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DR Congo Travel Guide - Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) Travel Notes

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Travel Notes: Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo Travel Notes

Zaire Travel Notes

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DR Congo Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find DR Congo Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Democratic Republic of Congo.

About DR Congo

Zaire was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo, in May 1997; when the forces of Laurent Desire Kabila brought Mobutu's 32 year reign to an end.

Democratic Republic of Congo -

Countries neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo are: Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola.

Map of Democratic Republic of Congo

The locals refer to their country as Congo-Kinshasa.

Getting Around

By Rail

The railway provides important connections within the country, as well as with the port of Benguela in Angola, and other points in eastern and southern Africa.

By Road

Most of the roads are not in good repair.

By Boat

Inland waterways are used extensively. There are schedules for river steamers, but they are not always reliable.

Airports and Airlines:
The country has five international airports. Air Zaire is the national airline; providing domestic and international services.

Weather in Africa:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Africa.

Belgian Congo and Mobuto

Formerly the Belgian Congo, Mobutu changed the country's name from the Republic of the Congo to the Republic of Zaire, in 1971, and the following year ordered all Zairians to replace their Western names with African ones.

Mobutu showed the way by changing his given name of Joseph Desire Mobutu to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu waza Banga.

If that's a mouthful in African, in English it means: 'The all-powerful warrior who because of his endurance and inflexible will to win will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake'.

Kinshasa (Leopoldville)

The capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is on the southern bank of the River Congo; opposite Brazzaville, Congo.

The Congo is not navigable between here and the sea because of a series of cataracts, so passengers and freight have to continue by rail to the Atlantic Ocean port of Matadi.

Sir Henry Stanley, an Anglo-American explorer, founded it in 1881 as a Congo River trading post, and called it Leopoldville; after the Belgian King, Leopold II.

The railway to Matadi was completed in 1898, bringing in a period of rapid growth for the transhipment port of the Belgian Congo.

Leopoldville replaced Boma as the capital of the Belgian Congo in the late 1920s.

Hotels in Kinshasa

Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo - Official Hotel WebsiteKempinski Hotels on FacebookKempinski Tweets
Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo:
119 Boulevard Colonel Tshatshi , Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Centrally located in Kinshasa, Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo is convenient to Palais du Peuple and Brazzaville Cathedral.

Join the Meta Travel Community to add your reviews Guests at the Kempinski Hotel Fleuve liked the luxurious rooms, great breakfast buffet, and nice swimming pool; calling it the best hotel in Kinshasa.


A violent black-nationalist uprising in 1959 caused most of the Europeans to leave the Belgian Congo.

The country became independent in 1960, and  Leopoldville was renamed Kinshasa in 1966; after a 19th-century village.

River Congo

Most of the country comprises the rain forested basin of the River Congo.

The Congo is the second longest river in Africa, and one of the longest in the world. The total length of navigable routes on the Congo and its tributaries is about 14,500 km.

Languages in DR Congo

The official language of the Democratic Republic of Congo is French, although four local languages are widely spoken and considered as national languages too:

Swahili in the east, Kikongo in the western regions, Tshiluba in the south, and Lingala in and around Kinshasa, and along the Congo.

In all there could be as many as 200 languages spoken throughout the country.

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Maps and Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Africa (Multi Country Guide) Congo: Democratic Republic . Republic (Bradt Travel Guides)

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