Last updated: 13 Jan 2020

Democratic Republic of Congo DRC


Congo (Dem Rep) has many beautiful landscapes, with lakes and forests, waterfalls and wildlife. However, this is a vast country, with an almost non-existent transport infrastructure. It is mired in conflict and a long and intricate history.
Kinshasa, the capital, does not have many sights of historic interest, but visitors should not miss the prehistoric and ethnological museums at Kinshasa University. A brightly coloured chapel crowns the top of the hill.

Nearby is a corner of the equatorial forest surrounding a beautiful lake called Ma Vallée with a tavern on its banks. Other attractions include the fishing port of Kinkole, the Gardens of the Presidential Farm of Nsele made of pagodas, and the extensive pools where angling and swimming may be enjoyed. In both the markets and the suburbs of Kinshasa, there are craftspeople who produce wood and metal items. The National Museum includes some unique pieces of national art.
Capital:  Kinshasa (FIH)
Currency:  Franc Congolais (CDF)
Language:  French. Many local languages are also spoken including Lingala, Swahili, Tshiluba and Kikongo.
Dialling code from SA:  + 243
Time Zones: Kinshasa / West: UCT / GMT  +1 (1 hour behind South Africa). Rest of the country: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1, 4, 16, 17; May 1, 16, 17; Jun 30; Aug 1; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right (International Driving Permit required)
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs with two round pins are used.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. Doctors will require cash payment regardless of whether you have health insurance.
Customs: Swimwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside.
Local Offences / Laws: A permit is required for photography, but photographs of military installations and government buildings should be avoided. At 6am and 6pm the national flag is raised and lowered, and all traffic and pedestrians are expected to stop for this ceremony, as well as for any official motorcade.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards have limited use.  Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Congo (Dem Rep) by persons over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 100 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 227g of tobacco.
• 1 bottle of alcoholic beverage.
• A reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.
• Cameras if temporarily imported by tourists. Radios, audio equipment and gifts are subject to duty
Prohibited Imports: An import licence is required for arms and ammunition.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo
791 Schoeman Str., Arcadia 0083 Pretoria
P O Box 28795 Sunnyside 0132 Pretoria
Tel:+27 (0) 12 343 2455 / 344 6474
Fax:+27 (0)12 343 2633
Submissions: Mon-Fri 0900-1230
Collections: the following day 1330 - 1430

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SA Representative

SA Embassy
77 Avenue Ngongo Lutete, Gombe, Kinshasa
Tel: +243 81 5566600

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever 
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk