Democratic Republic of Congo Driving Guide 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo Driving Guide 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo Driving Guide 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

Bijgewerkt Apr 9, 2021·9 min gelezen
Driving Guide

The beauty of the state of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which country meaning is defined after the Congo River, is something comparable to a paradise where a lot of peculiar landscapes and habitats await. It could be one of the richest nations in Africa, with some of the most valuable and diverse natural resources in the world. As an expat-friendly country, DRC has been open to more foreigners wanting to live there.

Democratic Republic of the Congo is an interesting place to discover. The place is meant for all people especially those who are nature lovers. Tourism is one of the best assets of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Visitors will delight in driving through the scenic drives. Following the driving rules of the DRC will save you from any trouble with authorities. You need to learn about the things you can do during your long-term stay if you want to live in this gorgeous country. On that note, this driving guide can help you in your endeavor.

General Information

It is important to know the country well so that every visitor or tourist that comes in or wants to come in may be kept abreast of the important things about the country. You will see hereunder some of the general information about Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of Congo could be one of Africa's richest nations, with some of the world's most valuable and diverse natural resources. Democratic Republic of Congo is a country that has the potential and ability to bring Africa to the peak of its success.

Geographical Location

The Democratic Republic of Congo is favored by the tropical climate. In the equatorial river basin region, it is hot and humid, while in the southern highlands, it is cooler and drier. The climate is colder and wet in the eastern highlands. The country is named after the longest and deepest Congo River, which, once in each direction, crosses the equator twice.

Languages Spoken

With over 200 languages spoken in the region, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are four national languages: Kituba (Kikongo), Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba, while French is the official language and is commonly used in education and government.

Land Area

The DRC is the third largest country in Africa and has a total land area of 2,267,000 square kilometers. Most representatives from over 250 ethnic groups are Bantu descent, and were included in the total population of 64 million in 2008. Roughly 66% of the population is rural and 34% is urban.


Henry Morton Stanley, an adventurer, arrived in 1870 and discovered what is now Democratic Republic of Congo. The Belgian colonization of Democratic Republic of Congo began in 1885, when the Free State of Congo was established and ruled by King Leopold II. ​ Belgium surrendered after an insurrection by the Congolese people and this led to Congo's independence in 1960.


Under the Third Republic's constitution, a cabinet of ministers, deputy ministers and occasionally state ministers is composed of the government. The number of such ministers varies from government to government. The Cabinet shall be headed by the Prime Minister, who shall also be known as the Head of Government, appointed by the President, by a political party, group or coalition holding the majority of the seats in the National Assembly.

The government is the state's efficient executive arm, in charge of all the main administration of the country, in all the domains reserved by the constitution for the central government, and in all the factors in which the central government has concurrent jurisdiction with the provinces.


Tourism is one of the finest things in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wildlife, indigenous peoples, and geological phenomena that are not easily found or found anywhere else in Africa can be seen by visitors. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the ultimate African adventure, carpeted by vast swaths of rainforest and punctuated by gushing rivers and smoking volcanoes.

International Driver’s Permit Frequently Asked Questions in Democratic Republic of Congo

An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is a legal requirement that allows visitors to rent and drive a Democratic Republic of Congo car. As a United Nations regulated travel document, it’s highly recommended to have an IDP when you visit Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure your safety and ease of travel. An IDP is incredibly valuable to avoid getting in trouble with authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo. Below is other information you need to know about IDP in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Is a Local Driver's License Valid in Democratic Republic of Congo?

If you plan to drive in Congo, it is important to note that you cannot use your US license. It is because in the case of a foreign tourist, driving law in the Congo does not allow a United States license, only a Congolese national one or an international one.

Even though you would not be able to drive in Congo with an American license, without breaching the rules, you can obtain a foreign driving license to get you going.

Does an IDP Replace a Native Driver’s License in Democratic Republic of Congo?

