The Democratic Republic of the Congo or DR Congo—not to be mistaken with the Republic of Congo—is an interesting destination for tourists because of its once “risky” nature. DR Congo is not a place for “casual” tourists, but for seasoned travellers who are already familiar with the African region.
DR Congo is one of the underdeveloped countries in Africa, which has been rooted way back from its history since its colonisation with Belgium. The tragic and chaotic experience in the country left DR Congo devastated. It is, however, not that dangerous anymore like it used to be after its independence was declared on June 30, 1960. The country is also called the Congo-Kinshasa to distinguish it apart from the Republic of Congo.
Where to go
Travellers can explore the 15 major cities of DR Congo. One of which is Kisangani—or “the city on the island” in Swahili—the third largest city and the capital of Orientale Province.
You can fly to Kisangani from Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo, by Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation via Bangoka International Airport. Navigate around the city with taxis, motorbikes, or locals peddling bicycles. Enjoy fresh water in Boyoma Falls located at the edge of Kisangani. You can watch the fishermen catch fish with their conical traps, though they sometimes charge tourists for the experience. Eat at the La Bourgeoise for a tasteful yet cheap lunch and snap some photos of the Lumumba stadium in Avenue Lumumba. Conclude your trip in Kisangani with a boat ride in Congo, which is said to be one of the world’s greatest wild adventures.
Explore more of the African region by flying to the next near destination—Nairobi in Kenya. Fly from Kinshasa to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with Kenya Airways’ regular scheduled flights. The trip will take about three hours and thirty minutes.
Nairobi is not only Kenya’s largest city, but also Africa’s. Named after a water hole in Maasai (an Eastern Nilotic language) the Enkare Nyirobi, Nairobi is translated as “cool waters” because it was originally found as a swamp area in the 1980s.
Nairobi boasts safari zones and attractions that will keep visitors busy all throughout the day and night. Some of the notable destinations in the city are the Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre, Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Lake Naivasha, Mamba Village, and many others. Buy souvenirs to take home from the Maasai market and enjoy Nairobi’s nightlife by dancing the night away.
If you want a farther destination, Air France can take you from Kinshasa, DR Congo, to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France for about eight hours.
Undeniably one of the most popular cities worldwide, Paris has been in every traveller’s bucket list. The cosmopolitan capital of France is known as the “City of Light” because of its magnificent glow at night and “Capital of Fashion” as it is home to famous designer brands in the world.
Definitely do not miss visiting its celebrated landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Catacombs, and Chateau de Versailles. Check out the Louvre Museum which houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other fine art collections. The city, as photogenic as it is, can be photographed in any angle for a great souvenir. It is considered as the birthplace of photography, anyway.
Paris, as the centre of Europe’s culinary arts, has a lot to offer when it comes to gastronomy. You can try French food as low as 15 euros or less, or if you are feeling extravagant, splurge in a fine-dining restaurant that may cause you more than 25 euros.
How to get out
There are more than 50 airports in DR Congo, but only four airports are serving international flights. These are Goma International Airport in Goma, N'Djili International Airport in Kinshasa, Bangoka International Airport in Kisangani, and Lubumbashi International Airport in Lubumbashi. N'Djili International Airport is the main airport of DR Congo. It serves as a hub for Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation.
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