Carpeted by huge swaths of rainforest and punctuated by gushing rivers and smoking volcanoes, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) is the ultimate African adventure. As much a geographical concept as a fully fledged nation, DRC has experienced one of the saddest chapters in modern history, suffering a brutal 20th century of colonial exploitation, authoritarian madness and what has been dubbed Africa’s first ‘world war’, which finally ended in 2003 with the rise of the Kabila political dynasty.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo remains a destination for only the most seasoned, hardcore African travellers. It is not a country for the casual tourist: the average backpacker, holidaymaker, and especially those seeking luxury safaris or organized cultural experiences.
The DRC is truly vast. At 2,345,408 square kilometres (905,567 sq mi), it is larger than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway—or nearly three and a half times the size of Texas.
Places to visit