The IDP serves as a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide, including Democratic Republic of Congo. However, an IDP does not replace your driver’s license since it’s only a translation of your local driver’s license. With the IDP, your native driver’s license is translated into the world’s 12 most widely spoken languages. Congo authorities highly demand an IDP, especially from foreigners whose native driver’s license is not French or English.

Do I Need an IDP to Drive in Democratic Republic of Congo?

No matter what justification you have in Congo for driving, you are likely to be able to get the international permit you need. The only condition for an international permit to be obtained is that you must be at least 18 years of age and have been in possession of a driver's license for at least six months prior to the application.

Renting A Car in Democratic Republic of Congo

Driving in the Democratic Republic of Congo is something that is practically common when going there on a trip or vacation, especially with the country so wide, it would be difficult to access public transportation. Sometimes, you can find drivers taking you to your preferred destination within the country.

But it is recommended to drive your own car when travelling in the country borders because its condition is insecure and unstable for tourists, and even aggravated by the residents. Public transportation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has unsteady conditions which makes it hard to access. Most of the time, you will only find public transportation in their two main cities.

Car Rental Companies

Most tourists opt to rent a car in the Democratic republic of Congo to make their journey more enjoyable and memorable. Thus, it also guarantees their safety. Multiple suppliers are offering rental cars in Congo at an excellent price

The most notable car rental companies within the Democratic Republic of Congo are:

  • Avis.

Avis Car Rental is an American-based car rental company. Avis now eyes on placing a branch for every country. Currently, it has branches in countries within every continent except Asia. Avis has also placed branches in Africa, having two rental locations in DRC

  • Europcar.

Europcar is one of the oldest and leading car rental companies in the world. It is a French company with its initial goal of setting up car rentals only in Europe. As globalization sets in, Europcar also tried to expand globally. Currently, it has one branch local subsidiary company of Europcar. It has one branch location in DRC.

  • is one of the few companies or sites you can find online while choosing to rent a car. Its airport location generally has the largest selection to choose from; thus, making it easy for people to book their next car rental. They even made collaboration with the best car rental companies throughout the country. This partnership offers different pick-up and drop-off options. is also open to many Congo rental cars pick up locations. You will have no problem searching for the best airport rental cars through You may also rent some car rental types including economy, compact, midsize, full-size, van, luxury and full size rentals to be more familiar with car rentals.

Documents Required

In preparing the documents, each driver must present a full, valid and original national driver's license held for a minimum of 2 years. If the license is not in a language used in the destination country, an International Driver's Permit to accompany the national driver's license is highly recommended. Each driver must bring their own valid and original photo ID or passport.

The renter must also have a credit card with sufficient balance that could be enough to pay for a security deposit. The credit card must also be valid in Democratic Republic of Congo. The car rental company has the duty to assess and see whether they are going to approve the provided credit card. Online reserve payment does not exempt the renter from providing a valid international credit card during vehicle pick-up.

The rental company will temporarily charge you a considerable amount as security deposit. You must present a manual copy of the Booking Confirmation Voucher at the rental location. The document is the confirmation of the service agreement of both parties, including the payment conditions, rates, discounts, as well as vehicle availability within the group selected.

Vehicle Types

Car rental companies in Democratic Republic of Congo offer a wide selection of car rental services that accommodate the needs of every client. They offer Mini car rentals, Economy cars, Compact cars, Midsize cars, Standard cars, Full Size cars, Premium cars, Congo Luxury cars, Convertible cars, Minivan cars, Van cars, SUV cars, Pickup cars and Sportscar cars. Mini Suzuki is the most frequently booked rental car type in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They are also open for any request of special equipment to add with the rental, like a child seat or ski rack. They will forward this message to the car rental company. And on top of that, upon choosing from one of their airport car rental partners, you will be able to experience the best Expedia customer service ever.

Age Requirements

Minimum driving age ranges from 16 to 21 years depending upon countries and regions. Most car rental companies around the world have the minimum age requirement of 25. Drivers between 21 and 24 are required to pay additional local fees and may be prohibited to book under the Premium rental services.

