US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[243] 081 556-0151; US Embassy in Kinshasa, 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa, Gombe, Democratic Republic of the Congo;;

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Local numbers only


An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On 18 October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice for an Ebola outbreak in the South Kivu (Kivu Sud), North Kivu (Kivu Nord), and Ituri provinces in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids; travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel. See WHO recommendations. On 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently considered a high risk to travelers for polio; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.


Tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator -wet season (April - October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)

Currency (Code)

Congolese francs (CDF)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C, D, E

Plug Type CPlug Type DPlug Type E

Major Languages

French, Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

Major Religions

Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, other Christian 36.5%, Muslim 1.3%

Time Difference

UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); note: the DRC ha2 time zones

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Kinshasa; Lola Ya Bonobo; Kahuzi Biega National Park; Nyiragongo Volcano; Virunga National Park; Lake Kivu

Major Sports

Soccer, basketball, rugby

Cultural Practices

Eat with your right hand and avoid holding bowls or utensils with the left. When eating from a shared bowl only, use the part of the bowl directly in front of you. It is very impolite to start eating before the oldest man has been served and has started eating.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping 7% is expected in restaurants frequented by Westerners and at fancier eating establishments. Taxis do not typically expect tips.


Precious stone and seed jewelry, woven baskets, hand-carved wood furniture, ebony statues, bronze sculptures, native pottery, natural perfumes and cosmetics

Traditional Cuisine

Poulet à la moambe — a savory chicken dish made by combining chicken, spices, and palm butter to create a stew-like consistency

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, October 05, 2022