish to enter the DRC.
  • The application process is convenient, efficient, and cost-effective. Once approved, the e-Visa is emailed directly to the applicant.
  • The specifics may vary based on bilateral agreements and policies, so check the updated visa requirements based on your nationality and purpose of visit.

For other travel tips and perspectives, bookmark our website. Please leave a remark below if you need any help or if you have any queries. To assist other adventure seekers and visitors traverse the Congo with confidence, forward this article to them.

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