Car Rental Cost

Usually, car rental services in Congo cost $661 per week or $94 per day. The total rental rate is calculated based on the information provided at the time of reservation. The per-day charge can vary depending on the rental location and is directed by the day of the week the renter uses the vehicle and the length of the rental time.

Car Insurance Cost

Car rental insurances are insurances that protect and help you in the event you meet with an accident. Car rental places offer such insurances as you begin the process of renting your car. It is important to note that these insurances cover only the specific product you are insured of. If you bought a policy that covers all of the payments that would be a lot easier. You can get car rental insurance in the rental agencies you went to.

There are a number of insurance companies that offer car rental insurance. One in particular offers a number of insurance policies that will surely help you in your time of need. The costs will be heavy on your wallet but will help once you become involved in an accident.

The products offered are:

  1. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) / Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

This waiver waives damages that costs in full with high excess payable for damages.

2. Super Collision Damage Waiver

It can be purchased at DOP1,160.38 - DOP1,740.58 per day. This waiver reduces your remaining excess to US $0.00.

3. Roadside Assistance Cover

It can be purchased atDOP580.19 - DOP870.29 per day. This covers roadside costs like: Towing, Fuel, and Key Lockout

4. Full Protection

This is equivalent to Excess Waiver plus Road Side Assistance plus $0 deductible excess. It covers types of damages the rental companies might have excluded. And it includes free cover for Road Side Assistance, towing and also covers key loss.

Car Insurance Policy

When renting a car in the Democratic Republic of Congo, you must also think about car rental insurance and collision damage waivers. Securing such insurance is worth doing because it could save a lot of your money. Various rental cars such as, built a global business around giving customers better coverage at a better price. And pay 98% of claims within 3 business days, so you can save money for extra tokens.

They offer insurance to Collision Damage Waiver(CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). It costs a high excess payable for damages, from an estimate of US$5,000.00 for cars to US$7,500.00 for motorhomes. The insurance also covers the Super Collision Damage Waiver. It reduces your remaining excess towards US$0.00. It also covers roadside charges such as fuel, towing and key lockout.

Masina Kinshasa Photo by Kaysha

The Road Rules in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Every country has a set of rules to follow. One of which are the critical road rules that set the parameters to all driving professionals and aspirants. These rules are vital in having a successful road trip in your chosen driving destination. If you are planning a roadtrip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, you need to know the important rules they have on the road

Important Regulations

You may face danger when driving in Democratic Republic of Congo or any country, so do it cautiously with the driving rules in mind. It is important to be alert and attentive when driving in this country considering the difficult terrain that you may encounter along the way.

Using a phone while driving is extremely prohibited in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Distracted driving is unsafe. The police might pull you over for driving while you are talking over the phone or merely texting. Next to it is “Driving under the influence of alcohol.” Keep in mind that this is likewise prohibited in the said country. You should look out for the visible checkpoints that you might likely come across. The security forces ensure the implementation and regulation of these roadblocks for your own safety.

General Standards of Driving

Nowadays, it is significant for people to know driving but the knowledge of driving alone would not suffice. The drivers should also be aware of the general standards of driving. Hence, good driving is honed with continuous practice. There are several things you should keep in mind when you are just starting to learn driving:

