Time zone: Kinshasa and Mbanaka GMT + 1 Haut Zaïre, Kasai, Kivu and Shaba GMT + 2
Telephone services: Country Code: 243 Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency telephone numbers: Not present
Tourist information: Office Nationale du Tourisme, BP 9502, 2a/2b avenue des Orangers, Kinshasa-Gombe, Democratic Republic of Congo Tel: (12) 30070
Passport information: Valid passport required by all. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa information: Visa required. Obtain prior to travel.
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended
Malaria: Exists all year round in the Falciparum variety throughout the country. Reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required for travellers over one year of age.
Other Health Risks: Bilharzia, Cholera, Plague, Rabies
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency: Zaïre (Z) = 100 makuta has been replaced by the Congolese franc (July 1999).
Exchange: There is a large market for exchanging money but this is illegal.
NOTE: Import and export of local currency is prohibited. The purchase of airline tickets can only be made with officially exchanged money.
All major credit cards are accepted on a limited basis in Kinshasa, only. Travellers cheques are accepted in large towns and cities. US dollars are the preferred currency.
ATM availability: Unavailable
Cost of living: All travellers are considered extremely wealthy by local people and will be charged accordingly
Languages: French and many local dialects.
Weather: North: Dry season = Dec – Mar. South: Dry season = May – Oct. It can be humid throughout the year.
Electricity: 220 Volts AC 50 Hz
Post: Takes 4 – 18 days to reach Europe.
Transport: There are indefinite restrictions on tourist travel within DRC. Overland journeys by hitchhiking or local public transport or foreign vehicle are forbidden. Nothing runs on time. Don’t take any roads marked on a map as anything other than a possibility. ROADS: These are amongst the worst in Africa. Drivers are required to move as far off the road as possible when the Presidential cavalcade approaches. DOCUMENTATION: IDP is recommended. RIVER: This is one of the best ways to travel, although can be unreliable due to river shortages.
Special information: EXTREME RISK: Eastern Zaire should be considered a war zone. There is extreme risk in DRC and you are recommended not to travel there. If travel is essential this should only be to Kinshasa and you should only travel in daylight.