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The DRC – facts and figures
The DRC is the third largest country in Africa. Bordered by the Central African Republic, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Angola, the Republic of Congo and Tanzania across the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
There’s a short 40 kilometre stretch of Southern Atlantic Ocean coast to the west of the country. The capital, Kinshasha, is on the western banks of the Congo River. The DRC is an equatorial country sitting on the equator.
- high rainfall
- highest frequency of thunderstorms on earth!
- rainforests are second only to the Amazon, as is the Congo River
- forests cover most of the low lying central basin of the river
- plateaus merge into savannah in the south and southwest
- mountainous terrain in the west and dense grasslands in the north
- high glaciated mountains line the extreme eastern region.
Why visit the DRC?
With some incredibly rare species, as well as plenty of endemic ones, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the naturalist’s dream.
- We operate safaris in Virunga to optionally include a hike and overnight visit to Nyiragongo volcano. Kahuzi-Biega safaris for gorilla trekking and birding are available on request.
- Both species of chimpanzee can be found here. Also the mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and okapi. This is also the only place in the world that the bonobo chimpanzee can be seen in the wild. (Sometimes called Pygmy Chimpanzees.)
- The Okapi is an animal endemic to this region of Africa
- Birds include the black-collared lovebird, blue-headed dove and handsome francolin.
Best time to visit Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo could be a year round destination because it has a constant equatorial climate. With an average daytime temperature of 24°C and around 16-21°C at night.
- June to August – dry season
- March to May and September to November – maximum rainfall.
How to get to the DRC
Rwanda is our usual point of access into eastern DRC. Few travel companies operate within the DRC due to political instability.
- For birding options, check out the Republic of Congo and the Northern Zambia’s Nchila Reserve. The Congo Basin is home to around 30 species of endemic birds!
- Chimpanzee sanctuary Chimfunshi is also in Zambia. The primates here have been rescued from poachers in the DRC and are not wild, but it’s worth a mention for the important conservation work they’re doing.
- The Mahale Mountains in Tanzania and Kibale in Uganda are both good for chimpanzee trekking.
- Gorilla trekking safaris are more easily done Uganda and Rwanda for mountain gorillas or Odzala (in Republic of Congo) for lowland gorilla safaris.
Finally, the DRC is beautiful and although access is challenging it’s well worth the work. It’s thought that many species of flora and fauna are yet to be discovered.
Wherever in the world you are, our Zambezi community is full of easy-going travel-minded friends who take their fun seriously. Come and join the adventure.