  • It would be easier for drivers to concentrate if they are comfortable with their seats. Driver's seat can be adjusted to the convenience of the driver;
  • Make sure that all the glasses are clean and nothing can obstruct your view. Check whether the rear-view mirrors are properly adjusted;
  • Make sure to check if the car is in neutral gear before you start the engine;
  • Look whether the doors are locked properly;
  • It is also important to remember that wearing the seat belt is a must. The same applies to the passengers;
  • Before you start driving, check the brake lights first;
  • Do not override speed limits while you drive. This can prevent you from having accidents and sudden crashes. The situations often become out of control when you don't maintain the driving speed;
  • Driving too slowly can be dangerous as well. To be safe, keep pace with the flow of traffic. To avoid striking the vehicle in front of you, you should maintain considerable distance with them.
  • You should take note of a few things when you back up. Check behind your vehicle before you get in.
  • Small objects and children are often not visible from the driver's seat. Do not depend on the side mirror only. Look through the rear window directly.
  • Never drive when you are sick, drowsy or fatigued;
  • Taking alcohol before driving is dangerous;
  • Reading while driving is dangerous as well, so always keep your eye on the road;
  • Talking over the phone can divert your attention. So avoid using mobile phones while you drive;
  • Checking out the radio or changing CD or cassette is not permissible while driving, as it can cause accidents.
  • Make sure to move forward only when the road is clear;
  • Avoid overtaking other vehicles. While passing on an intersection, you should be more careful. It is indispensable to follow the signal. Continue to drive again only when the light is green. Stop the car when a red signal is shown;
  • Slow down the car at zebra crossings and let the people cross the road. Make sure to do the indication of the signal for turns, stops and lane changes. Do not enter the “No Entry Zone’.
  • When making a turn, the driver should be aware of a number of things. Avoid making a last minute turn. Slow down before making a turn. Give indications to other vehicles while changing lanes. If you wish to make a turn in an intersection and you find it hard to find a proper lane, move on to the next intersection and make the turn
  • Drivers should have proper knowledge of the parking rules and regulations. Park your vehicle in the parking zone. If there is no available parking zone nearby, you can park on a public road instead. But assure to move your vehicle far away from the moving traffic.

The role of rules and regulations is very essential while driving. If you follow the abovementioned things, you can easily keep away yourself and the passengers from unwanted accidents.

Speed Limit

There is a national speed limit law implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The maximum speed limit in urban areas is set to 60 kilometers per hour. Those who are in a more rural area have less traffic. On other motorways, there is no limit law in speed taking place. Most of the type of speed enforcement in Congo comes in the form of manual detection from police officers.

Despite this, the driving laws in the Democratic Republic of Congo are not equally executed. Some laws may be implemented more frequently than the others or addressed distinctively from one another.

Seatbelt Laws

The driver and passengers from both rear and front passengers of private and public vehicles are required to use and wear their seat belts every time they are inside a car. Wearing of seatbelts reduces the risk of fatalities.

Driving Directions

The Google map fully covers Democratic Republic of Congo showing its road routes from cities to towns, road intersections in any region, prefectures, and provinces. It also has free driving directions in Kinshasa covering neighboring towns and countries. If you want to locate a particular quarter in Kinshasa on the map, you just have to click on the area, and zoom it in. This is evident on the Google Maps of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The maps present a detailed, clear and large road map of Democratic Republic of the Congo along with its administrative divisions, composed of 26 provinces. Google map can also be used as the satellite map of Democratic Republic of the Congo, or as a reverse search map for finding an address from its GPS coordinates.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic Road signs in the Democratic Republic of Congo are often written in French. Road Traffic Signs include Mandatory Signs to ensure that all vehicles follow the same pattern so there would be no problem in the roads; Cautionary Signs to warn the driver regarding the immediate action to be taken and; Informative Signs provide the necessary information, and you can choose to act accordingly if the information concerns you.

Mandatory Signs include:

  • Stop Sign
  • Yield Sign
  • Pedestrian Crossing Yield Sign
  • Cross on Walk Signal Only Sign
  • Road Close Sign
  • Truck Permitted Sign
  • Excempt Plaque Sign
  • Do Not Pass Light Rail Transit Only Sign
  • Do Not Drive On Tracks Sign
  • Look Sign
  • Night Speed Limit Sign
  • Truck Speed Limit Sign

Cautionary Signs include:

