Democratic Republic of the Congo travel advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • the provinces of Kasaï Oriental, Haut-Uele, Haut Lomami, Ituri, North Kivu (except the city of Goma), South Kivu (except the city of Bukavu – see below), Maniema and Tanganyika in eastern DRC
  • within 50km of the border with the Central African Republic and South Sudan

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the city of Goma in North Kivu province
  • the city of Bukavu in South Kivu province
  • the districts of N’djili and Kimbanseke in Kinshasa, both of which are south of the main access road to N’djili airport (located in Nsele district)
  • the provinces of Kasiaï and Kasiaï Central

If you are a foreign national resident in the city of Kinshasa, you must renew your residency card at the provincial commission by 15 July. The local government has said that people who do not meet the deadline will have to pay an additional fine.

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Democratic Republic of the Congo’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

There is an ongoing risk of protests in the East, particularly around Goma, North Kivu province. These could be directed at UN personnel and others within the international community. We advise all UK nationals in DRC to remain vigilant at this time and to avoid demonstrations, protests or disturbances.

In early August there was an outbreak of violence between ethnic groups over land in Kwamouth territory of Mai-Ndombe province. This has continued and escalated further in September, with a high number of casualties (70+) including women and children. The government has responded with a military deployment to the area. We are not aware of any direct threat against the international community or British Nationals, but visitors should be aware of the increased violence and potential threat to all those not of the groups’ ethnicity.

On 22 August 2022 DRC declared a new Ebola outbreak in Beni, North Kivu province in eastern DRC. Further information and updates on Ebola can be found on the WHO website and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) website. UKHSA has guidance for humanitarian or healthcare workers travelling to an Ebola affected area. See Health.

On 25 July 2022, demonstrations began in and around Goma, North Kivu province, spreading to other areas in eastern DRC, including Butembo, Sake, Beni, and Uvira, including reports of violence against United Nations facilities and personnel. There is an increased presence of security forces in and around Goma and in affected areas across eastern DRC. You should exercise caution in travel in the city of Goma and avoid crowds and demonstrations. FCDO staff may leave the area temporarily at short notice. See Protests and demonstrations

On 22 May 2021, Mount Nyiragongo volcano, close to the city of Goma, and near the border with Rwanda erupted. Further volcanic activity is possible in future. See Natural disasters and Safety and security

On 12 May 2022 reports were received indicating the risk of a terrorist attack on an unspecified ferry departing from Goma. The UK advises against all but essential travel to Goma.

The Embassy is not currently open to external visitors. It continues to carry out essential work including providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in DRC.

Public gatherings and demonstrations can occur with little or no notice and can quickly turn violent. See Political situation

The security situation in eastern DRC remains unstable. There are continued reports of attacks and kidnappings. NGO staff have been known to be targeted. A “state of siege” is in place in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu. Military administrations have replaced the civilian administrations during this period. Military forces from DRC and Uganda began conducting air and artillery raids against the Allied Defence Force (ADF) in eastern DRC on 30 November. Ugandan troops are also present as part of joint operations. See Safety and security

Consular support is severely limited in parts of DRC. The lack of infrastructure throughout the country and insecurity in eastern DRC often prevent the British Embassy in Kinshasa from being able to extend normal levels of consular assistance to British nationals anywhere in the DRC other than Kinshasa. You should not assume that the FCDO will be able to provide assistance to leave the country in the event of serious unrest or crisis.

Street crime and robbery is common. You should avoid using any taxis in DRC. If you must take a taxi, use a privately booked one. Don’t hail taxis in the street. Beware of gangs promising you cut price gold and diamonds. See Crime

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the DRC. Attacks could be indiscriminate. You should be vigilant, especially in places visited by foreigners. See Terrorism

On 25 July 2022, demonstrations began in Goma, North Kivu province, including reports of violence against United Nations facilities and personnel. You should exercise caution in travel in the city of Goma and avoid crowds and demonstrations. FCDO staff may leave the area temporarily at short notice.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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