The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC and formerly Zaire) has a history that’s difficult to take in. From the mismanagement of Belgium’s King Leopold, to the corrupt leader Mobutu Sese Seko, to the battlegrounds of Africa’s horrific “world war,” the country has experienced long periods of instability. But the second largest African nation is staging a comeback and by most accounts, is headed in the right direction. There are regularly travel advisories for DRC, but during times of stability, there is a magic wilderness to explore here. The country is covered in UNESCO designated national parks. They’ve got active volcanoes, raging rivers, and all the wildlife you expect of Africa. Caution is needed but the DRC is the literal and figurative heart of Africa. Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in Congo!
The capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as one of the 11 provinces, is Kinshasa. It’s chaotic and buzzing with energy and really huge – with over ten million residents. Established by Henry Stanley in the late 19th century as a trading post it’s now likened to an African New York City. Enjoy a boat ride on the Congo or a BBQ picnic on its shores. The Marche des voleurs, or the city market, is colourful and intense and loads of fun. There is a great street art culture here and if you sit in one of the small cafes off the 30 Juin Boulevard, the artists will come up and show you their pieces for sale. It’s a great way to talk to locals and relax.