  • No Signal Sign
  • Dead End Sign
  • Construction Arrow Sign
  • Skewed Railroad Sign
  • Horse-Drawn Vehicle Sign
  • Bear Sign
  • Wildlife Sign
  • Wheelchair Sign
  • Low Clearance Sign
  • Farm Machinery Sign
  • 500 Feet Distance Warning Sign
  • No Traffic Signs Sign
  • Workers Symbol Sign
  • Stop Ahead Sign

Informative Signs include:

  • Parking Area Sign
  • Park & Ride Sign
  • Freeway Entrance Sign
  • Town Distance Sign
  • National Scenic By-ways Sign
  • Phone Symbol Sign
  • Tourist Information Sign
  • Electric Vehicle Symbol Sign
  • Police Sign
  • Hospital Symbol Sign
  • Interstate Route Sign
  • Emergency Notification Sign
  • Interstate Business Loop 3 Sign
  • Phone Symbol With Arrow Sign

It is important for every driver to understand traffic road signs and follow traffic rules and regulations. Remember to always drive safely.

Right of Way

The current give way rules in the facet of transport of the Democratic Republic of Congo is another matter that you have to know if you are planning to go on a trip to the said country.

The presence of give way rules in the country is mainly for ‘Road Security’ purposes. Since only 11% roads of the entire territory are in good condition, security forces conduct strict implementation of protocols. They post checkpoints giving right of way to all the vehicles passing by.

As part of their law, vehicles must be checked cautiously. They need to search the vehicles for possible weapons and valuables. The same applies to passengers, the security forces will have to check their identity information. The passengers must present their valid IDs and travel documents for them to be given the right to passage. Once cleared, you will be free of any hassle that may come along the way.

Legal Driving Age

Driving ages vary around the world. 18 years old is the minimum age requirement for obtaining an international permit.Thus, this also applies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Law on Overtaking

Overtaking other vehicles can be life-threatening. The difficulty with overtaking is estimating the amount of space required to successfully carry out the action.According to Highway Code Overtaking 162 to 163, before doing an overtake you should make sure the road is sufficiently clear ahead and road users are not beginning to overtake you.

There should be a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake to avoid accidents. Do not overtake unless you have a clear view of approaching traffic and you can safely execute overtaking. Do not overtake a vehicle coming to a stop or a vehicle that has stopped at a pedestrian crossing, intersection or railway crossing.

You must not overtake across an unbroken continuous line, unless the line closest to you is broken. Don't also overtake on a narrowing road. These are a set of reminders whenever you consider overtaking while driving.

Driving Side

People drive on the right-hand side of the road like most of the countries. If you came from a country with this being implemented, therefore you will not need another driving style lesson for there is no difference in Congo driving. You can now safely focus on navigating the roads.

The Driving Etiquette in Democratic Republic of Congo

Driving etiquette is no more a surprise to professional drivers. But to newbies driving in a different country, you must consider revisiting this topic again. It is important to learn proper etiquette when driving abroad. Think about situations/circumstances like the following:

Car Breakdown

If your vehicle has broken down due to some circumstances like flat battery, empty fuel or punctured tire, you can call for roadside assistance.Turn on your hazard lights to give warning to other drivers if you sense something is out of place. Keep them on until rescue comes. Drive slowly and pull off to the right shoulder of the road. Consumer reports suggest to pull over to a secure, flat land that is far away from commencing traffic.Turn your wheels from the road and put on the Emergency brakes sometimes called the parking brake.

If you're going to park on a ground that forms a natural or artificial incline, it is best to turn the car wheels away from the road to prevent getting involved in traffic. Stay in your vehicle. If you're on a road loaded with a lot of vehicles, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you should avoid getting out of the car to fix the damages. It's better to pull over your vehicle in a safe place where the road is clear.

When you have safely gone out of the vehicle, prop up your hood to let other drivers know that they should proceed with caution. This way, the other drivers will know that you are broken down. Call or use an app to get a tow truck or roadside assistance to come and help you. If you're in a dire situation or are unsure of who to reach out to, call 911 or the local police for help.

