There is no denying that the Democratic Republic of Congo is not the most popular holiday destination. However, the natural splendour of the country continues to seduce adventurous travellers seeking excitement off the grid.
The DRC has the potential to be a top African tourist spot, with virgin rainforest, active volcanoes, the mighty Congo River, Lake Kivu and a wealth of wildlife - including the sought after mountain gorillas.
Travellers tend to fly into Kinshasa to enjoy the city's nightlife and explore the Congo River and surrounds, or to duck across the Rwandan border into Goma, which is the gateway to the wonders of Lake Kivu, Mount Nyiragongo, and Virunga National Park.
Much of the country remains inaccessible to tourists and in such a state of disrepair and turmoil that it is best avoided. The transport networks are notoriously unreliable and dangerous and most visitors arrange their trips through tour operators. With a new leader in place, signs are hopeful that the country will become more stable, accessible, and safer for visitors in the not too distant future.
Virunga National Park
The Virunga National Park is a magnificent area of protected land stretching from the Virunga Mountains in the southto the Rwenzori Mountains in the north. It was Africa's first national park, established in 1925, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site... see full details
Gateway to the mighty Congo River, Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo; in fact, it is the third largest city in Africa. Home to about 10 million people, Kinshasa is a sprawling, chaotic city,... see full details
Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano in the Virunga National Park, about 12 miles (20km) north of Goma. The main crater contains a boiling lava lake which is one of the Congo's most mesmerising attractions, for those who have the courage and... see full details
Goma and Lake Kivu
Goma is a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, situated on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, close to the Rwandan border. The city itself has had a tumultuous history and was invaded by rebels as recently as 2012, but... see full details