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.
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.
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
If a medical emergency arises, there is a reliable private clinic/hospital in
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
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 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.
Cell Phones - If you want a cellphone, the
GMS or triband cellphone. If you really want a cellphone, you can buy one in your intermediate stop airport in Europe
phone cards/time that are sold in denominations of $5, $10 and $25. These pre-paid cards are easily available throughout
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
in some other large cities.
not advisable. Any planned travel within the city should be just that, well planned in advance with your host.
Travel to other destinations within
Aviation Fellowship which has smaller propeller aircraft. MAF flies twice weekly from
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
The official currency in
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
There are two luxury hotels in downtown
may want to read reviews posted on various websites. Just put the names of the hotels into your search engine. They
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
There are fees for this service and for any other transportation services. It is a good hour from MPH to the Airport.
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
At immigration, you will present your passport with visa. You will be asked where you are staying in
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.