Getting around Democratic Republic of Congo


CAA ( operates domestic flights within the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

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Road quality

Owing to poor maintenance, the roads are among the worst in Africa and only achieve a fair standard around the main towns. It is wise to check that bridges are safe before crossing. Vehicle thefts, including hijackings at gunpoint, occur.

Car hire

Available on a limited basis at the airport.


Available in Kinshasa but unreliable.


International Driving Permit required.

Getting around towns and cities

Conventional bus services in Kinshasa can be severely overcrowded. Minibuses and converted truck-buses also offer public transport, and are known as fula fulas. Pick-up trucks are known as 'taxibuses'. A better standard of transport is provided by shared taxis, which are widely available. There is little or no public transport in most other large centres.


The main internal railway runs from Lubumbashi to Ilébo, with a branch to Kalemie and Kindu, and from Kinshasa to the port of Matadi. Rail services are generally subject to disruption. There is no air conditioning, but there are couchettes and dining cars on the principal trains.

By water

Over 1,600km (1,000 miles) of the Congo River are navigable and there are sporadic services from Kinshasa to the upriver ports of Kisangani and Ilébo, but services are unreliable owing to political instability and fuel shortages.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.