Safety tips for travellers in Congo
Isn’t it dangerous?
It’s true that the DRC is a deeply troubled country. Beginning with the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century, and the subsequent colonisation in 1885 by Belgium, extensive pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources, slavery and war mar its history.
Although the DRC enjoyed some prosperous years in the 1950s, the country fell apart again after independence in 1960 and continues to face waves of violence and war, kept at bay only in some regions by the huge UN peacekeeper presence.
It’s because of this that the DRC still struggles to break free from its reputation as a country of ‘darkness’. The reality is that the DRC now, as ever, faces the huge challenges of protecting its rich and varied landscape, saving its precious wildlife and creating a more prosperous future for its people in a complicated political and economic climate.
So is it actually safe to visit?
It’s possible to visit parts of the DRC safely. The safest and most touristed areas of the country are Goma, Virunga National Park and Bukavu in in the east, and the capital Kinshasa in the west.
Given that there are still serious security threats in the DRC for tourists, it’s best to visit with a tour company who will know how best to keep you safe.
The eastern region of the DRC where Virunga is located is still troubled by armed rebel groups, so tour operators will arrange armed escorts to accompany travellers at all times.
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