The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) is the magical wilderness that Africa is famous for. The country is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to the abundance of nature reserves, national parks and animals that are found only here.


Things to do in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The country is great for getting to know the culture of Africa, local dishes, customs, traditions and authentic tribes.

85% of Zaire is forests and savannas, where almost all kinds of African animals, birds, reptiles and insects live. On the territory of the Congo live three species of animals that do not live anywhere else in the world, which is why this region is so interesting for nature lovers.

Those who wish to contribute to its conservation are invited to work in the nurseries of orphaned monkeys.

Active tourists will be able to climb to the tops of the mountains, see volcanoes, swim in waterfalls and look at the animals of the savannah.

Notable cities



The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as one of the 11 provinces of the country. The city, founded by Henry Stanley at the end of the 19th century, is chaotic, full of energy and really huge. More than 10 million people live here. In Kinshasa, you can see the architecture, visit museums, shops, authentic markets, go boating in the Congo and have a picnic on the shore.



Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville) is the third largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city’s new name comes from the nearby Boyoma Falls and means «city on an island,» which isn’t surprising since the city is completely surrounded by rainforest.

Kisangani has lots of shops on avenue de l’Eglise and fantastic restaurants. The city is known for its architecture, museums, botanical gardens and zoos. The University of Kisangani has an impressive collection of East African and Congolese archaeological artifacts.

National parks and reserves

lola ya bonobo

lolo ya bonobo

The Lola Ya Bonobo shelter is organized on the territory of the reserve for orphaned bonobos. Monkeys are killed by poachers, and the young are often taken and sold on the black market. The shelter is trying to save and return to their natural habitat as many monkeys as possible. It occupies 30 hectares of forest, several feeding stations are equipped here, where the help of volunteers is always required.

Garamba National Park

nac park garamba

This national park is a classic example of the African savanna, as if descended from the pages of an encyclopedia. Elephants, giraffes, hippos, black and white rhinos live here. Garamba Park is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to several endangered species. It is rare to see so many large mammals living in the same area.

Salonga National Park

nac park salonga

Salonga, Africa’s largest rainforest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to several endangered species: the Congo peacock, pygmy chimpanzees, forest elephants and slender-nosed crocodiles. The park is quiet, isolated and only accessible by boat. This vital ecosystem is so large that it plays a significant role in regulating the country’s climate.

Okapi Reserve

sapovednik okapi

The reserve is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Okapi, primates and exotic birds live here. There are incredible waterfalls in the park, which are reached by a hiking trail along the Epulu and Ituri rivers. The trail itself is very scenic. Pygmies, nomadic tribes of Efe and Mbuti hunters live in the reserve.



Maiko is the most inaccessible national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All three endemics of the country live here: Okapi, Congo peacock and Grauer’s gorilla. In addition, the park is full of chimpanzees, elephants, leopards and other animals.

Within the borders of Maiko lives the Simba Mai Mai tribe. People fled here in the 1960s seeking shelter. Today, the government is working to relocate 700 residents back to the cities to protect the forest from humans.

natural attractions

Zongo waterfalls

vodopad songo

The cascade of waterfalls is located in the Lower Congo, 130 km from the city of Kinshasa. Here you can set up a campground or rent a bungalow and explore the area for a few days. Tourists are invited to go hiking or swim in a cool place under a waterfall of amazing beauty.

Ijwi Island

island idgvi

The lush island with mountains covered with caps of greenery is inhabited by many animals and birds. The locals are proud that they have never seen a war on their land. The tourist infrastructure is not very developed, comfort is minimal, but this fact does not stop nature lovers.

Volcano Nyiragongo

vulcan niarango

The incredible volcano, three kilometers high, last erupted in 2011, destroying up to 15% of the surrounding land and leaving more than 120,000 people homeless. It has erupted 34 times over the past 130 years. The landscape around is amazing: black solidified lava looks like a coal mine. Inside the crater is an active lava lake that can sometimes be approached.

Boyoma waterfall

vodopad boimo

Boyoma is a long series of rapids along the Lualaba River. The height of the largest waterfall is 61 meters. This is followed by several more lower waterfalls, and at the end of the seventh threshold, Lualaba merges with the Congo River.

The fishing tribe Wagenya lives in this area. Over the centuries of their existence along this unique river, the tribe has developed special methods of catching fish.

Lake Kivu

osero kivu

The lake, located on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, is the sixth largest lake in Africa. Kivu is surrounded by picturesque landscapes. The winding road is strewn with banana and eucalyptus trees. On the shore stands Gisenyi, a large city that used to be a colonial beach resort. It is full of old mansions and great places to stay.