DR Congo

DR Congo

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8 travelers at this place:

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  • Day11

    Today is the most adventurous day of the trip, mainly because it involves a border crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the more unstable and corrupt places in Africa. We started early with a 6am departure, knowing that the border crossing may be a lengthy process - and we weren't disappointed when it took over 2 hours!

    Arriving at the Rwandan side at 6.10am, we joined our first queue at immigration. After getting the required exit stamps we walked across the rattly wooden bridge (with plenty of slats missing), into the Congo and met the vehicles on the other side. When we arrived, an official asked the drivers to park off the road, so we suspected we were in for a long wait.

    After presenting our passports and completing an immigration form, our yellow fever certificates were recorded in a manual ledger. We were told that the supervisor had to approve our access. He told us that another more senior supervisor also needed to approve us, and he contacted the national park we were visiting to confirm our identities. He received verbal confirmation, but had to wait for an email confirmation before we could continue. We finally got the go ahead just after 8.15am. As a side note, our driver paid the first bribe of the day to the border guard who said he'd need to buy some new pens because the driver was using his... so $20 USD should get him a few, and probably got us moving a bit sooner!

    The town of Bukavu is huge (population 870,000), but the main steet is mostly dirt with small sections of asphalt among the potholes - the difference between The Congo and Rwanda is like chalk and cheese - Congo has piles of rubbish on the streets, terrible roads and corruption everywhere (our second and third bribes of the day were a $20 fee to enter another district and a $15 "road tax" from a dodgy looking boomgate across the road). Unfortunately we couldn't take any photos in Congo as that requires a permit which was $250 USD per camera!

    We reached Kahuzi Biega National Park, 30km from Bukavu around 11am and had a briefing from the head guide before heading out with our convoy of armed trackers/guards/porters - we're not sure if the AK-47s were to protect us from gorillas or guerillas (there is apparently still some unrest in the northern part of the park, but we saw nothing in the southern area). On the way to the trek start point we stopped at another checkpoint where a soldier was collecting cash from vehicles and pedestrians and depositing it in a plastic bag hanging on a post (we didn't see any receipts handed out ☺) - there is a village on the other side of the park and the villagers cut through the park to the local market, an18km journey each way... and pay a fee for the pleasure.

    Trekking started with the lead guides hacking a path though the jungle with machetes - there are no defined paths in this park, so the going was quite slow. The terrain varied steeply up and down, from thick undergrowth, through tropical rainforest, bamboo forest, two creek crossings and a swamp, so it was a relief after 90 minutes to spot the first gorilla. These are Eastern Lowland gorillas, and the Congo is the only place in the world to see them. This group is lead by a 36 year old silverback named Chimanuka and has 29 members. We saw about 10, some in the trees, some on the ground, some very close to us - the silverback climbed down the tree and sat in the grass eating about 3 metres from us!

    We spent about an hour observing them, then hacked our way back to the road. We arrived back at the rangers station at 3pm, had a meeting with the park director - we are the first large group they have had visit this year, so he was keen to impress us, thank us for making the effort, and appoint us as unofficial ambassadors of his park!

    The return journey to Bukavu took longer, but the border crossing was considerably shorter on the Congo side. The Rwandan side took over an hour while we paid another visa entry, then lined up again to get our passports stamped.

    We arrived back at the hotel at 7.30pm, exhausted but elated after a long and groundbreaking day. Dinner was again on the deck (pepper steak and pizza), before a very welcome bed!
    Read more

  • Day55

    Dit was harde werk: vyf ure se steil klim byna reguit op teen die Nyiragongo-vulkaan - met los klippe, reën en krampe. Maar was dit die moeite werd! Bo gekom is jy op die kraterrand van dié aktiewe vulkaan, met die lawa wat ver onder jou prut. Dit was koud deur die nag, maar ons was gelukkig met die weer en kon 'n sonsopkoms soos min geniet.