Police Stops

When a police stops you, stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window halfway, and place your hands on the wheel. If you’re a passenger on the seat, put your hands on the dashboard. If requested, show the police your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Avoid making unexpected movements, and keep your hands in the officer’s sight.

Asking for Directions

When you ask for directions, starting the conversation with a greeting is a must and showing a polite expression. If you want to receive a vibrant explanation, begin by saying “hi” first. You should know the basic vocabulary that is commonly used when getting directions.

Use the right words and adverbs. Complete all the details and do not miss any information. If you ask a specific question it is more likely to receive a specific response. Get to Know the Transportation System in the place. There are times that it can happen that you are still far from your destination, and you have to take public transit. Don’t be scared of using landmarks. Every city that exists in the world has its own landmarks. You can save more time if you know the important landmark in that place you are currently visiting.


If there are checkpoints along the way, always be polite but attentive. Avoid confrontation. Your time is not the same. Do not pressure them just because you have a deadline to follow. If on foot, walk towards the checkpoint bringing only the necessary documents. When in a vehicle, keep the windows up and doors locked. Wait for a command. Open the window to speak just enough to be able to look them in the eye.Do not try to record without consent.

If soldiers doing the checkpoint are hostile or nervous, you may wish to offer something to smooth things over. There is a time and place for this which you must be able to figure out. Think about giving them water, food, sweets or cigarettes.

Let them know that people know where you are and that you are expected to come back to them. Show them that you are not a danger. Keep your hands where they can see and do not make any sudden movements. They may think you are going to hold a weapon.

Other Tips

There are other things that you must take into consideration when you opt to drive in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The following are other tips that you might want to keep in mind:

Is It Safe to Drive at Night?

One driving etiquette done at night, drive slowly enough so you can stop within the area lit by your headlights. Make it a habit to use high-beam lights when driving in rural areas and on open highways away from urban and metropolitan areas. When leaving a brightly lit place, drive slowly until your eyes adapt to the darkness. This will be able to help you manage a safe trip.

Roll the steering wheel in the direction you want the front wheels to go. To avoid any accidents, drive in a safe speed limit, stay in your lane, drive with both hands on the wheel, no matter how slow the traffic is, don't tailgate the vehicle in front of you, use signals properly, always wear a seatbelt and avoid distraction.

Driving Conditions in Democratic Republic of Congo

Poor weather, road conditions, and road hazards are few driving situations every driver faces.To assess these situations, slow down and drive at a safe speed that matches the pace of the traffic. Maintain distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to avoid any accident. Remember to keep your windshield and windows clear; weather conditions can make it even more difficult to see with a dirty window. Use headlights whenever it is necessary and adjust to the right visibility levels

It is also dangerous when children play around near the roadside. Children do not know how dangerous moving vehicles are and can suddenly run to chase a ball across the street, or simply go home. If you see children around while driving, slow down and prepare to stop. Drivers should also be cautious with potholes. Potholes can cause accidents and some drivers may sweep around a pothole. When you see a pothole on the road, slow down and keep a firm grip on your steering wheel.

Accident Statistics

It was emphasized that the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million based on the Global Status Report. Road traffic damages and casualties are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The report recommends that the charge paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist. Rapid action is needed to avoid further casualties.

The death rate in age is 35.98 per 100,000 of the population of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This made the country ranked no. 28 in the world, based on data published by the World Health Organization.

Common Vehicles

Motor Vehicles such as cars and motorcycles are the vehicles commonly used in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo, Republic of Motor Vehicle Registered, was reported at 1,900.000 Unit in Dec 2015. This brings an increase from the previous number of 1,830.000 Unit for Dec 2014.

The data hit an all-time high of 1,900.000 Unit in 2015 and a record low of 1,583.200 Unit in 2005. The country’s Republic of Motor Vehicle Registered data remains active status in CEIC and is reported by International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

Road Situations

Even if drivers could read French signs with ease, there can still be difficulty in seeing the road signs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The road signs are hard to read due to the weather conditions. During the rainy season, most of the roads are impassable. Some road signs are missing and this would lead you to unpaved roads.

