But be warned: rural DRC is infested with armies
Democratic Republic of the Congo
If you’re a battered old Africa hand, sick of safaris and savannahs, it may be time to add a stamp to the Democratic Republic of Congo to your passport. After years of war and bloodshed, the region’s doors are slowly opening up to tourism, thanks mainly to the high profile conservation of the western mountain gorillas in the Parc National des Virungas. But be warned: rural DRC is infested with armies, rebel groups and simple bandits, the major roads are routinely washed out and only the most intrepid of travellers would ignore the FCO’s advice against unguarded rural travel. Thanks to years of conflict and instability, DRC doesn’t offer much in the way of large-scale cultural events or festivals. However, as with any other destination, daily life can be as lively and momentous as staged theatrics, so make time to visit local sports matches, concerts and art exhibitions in the cities you visit, and keep an eye out for impromptu dances and music in rural areas.