The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest country of Africa located in the basin of the longest African river - the Congo. The indisputable assets of this country are the scenic landscapes, diverse topography, and pristine nature. Few people, however, have a possibility to explore its scenic recesses - unfortunately, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has an infamous reputation as a dangerous country and all of that is mostly due to military conflicts and high crime rates. Travelling to this country evokes extreme emotions, from excitement about the Congolese culture to being overwhelmed with the destitution of local dwellers.
The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, is the largest city in the country populated by around 9.5 millions of people. The city can boast two airports and a few tourist attractions. Among the most interesting ones, you'll find the Palais du Peuple, National Museum, the Museum of Prehistory, and the Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary.
Tourists who want to explore something more beyond the capital will have plenty of highlights to discover. Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, and Kisangani are towns worth your attention. They are riddled with attractions, ranging from restaurants, stores, and bars to botanical gardens and architecturally magnificent buildings.
A true gem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the Virunga National Park, which includes, among others, the Semliki Valley, the volcanic mountain range of Virunga Mountains, Lake Edward, and the volcanoes of Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo. The area is home to around 200 species of mammals and is a true paradise for the lovers of natural wonders.
If you are dreaming about a long walk along the beach, you should definitely visit Lake Kivu, located on the border with Rwanda. The region is known for a few scenic towns, such as Bukavu, Kalehe, or Goma. An equally interesting place is Lake Tanganyika famous for rich fauna and an extensive surface area (34,400 km2).
Before your trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it's worth pondering over your travel options. One of the possibilities is public transport; however, you need to remember that the country leaves much to be desired in this respect. If you want to reach each of the destinations on your road map, it's worth taking into consideration the option of car rental, for example, on the Kinshasa Airport.
Driving around the Democratic Republic of the Congo is surely not an easy task. The country's road infrastructure is poorly developed; therefore, the best option will be renting a 4x4 vehicle. An additional problem is the behaviour of native drivers. Most of the motorists don't follow the basic traffic regulations. Scarce road signs are an additional problem that you might face in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, most motorists will perceive right-hand traffic prevailing in the country as a great advantage.
While planning a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it's worth taking care of your own safety. In case of a road accident, you should definitely head for the nearest police precinct. Unfortunately, in the event of such a situation, the local residents have a tendency to follow their own rules, even when foreigners are involved. Avoid travelling alone if it is possible.