Since the Democratic Republic OF the Congo is not yet a tourist destination, there is no such thing as high- and low-season, nor is there any time for it (except climate requirements). The conditions of access are virtually identical, however, to the school holidays in July/August and at the end of the year, when the foreign community returns to the country. This is not without a consequence of the fact that flights for Europe and therefore for their tariffs have been increased, in a higher standard.
Myth "Congo"The Congo Basin has always fascinated and nurtured many myths, fantasies and dreams of exploration from the European continent. Well before its official discovery from the 15 th century. From the first century, Ptolemy already found approximately the Moon Mountains (Massif du Ruwenzori) and the Great Lakes on its famous map of the world... The Pygmies and Okapi (!) were already known to the old world and fed many stories, from the writings of Pliny the Old and Aristotle and of hieroglyphs dating back 2 500 years ago...Diversity and ContrastsThe Democratic Republic of the Congo has diverse and diverse universes, driven by the incredible natural wealth that makes up this country, unique in many aspects, where its enormous potential (ecotourism, in particular). Its cultural and human heritage is also of incredible richness with a mosaic of over 450 ethnic groups and almost as many languages, practices, customs and traditions.Opening up to tourismIn fact, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is open, slowly but surely, to tourism. Certainly the path to reconstruction is still long and fraught with obstacles (safe climate). But mentalities change, many infrastructures come into being, and a certain "customer-oriented" spirit (tourist) is at work, especially in Kinshasa and in the larger cities. Local travel agencies, true pioneers in tourism, are therefore best placed to organise your stay in the Congo.The cost of living in Congo, especially to Kin, is quite high, which surprises newcomers who expect not to spend too much by coming here... If they want to keep their way of life and western habits (supermarkets, international restaurants, shopping in the shopping galleries, outings in bars and standing, etc.). For for the rest, by local consumption, it is quite possible to spend little. It is mainly accommodation and transport that will absorb a large part of the budget.FormalitésA visa is required to enter the DRC, regardless of the reason for the day, tourist or professional. Visa dure varies from 1, 2, 3 to 6 months maximum. And it's a neck of between 85 and 310 depending on the dure.
French (official language) is relatively well mastered by most Congolese and especially in hotels, administrative services, shops... On the other hand, outside cities, that is something else. And it's all about the level of schooling of your partner. While this is not an option for travel in the country, it is always appre\ cie that a few words are spoken in the local language (lingala and Swahili being the most re by the country part of the country): guides from the Assimil collection exist in lingala and Swahili, to be able to brouiller and bafouiller a few words in Kinshasa, courses are exempt from the Alliance française (11 Lubefu Avenue at Gombe, ref: Roundabout Batetela). This is the case of most AF in the country it is also possible to take courses depriving itself or public in Europe within bodies held by members of the Congolese diaspora in Brussels, contact asbl MABIKI which organizes course sessions (in the 4 languages of Congo) several times a year: ? +32 488 583 047 - +32 495 489 750 - [email protected]. They also published a guide to learning lingala, 100 verbs to learn the lingala, that we can order aupre s of the association and be in Kinshasa, Brussels or Paris, it is also possible to take classes away from private individuals.
The national currency is the Congolese franc (CF), which is in receipt of notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1 000, 5 000, 10 000 and 20 000. The 5 and 10 notes have almost disappeared while those of 20 are rarely used, except in some remote corners of the country. The use of new 10 000 and 20 000 notes remains more confidential in everyday life. Purchases are made in dollars and ricans and in Congolese francs. The CF is mainly used for small purchases (walking, taxi, local restaurants...). And the bigger notes are in dollars. Please note, in Kinshasa, you don't have to accept cash tickets (offend\ s, sales, etc.) or even a small staple hole! The $ 1 cuts are also often refused and therefore difficult to sell. There is no problem, however, to understand, for the CF, often dirty and abyss ? s, which they circulent and call the "war bites." You cannot in the ? or enter or leave the country with local currencies.
The DRC has two main seasons: the season is Che (or southern winter) and the rainy season that is alternating on both sides of the équinoxiale line. On the equator and in all the re covered by the forests, it rains more or less all the whole of Anne\ e. For the rest, the seasons have a hard ?, depending on whether you are in the north or south of the equator.The season goes from december to May in the northern part and from May to September in the southern part. The head are lower, and the sky is ge couvert.The rainy season extends from May to November (north) and from October to May (south). The large equatorial rains turn into thunderstorms of great violence and temperatures reach very high maxima (35 to 40 ° C). In total, precipitation is 2 000 m per year.In Kinshasa, the climate is hot and rainy from October to May and costs from June to September.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette