Travel Documents Required
                        Valid Passport with at least 6 months remaining from the end of your trip
                        Letter of Invitations from the inviting organization (make sure to bring it with you to Congo)
                        Yellow Fever Vaccination Card
                        Visa  -   To obtain the visa you will need each of the other documents plus a round trip airline ticket
                                      The visa may be obtained through numerous visa services or directly from the
                                      Democratic Republic of the Congo Permanent Mission to the United Nations
                                      Their web site is:  http://www.un.int/drcongo/     It is a site worth exploring.

                                                                         Immunizations
                         Yellow Fever Immunization is Mandatory and must be up to date (10 year duration)
                         Other immunizations are mentioned in the DRC website including:  typhoid, meningitis, Hepatitis A & B
                         Visit a travel medicine clinic several months prior to your trip.  To find one in your area, go to the website
                         of the International Society of Travel Medicine.
                         https://www.istm.org/WebForms/Members/IndexSecure.aspx?sUrl=%2fclinicdir%2fclinicdir.aspx


                                                                        Medical/Health
                         If you have known medical/dental/health problems, see your doctor/dentist sufficiently in advance of you
                              trip to complete any evaluations, adjustments to medications or dental work necessary.
                         Prescriptions medicines  -   bring a sufficient supply in their properly labeled containers.  There are some
                              good pharmacies located in Kinshasa but best to be prepared.
                         If a medical emergency arises, there is a reliable private clinic/hospital in Kinshasa called CMK.  Your
                              medical insurance will not be accepted.  Many insurance providers do have protocols  for out of
                              country emergencies.  Contact your insurance company if this is a question and read the information
                              on health contained on the website of the Embassy of the United States in the DRC.
                               http://kinshasa.usembassy.gov/


                                                                          Food/Water

                                                                                Dress

          In Congo, attire among the general population is modest.  Simply put, if one wants to conform and perhaps not offend
          and feel out of place, what women wear below the waist is conservative, meaning, cover up to around the knees; however
          what one wears above the waist is not a big deal, so things like tank tops are OK.  Women can, of course, wear shorts at
          TASOK or MPH and even in other informal, recreational venues.  An idea is, if you wear shorts but are not sure of the
          environment you will be in, take a pagne/liputa/sarong along, just in case, that you can then wrap around if needed.  Long
          pants, whatever kind, present no problem and any kind of dress or skirt is fine, sundresses etc....  Avoid mini-skirts, not to
          say that you won't see women wearing them.
         
          Guys can get away with shorts in a lot of places even though few Congolese men wear them.  They are certainly OK in
          informal settings.  It is advisable to wear long pants at the airport.

          If you are planning to swim, bring a bathing suit.

          If you are staying at MPH, there is a laundry service available.

                                                                                      Cameras

          Cameras can be brought but it cannot be overemphasized that their use must be judicious.  Upon arrival,
          DO NOT,  Repeat, DO NOT BRING IT OUT OF YOUR BAG ANYWHERE NEAR THE AIRPORT,
         
even on the road from the airport, as there is a military base nearby.  If you do bring a camera out in a sensitive area,
          be prepared to have it confiscated  by authorities as the very least.  There are plenty of places where taking pictures
          does not pose a problem, such as at TASOK, MPH, and other "tourist" locations.  The best advice is to ask someone
          with knowledge and not to take out a camera anywhere near an airport, government facility, within the city or anywhere
          there are police or military.  Before photographing anyone, be polite and ask their permission.

                                                                                         Communication

          Cell Phones  -  If you want a cellphone, the U.S. cellphones won't work.  In order to accept the SIM card it must be a
          GMS or triband cellphone.  If you really want a cellphone, you can buy one in your intermediate stop airport in Europe
          or South Africa.  You may also purchase one in Kinshasa.  You must purchase a SIM card in Kinshasa and pre-paid
          phone cards/time that are sold in denominations of $5, $10 and $25.  These pre-paid cards are easily available throughout
          Kinshasa and in other large cities in Congo.  

          Internet - There is an Internet connection at MPH with wireless connectivity.  If you wish to use this, there is a $1 per
          hour fee which is, pretty much, on the honor system.  There are also numerous Internet cafes throughout Kinshasa and
          in some other large cities.  

                                                                                          Transportation
         
          Travel within Kinshasa  -  Although there are public taxis everywhere, unless you are a seasoned visitor to Kinshasa this is
          not advisable.  Any planned travel within the city should be just that, well planned in advance with your host.
 
          Travel to other destinations within Congo  -  There are two airlines that fly Boeing 727/737 aircraft or MD80 as well as Mission
          Aviation Fellowship which has smaller propeller aircraft.  MAF flies twice weekly from Kinshasa to Vanga and stops at
          some smaller mission stations in the area of Vanga.  It's aircraft/pilot may be available for hire for groups planning multiple
          destinations. This would need to be arranged through MAF.  The website links to these three organizations are provided
          below. There are other smaller airlines but their service may not be reliable or particularly safe.
          If you are traveling, you will need an Ordre de Mission.  Speak with your host about this so it can be prepared
          before you arrive

         The Congolese airlines are Hewa Bora and CAA
         

                                                                                             Money

          The official currency in Congo is the Franc Congolese.  The exchange rate fluctuates and may be calculated by going to:
           http://www.gocurrency.com/
          Some banks are functional and will exchange currency.  There are many street exchangers but beware of people around
          who may be looking for an easy target for theft.
          U.S. Currency is accepted in most businesses.  The bills must be of the new style, multicolored for $10, $20 and $50
          The $100 bill must be 2003 or later.  All bills must be in excellent condition having no tears, marking or excessive folding
          or wear.  Bills not as described will be of no use to you, or, if intended as gifts, to those who receive them.
          Credit cards are not accepted.  

                                                                                        What to bring

                                                                             Where to stay in Kinshasa

          There are two luxury hotels in downtown Kinshasa, the Hotel Memling Kinshasa and the Grand Hotel Kinshasa.  You
          may want to read reviews posted on various websites.  Just put the names of the hotels into your search engine.  They
          are expensive.

          Methodist Presbyterian Hostel
                This is a facility that provides meals and lodging as well as has conference facilities.  Click the link to find out more
                about the facility.

                                                                                   Arrival at the Airport

          This is something that must be planned in advance as it requires a protocol officer who will meet you and assist you with
          functions such as retrieveal and carrying of your baggage, customs, and transportation to where you will stay in Kinshasa.

           There are fees for this service and for any other transportation services.  It is a good hour from MPH to the  Airport.

           Be prepared to pay about the same fee that you would pay for a taxi ride in the U.S. of the same distance and
           time plus the time spent at the airport.

          Normally, after exiting the airplane you will enter the immigration area.  Always follow any lanes marked on the asphault.  
          At immigration, you will present your passport with visa.  You will be asked where you are staying in Kinshasa.  If you
          have the address of where you are staying written on a piece of paper, that will facilitate that response.  From here you
          will pass by a sanitation officer, generally dressed in white, who will ask to see your Yellow Fever immunization card.  
          From here, you will enter the baggage area of the termina.   Many people will be offering their assistance.  Politely refuse
          and link up with your protocol officer.  If planned in advance, groups may be taken to the V.I.P. lounge while the protocol
          officer gathers the baggage and deals with customs.  Most of all, remain calm and polite.  It can seem overwhelming.