Driving Culture

There are local safe drivers in the Democratic Republic of Congo who follow the road traffic rules and regulations but there are also reckless drivers driving around the country. It is still best to take precautions when driving in the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid accidents and casualties.

Safe drivers are vigilant, always drive to the conditions of the road environment and are ready to take action at any time. Whether it's an experienced driver, a passenger, bike rider or pedestrian drivers, people should always follow the road signs, rules and regulations to keep everyone safe.

Things to Do in Democratic Republic of the Congo

As an expat-friendly country, Democratic Republic of Congo has been open to more foreigners wanting to live there for years. If you want to live in this beautiful country, you need to learn about the things you can do during your long-term stay.

Drive as a Tourist

Getting a driving job in Democratic Republic of Congo may not be easy but not entirely impossible. You can find several driving jobs in Democratic Republic of Congo from job listings sites online. However, you need to secure a work visa, comply with all requirements, and take necessary tests to get a driving job in Democratic Republic of Congo. You should also be familiar with the driving test rules in Democratic Republic of Congo to land a driving job.

Work as a Driver

You can either get private car driving jobs like driving for families or teach driving lessons in Congo’s driving training school. You can find several driving training schools in Democratic Republic of Congo that are looking for driving instructors. Some driving schools may be hesitant to hire a foreigner to teach driving lessons, but there’s no harm in trying. If you know the driving test rules by heart and possesses a driving license, your chances of getting hired will increase.

Work as a Travel Guide

One thing you must consider in landing a job in the Democratic Republic of Congo is to try being a Tourist Guide or also known as “Travel Guide.” In such a path, you can apply the basics that you have learned from being a tourist driving in a stranger’s land.

Apply for Residency

If you wish to live and work in Democratic Republic of the Congo, you need to apply for a residency permit and work visa. Your employer processes a work visa for you. All you need is to comply with the requirements such as your passport, passport-size photos, a copy of your work contract, your health record from an authorized clinic, and an accomplished visa application form. Your employer shoulders the fee for your application.

Your work visa is valid for one to two years. When you already have a work visa, you are automatically entitled to reside in Democratic Republic of the Congo. If you want your family to live with you, they all need to secure a family visa. Only the immediate family is entitled to a family visa.

Other Things to Do

Aside from residency, driving jobs, and driving as a tourist, there are more things that you can do in Democratic Republic of Congo. Here are some of them.

Can a Foreigner Own a Car in Democratic Republic of Congo?

Foreigners usually purchase cars when they stay longer than a year in Democratic Republic of Congo. You can buy from car sales centers or previous owners. You need to consider several things before purchasing a car such as maintenance, renewal, and insurance. If you want to own a car you have to secure a Population Registration Card (PRC). You also need to renew the vehicle registration every 12 months.

If you plan to buy a secondhand car, keep in mind that vehicles over five years old must undergo an annual test before the registration renewal. It’s best to schedule the annual test three months before the due date for the renewal to avoid long queues. You can enjoy privileges if you own a car and a driving license in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Can I Convert my Driver’s License in Democratic Republic of Congo?

Foreigners who are staying in Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 12 months need to get a Congo driving license. You may exchange your local driving license for a Congo driving permit from Traffic Services. Some countries can get a valid driving license in Democratic Republic of Congo without a test. All you need is to submit the requirements, fill up the paperwork, and take an eyesight test. You also need to set a driving test appointment in Democratic Republic of Congo to apply for a Congo driving license.

If you don’t have a local driver’s license, you can apply for a driving license in Democratic Republic of Congo and undergo the standard driving, medical, and educational tests. You can only get a driving license if you are at least 18 years old, possess a Congo ID card (CPR), and pass all the tests. You can enroll in a driving school in Congo if you haven’t taken a driving lesson before. Driving schools in Democratic Republic of Congo charge an hourly rate for driving lessons.

