Democratic Republic of the Congo Guide

Democratic Republic of the Congo Guide

Country data

Location: Central Africa

Time zone (west): CET (during summer time CET – 1)

Time zone (country east): CET + 1 (during summer time CET)

Total area: 2,344,858 km²

Land area: 2,267,048 km²

Water area: 77,810 km²

Length of the state border: 10,481 km

Bordering countries:
Angola: 2,646 km
Burundi: 236 km
Congo: 1,229 km
Rwanda: 221 km
Zambia: 2,332 km
South Sudan: 714 km
Tanzania: 479 km
Uganda: 877 km
Central African Republic: 1,747 km

Coastline: 37 km

Capital: Kinshasa

Provinces: 11
Bandundu, Bas-Congo, Equateur, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Katanga, Kinshasa, Maniema, Nord-Kivu, Orientale, Sud-Kivu

Telephone code: 00 243 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Pic Marguerit 5,110 m

Population

Population: approx. 77.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.5% per year

Population density (inh. Per km²): 33

Life expectancy: 55 (male), 58 (female)

Official language: French

Religions:

  • 50% Roman Catholic
  • 20% Protestants
  • 10% Muslim
  • 20% other

Climate

The climate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is very warm, with high humidity. It is milder only in higher mountain regions (over 2,000 m).

In the north, the dry season lasts from November to March and in the south from May to October.

Democratic Republic Of The Congo

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Congo Franc (CDF)

Classification: 1 Franc = 1000 Centimes

ATMs: are not available.

International credit cards: Only accepted by individual hotels and airlines.

Regulations: The national currency may not be imported or exported.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. The export is limited to the equivalent of US $ 10,000.

It is forbidden to change money outside the official exchange offices. However, there are also black markets for foreign exchange.

All exchange receipts should be kept until departure. There are occasional very precise controls.

Credit cards should not be used because of the high risk of abuse.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 100 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Anyone in possession of firearms or ammunition of all kinds requires a gun license and an import permit.

The export of works of art is prohibited.

Precious metals mined in the DR Congo can only be exported with a special permit.

Travel advice

Although the capital Kinshasa and the neighboring regions are relatively safe, you are warned against traveling to the eastern and northeastern parts of the country, as well as the Kasai and Lomami provinces!

There are frequent armed clashes between security forces and armed groups.

Behavioral advice

In March 2017, protests, some Bordering countries were violent, broke out in several cities across the country. Travelers are therefore advised to be more vigilant. Large gatherings of people should be avoided in any case.

The standard of medical care is very far behind the European one. The situation is particularly catastrophic in rural regions. There are hardly any doctors who speak English or French.

Since all medical treatments (including medication and emergencies) have to be paid for in cash in advance, we strongly recommend that you take out travel health insurance with repatriation in the event of illness.

Economy

Due to the abundance of raw materials, minerals and farmland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is actually one of the richest countries in Africa.

However, political and military conflicts keep hindering economic development and the establishment of an industry.

A strong inflation rate and extreme corruption in all areas of public life prevent this situation from changing over and over again.

Industries: mining, textiles, cigarettes

Natural resources: diamonds, iron ore, petroleum, gold, cadmium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, silver, hydropower, zinc

Land use:

  • Usable land: 3%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 7%
  • Forests: 77%
  • other: 13%

Plants

The regions in the east consist of wide savannahs overgrown with grasses.

Otherwise the rest of the land is covered with dense rainforest.

Animals

One of the country’s attractions is the Virunga National Park.

Antelopes, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, lions, rhinos, hippos and many different species of birds live on an area of ​​over 10,000 km².

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