The Democratic Republic of Congo is situated in Central Africa. It is an equatorial country, bordered by Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Burundi, Angola, the Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. The country has access to the Atlantic Ocean in the form of a narrow strip of coast. It has the second largest territory in Africa. The former colony of Belgium, it was called Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, and Zaire.

The Congo River is the main attraction of the country. Although the river is officially called Zaire, it is inextricably linked with the mysterious history, during which it was known as the Congo. That is the Portuguese corrupted name of the West African word meaning 'river that swallows all other rivers' One really feels the awe of the power of nature on the shores of this fantastic river. It is the second river in the world according to water consumption and brings into the Atlantic Ocean nearly 42.5 thousand cubic meters of water per second.

One comes across some of the most dense and impenetrable thickets in the world in the local equatorial tropical forest. Oak, mahogany, ebony and Hevea are the main plants here. Some trees exceed the height of 60 meters. Eternal twilight reigns under their interlacing crowns. The forest can seem the true hell of extremely dense thickets, stifling humid heat, dangerous animals including crocodiles, pythons, cobras, wild pigs and poisonous spiders. One should be very careful here not to get ill with such deadly diseases as malaria and shistosomiasis. The most mysterious labyrinth lies between the river and the fantastic Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzori mountain range, which nourishes the Zaire with water in the east.

Stanley Falls is a great series of waterfalls and rapids, where the river descends from the mountains and becomes eligible for shipping. Livingston waterfalls are located not far from Malebo-Pool. The river breaks from the lock of the Crystal Mountains and descends to the sea level. Numerous lakes and smaller rivers of the country are considered excellent fishing regions, and can provide an unforgettable experience for lovers of rafting or of historical travels. However, foreign tourists should be aware that some of the rapids are extremely risky.

The national parks and reserves occupy almost 15% of the territory of Congo forests. The most notorious national parks include Virunga, Upemba, Garamba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and others. The wet climate of the country supports the life of the dense jungle, the world's last vast tropical forest inhabited by a variety of wild animals. Only in Congo-Zaire one can still see okapi, small forest animals of the family of giraffes, which became a national symbol of the country. The savannahs in the south of the country are inhabited by lions, leopards and antelopes.

The capital city of the country is Kinshasa. This part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is amongst the safest. Here one will find modern hotels, rather well-developed tourism infrastructure and a number of places worth visiting. In Kinshasa, tourists are attracted to the bustling Central Market of MatongŠ¹. Here one feels the local atmosphere and finds cheap souvenirs. Another sight in Kinshasa is the acclaimed Bonobo Nursery Sanctuary, known for its assistance in the preservation of endangered bonobo chimpanzees. Other attractive cities include Goma and Kisangani. Goma is known as the home to Lake Kivu, and Kisangani is an important river port. In Kisantu, the tourists will notice the gorgeous Botanical Gardens. In Lubumbashi, the country's second largest city, it is recommended to visit Valle de la Lufira nature reserve.

View the list of travel agencies in Democratic Republic of Congo to prepare a good trip. Tour operators are the local professionals who can assist in hiring a local tour guide, find best hotels or transport.