  • Day56

    Hierdie fris 5% Kongo-bier kom in 'n allemintige 650 ml-bottel - jy moet dus gereed wees om bier te drink wanneer die kelner hom voor jou neersit. Simba is lekker, en sonder fiemies. Dit het goed afgegaan saam met my halwe hoender en skyfies hier by Hotel Cap Kivu in Goma, wat uitkyk oor die Kivumeer.

  • Day57

    Vandag het ek die voorreg gehad om berggorillas van naby te sien in die Virunga- nasionale park in die Kongo naby Goma. Ons was ook gelukkig: 'n nuwe kleinding het deur die nag aangekom en ons was die eerste toeriste om die outjie te sien! Dit was 'n stywe twee ure se stap om die gorillas te bereik, maar daar gekom het hulle hulself gedra en rustig op een plek bly sit, eintlik lê, meeste van die tyd.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kongo, DR Congo, Republik Demokratik Kongo, Kongo (DRK), Kongo (Zair), Demokratische Republik Kongo, ኮንጎ, Republica Democratica do Congo, Folcrīcelicu Cynewīse þæs Congwes, الكونغو - كينشاسا, ܩܘܛܢܝܘܬܐ ܕܩܘܢܓܘ ܕܝܡܘܩܪܛܝܬܐ, جمهورية كونجو الديموقراطيه, República Democrática dEl Congo, Konqo - Kinşasa, کنقو دموکراتیک جومهوریتی, Конго Демократик Республикаһы, Demokratikong Republika kan Kongo, Конга, Дэмакратычная Рэспубліка, Конго [ДРК], कांगो डेमोक्रेटिक रिपब्लिक, Ripublik Demokratik Kongo, Kongo ka republiki demɔkratiki, কঙ্গো[DRC], ཀོང་གོ་མི་དམངས་དམངས་གཙོ།, গনতান্ত্রিক কঙ্গো প্রজাতন্ত্র, Kongo [RDK], Kongo [DRC], Бүгэдэ Найрамдаха Арадшалһан Конго Улас, Congo - Kinshasa, Congo Mìng-ciō Gê̤ṳng-huò-guók, Демократин Республика Конго, Republikang Demokratiko sa Congo, کۆماری دیموکراتیی کۆنگۆ, Kongo - DRK, Конго Демократиллĕ Республики, Y Congo - Kinshasa, Demokratiske Republik Congo, Cumhuriyetê Kongoyê Demokratiki, Demokratiska republika Kongo, ކޮންގޯ, Kongo Kinshasa nutome, Κονγκό, Δημοκρατία του, Demokratia Respubliko Kongo, Congo Democrático, Kongo-Kinshasa, Kongo [KED], Repúbrica Democrática del Congu, کنگو - کینشاسا, Ndenndaandi Demokaraasiire Konngo, Kongon demokraattinen tasavalta, RDC, Rèpublica dèmocratica du Congô, Demokratyske Republyk Kongo, Poblacht Dhaonlathach an Chongó, Kongo Demokratik Respublikası, 剛果民主共和國, Poblachd Dheamocrach na Congo, República Democrática do Congo, Tetã Jekopytyjoja Kongo, કોંગો [ડીઆરસી], Pobblaght Gheynlagh ny Congo, Jamhuriyar Dimokuraɗiyyar Kongo, Congo Mìn-chú Khiung-fò-koet, Demokratska Republika Kongo, קונגו - קינשאסה, कोंगो [डीआरसी], Kongó - Kinshasa, Կոնգոյի Դեմոկրատական Հանրապետություն, Republica Democratic del Congo, Kongo - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic de Congo, Demokratiko a Republika iti Kongo, Demokratial Republiko Kongo, Kongó, lýðveldið, Repubblica Democratica del Congo, コンゴ民主共和国, roltrusio zei.kongos, Républik Dhémokratis Kongo, კონგო - კინშასა, Tagduda Tamegdayt n Kungu, Repubilika ya Kôngo ya