We know how travelling in our own continent has become increasingly important because it helps grow the economies which in turn create jobs. Over the last year in South Africa, one of the better performing sectors was the tourism sector. We've collected some information that we think is vital for any South African looking to travel to the beautiful, lush Democratic Republic of Congo.
1. Visa: To get to the Congo, do you need a visa?
Sadly yes. To travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo you need a visa. The only African state that doesn't need a visa is Zimbabwe. The minimum time required to obtain the visa is 24 hours. Your passport must have been valid for at least six months, and have enough space inside to insert a visa. For a thirty day visit, you'll need to pay a non-refundable fee, and provide reasons for your visit. If you're a tourist, your itinerary must accompany your application.
2. Is the country still at war?
Earlier this year the country had to deal with an Ebola outbreak which is according to some sources is currently under control. The two wars that gripped the country from 1996-2003 are believed to have taken the lives of 5.4 million people. While the conflicted calmed down a couple of years ago, the region is occasionally destabilized by rebel groups. Recently, protests have erupted over looming elections. The short answer: Contact the local embassy they can advise on perfect places to visit. And your safety during the visit.
3. Health requirements
You need to get vaccines for Yellow fever and Cholera. These two are compulsory. It is also strongly recommended that you get Hepatitis A, Polio, Meningitis, Tetanus and Typhoid shots.
4. What can you see and do in a landlocked country like the DRC?
A lot. Hiking, animal game drives, visits to some of it's breathtaking spots. You just need to look in the right direction. Here, and here and here are some tour guide services that operate in the Congo. They can help you create the itinerary of your dreams.
Visit the Democratic Republic of Congo's embassy to South Africa here, for more information.