Best time to visit Democratic Republic of Congo

Matt Smith

Hidden in the central part of Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo is amongst the few places that provide habitat to the rarely seen species of Gorillas.

Adding to Kahuzi Beiga and Maiko National Park, DR Congo is home to the oldest National Park in Africa “Virunga National Park” popularly known for the Mountain Gorillas.

Before highlighting the best time to visit DR Congo, this below-detailed information is paramount for those who wish to know more about this destination.

This country differs itself from other Gorilla hosting destinations with the unique species of Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

By size, Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest after Algeria in Africa and 11th largest in the all World.

It shares borders with South Sudan and the Central African Republic in the north, Republic of Congo in the west, Angola and Zambia in the south, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania in the east.

Lying between latitudes 6°N and 14°S and longitude 12° and 32°E in equatorial West Africa, DR Congo has been for long attracting some travelers though it is affected by some civil wars and unrests. Recent discoveries show that human habitation in the country dates back from as far as 80000 years ago.

This country is dominated by the Congo River basin and the second-largest rainforest. The vast plateaus, savannahs, verdant grasslands and mountain terraces boast a diverse range of wildlife species.

To the eastern part, it is widely scattered by the picturesque Rocky Mountains. DR Congo’s geology is widely influenced by the Albertine Rift. The tropical climate is highly boosted by the vast system of rivers and vast landscapes.

Due to constant instabilities, DR Congo has a poor air transportation system that is not recommendable for any tripper visiting the country.

Then a question appears, how can I get there? All visitors to this fantastic destination in central Africa, land in Rwanda at Kigali international airport.

From Rwanda, you will transfer by road up to Goma border, the main entry point to DR Congo for all adventurers coming in from different parts of the World.

Remember to travel with all your required documents; these include Tourist Visa, yellow fever vaccination card and a valid passport. All these documents are a must present at the border to be issued with entry permission to the country.

For the most memorable moments in DR Congo consider visiting it in its most feasible period. Some travelers don’t take it seriously and others travel in times not respective to the best periods because it is the only free space on their schedules.

You may have the opportunity to travel in the best times, but still not sure of when is that time of total excitement. Below is the clear highlight about the best time you should pack for DR Congo.

DR Congo best time of travel starts from January – February and May – September. This is the dry season and peak season of travel.

Usually, during this time, there are limited rainfall drops. All routes are passable, vegetation is not thick creating more points of view for Wildlife and most animals congregate in areas with water ponds.

The Gorilla trekking experience in Virunga National Park or Kahuzi Biega is exceptional, trekking trails are fine, free of mud and Gorillas mainly rotate in nearby areas that are easily reached.

With limited rainfall, you are 100% sure of successful hiking adventures. These adventures usually require more than one day and camping along the way. So it is usually hectic when rainfall finds you on the way, sometimes paths are waterlogged.

Therefore to avoid that time your self during the dry season, this is the best time to have an incredible encounter on the African land.

The wet season in DR Congo starts from October – December and March –April. It is not recommended to plan your visit during this time for many reasons.

Some of these reasons are; there is usually heavy rainfall drops that can distract full progress of all your activities of interest, animals can hardly be seen as they tend to hide in the thick vegetation and some roads to the National Parks are muddy and hard to challenge with a vehicle.

The only advantage of travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the wet season is that you can get best services at discounted prices like lodges, gorilla permits and more. You can get the best pricing deals, but you are limited on things to engage in during this time.

Provided that you have timed and planned your travel exactly in the appropriate time to visit this astounding destination, what can you do? There is plenty to make your days, time is the only limiting factor.

If you are a first-timer, Democratic Republic of Congo currently has two National parks that draw several holidaymakers from different parts of the World.

Among the two National Parks, Virunga is the most visited and appreciated by a plethora of adventurers. It treats visitors with sensational Gorilla trekking excursions, hiking adventures and primate encounters.

Gorilla trekking in DR Congo’s Virunga is rewarding and offered at the most unbeatable prices, gorilla permits are the cheapest when compared to other Gorilla hosting destinations. You can trek the Gorillas at USD 400 per person.

Apart from Gorillas, the park rewards world-class hiking adventures to the top of Mountain Nyiragongo. This active volcano is situated in the Eastern part of the Park; its hiking is completed in two days including one night at the summit.

The cost for this adventure includes USD 300 permit fee, $100USD for the Mikeno package, $5 for hiking stick and USD 24 for a porter. This total up to USD 429 per person.

This trip can continue with a visit to Kahuzi Biega National Park, it is also situated in the Eastern part of DR Congo.

The park differentiates itself with the unique species of Eastern lowland Gorillas, cascading waterfalls and a handful of primate species. With all that, DR Congo remains a spectacular pristine destination in Africa.