Dimokalasi, Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo, Конго Демократиялық Республикасы, ಕಾಂಗೋ [DRC], 콩고 민주 공화국, Demokratische Republek Kongo, کۆنگۆ کینشاسا, Repoblek Werinel Kongo, Конго Демократиялык Республикасы, Res publica democratica Congensis, Repuvlika Demokratika del Kongo, Demokratesch Republik Kongo, Демократиядин Республика Конго, Kongo - Zayire, Repubbrica Democratica do Congo, Repüblica Demucratica del Congo, Repibiki demokratiki ya Kongó, کومره ولات مردم کیخا کنگو, Konga Demokratiskuo Republika, Ditunga wa Kongu, Repoblikan'i Kongo, Конго - Киншаса, കോംഗോ [DRC], Бүгд Найрамдах Ардчилсан Конго Улс, काँगो [ङीआरसी], Конго Демократи Республика, Congo [DRC], Repubblika Demokratika tal-Kongo, ကွန်ဂိုဒီမိုကရက်တစ်သမ္မတနိုင်ငံ, زئیر, Ripubrikit Engame Kongo, Tlācatlahtohcāyōtl Tlācatēpacholiztli in Congo, Congo Bîn-chú Kiōng-hô-kok, Demokraatsche Republik Kongo, कोङ्गो-किन्शासा, प्रजातान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र कङ्गो, Den demokratiske republikken Kongo, Demokrati Republike de Kongo, Kéyah Káango Shádiʼááhjí Siʼánígíí, Còngo - Kinshasa, Riippabiliika Dimookiraatawaa Koongoo, କଙ୍ଗୋ-କିନସାସା, Конгойы Демократон Республикæ, ਕਾਂਗੋ ਲੋਕਤੰਤਰੀ ਗਣਰਾਜ, Demokratika Republika ning Kongo, Republika demokratika di Kongo, Demokratik Repablik o t Kongo, Republika Demokratyczna, Repùblica Democràtica dël Còngo, لوکراج کانگو, Congo-Kinshasa, Kungu Runakamaq Ripuwlika, Republica Democratica dal Congo, Repubulika Iharanira Demokarasi ya Kongo, Republica Democrată Congo, Заир, Демократічна Републіка Конґо, कांगो गणराज्यम्, Конго Демократ Өрөспүүбүлүкэтэ, Repùbrica Democràtiga de su Congo, Ripùbbrica Dimucràtica dû Congu, Democratic Republic o the Congo, Ködörösêse tî Ngunuhalëzo tî kongö, Kuonga Demuokratėnė Respoblėka, කොන්ගෝව, demokratická republika, demokratična republika, Jamhuuriyadda Dimuquraadiga Kongo, Republika Demokratike e Kongos, Конго, Демократска Република, IKhongo, Rephabliki ya Demokrasi ya Kongo, Demokratiske Republik Kongo, Républik Démokratik Kongo, Demokratiska Republiken Kongo, Kongo [Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia], Dymokratyczno Republika Kůnga, காங்கோ [டிசிஆர்], కాంగో- కిన్షాసా, คองโก-กินชาซา, Kongo Demokratik Respublikasy, Demokratikong Republika ng Congo, Kongo Cumhuriyeti, Конго Демократик Җөмһүрияте, كونگو دېموكراتىك جۇمھۇرىيىتى, Демократична республіка Конго, کانگو [DRC], Kongo Demokratik Respublikasi, Republica Democratica del Congo, Kongon Demokratine Tazovaldkund, Công-gô (DRC), Kongoän, Congo-Kinchassa, Republika Demokratika han Congo, Kongóo-Kinshasa, 刚果民主共和国, Конһлмудин Улс Орн, კონგოშ დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა, דעמאקראטישע רעפובליק פון קאנגא, Orilẹ́ède Kóngò, Ganggoj Minzcuj Gunghozgoz, 扎伊尔, e-Congo [DRC]

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