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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Democratic Republic of Congo

Getting Around Democratic Republic of Congo

Air

CAA (www.caacongo.com) operates domestic flights within the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Road

Side of the road

Right

Road Quality

Owing to poor maintenance, the roads are among the worst in Africa and only achieve a fair standard around the main towns. It is wise to check that bridges are safe before crossing. Vehicle thefts, including hijackings at gunpoint, occur.

Car Hire

Available on a limited basis at the airport.

Taxi

Available in Kinshasa but unreliable.

Documentation

International Driving Permit required.

Urban travel

Conventional bus services in Kinshasa can be severely overcrowded. Minibuses and converted truck-buses also offer public transport, and are known as fula fulas. Pick-up trucks are known as 'taxibuses'. A better standard of transport is provided by shared taxis, which are widely available. There is little or no public transport in most other large centres.

Rail

The main internal railway runs from Lubumbashi to Ilébo, with a branch to Kalemie and Kindu, and from Kinshasa to the port of Matadi. Rail services are generally subject to disruption. There is no air conditioning, but there are couchettes and dining cars on the principal trains.

Water

Over 1,600km (1,000 miles) of the Congo River are navigable and there are sporadic services from Kinshasa to the upriver ports of Kisangani and Ilébo, but services are unreliable owing to political instability and fuel shortages.