Top Destinations in Democratic Republic of the Congo

If you are sick of safaris and savannahs, it might be time to add a stamp to your passport to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The region's doors are slowly opening up to tourism after years of war and bloodshed, thanks mainly to the high-profile protection of the western mountain gorillas in the Parc National des Virungas.

You can see a lot of tourist destinations, ranging from cultural heritage sites to modern infrastructures. Wildlife, indigenous peoples, and geological phenomena that are not easily found or found anywhere else in Africa can be seen by visitors. If you’re driving to these sites, follow Democratic Republic of the Congo’s driving regulations to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities. Below are the top destinations that you shouldn’t miss out on during your visit to Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Virunga National Park Photo by Luc Huyghebaert

Virunga National Park

In order to protect 1/3 of the world's wild mountain gorillas, over one thousand species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, Virunga National Park, Africa's most biodiverse protected area, offers a brighter future for more than four million people threatened by violence.

In order to protect 1/3 of the world's wild mountain gorillas, over one thousand species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, Virunga National Park, Africa's most biodiverse protected area, offers a brighter future for more than four million people threatened by violence.

Driving Directions

  1. Virunga road can be accessed by travellers from Uganda and Rwanda
  2. Travellers accessing the national park from Uganda will have to drive to Kisoro town and cross over to Goma town via the Congo-Uganda border at Bunagana.
  3. It takes 1 hour to travel to the park from Goma, it is advisable to use a 4-wheel vehicle to get in the park.

Things to Do

1. Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking is certainly one of the main attractions during your visit to Virunga National Park. Meet the wonderful animals and be fascinated by their playful nature after a one-hour walk through the mountain jungle.

2. Capture the beautiful scenery.

The breathtaking landscape of the park would surely look good on photos, so don’t miss out on getting the opportunity to take stunning images. Pictures are the best way to store this memorable experience.

3. Meet the other animals.

Aside from the gorillas, you can also meet other animals that would make your heart sing in glee. Keep in mind that these animals are protected, and doing things that would harm them is disgraceful.

Kinshasa Photo by Valdhy Mbemba


The place is known to be the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Located on part of it is the capital of the neighboring Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville, which can be seen in the distance across the wide river Congo. Although sprawling, chaotic and sometimes overwhelming, with a vibrant community of musicians and artists, Kinshasa is also a major cultural and intellectual hub for Central Africa.

Aside from being the city capital of DRC, Kinshasa is also famous for being the home of more than ten million inhabitants. The place is known for its diverse culture. Besides, the area is also considered the cradle of Congolese rumba – a music and dance genre established by international influence.

Driving directions:

  1. Apart from the road Matadi to Kinshasa a car is no means for overland travel.
  2. In the upper northern area (Bangassou - Nia Nia - Isiro) and maybe the Kinshasa - Lumumbashi axis, you could be effective with a 4x4.
  3. All other towns can only be reached by air transport or cruise.

Things To Do

There are loads of things you can do in the capital city of the DRC of Congo. You can plan to do the following:

1. Enjoy a picnic party near its seashore.

Organizing a picnic party near the seashore is surely a relaxing way to spend your time in the capital. You can also take an early morning or afternoon dip to soothe yourself.

2. Take a boat ride on its beautiful beaches.

You can also take a boat ride for a more romantic activity. If you love sunsets, this is the best way to savor the beautiful scenery.

3. Try the Congolese rumba.

If you’re into fun activities, why not try dancing with the locals? Try dancing rumba and dance your heart out! Not only will you have a hearty laugh and energy, you’ll also collect a fond memory.

4. Stroll or visit the city market to experience the most intense and colorful fun.

You can also go shopping in the city market and buy local souvenirs and produce. Aside from buying souvenirs, you can stroll around the market and bump with the locals.

Lake Kivu Photo by Serrah Galos

Lake Kivu

One of the African Great Lakes is Lake Kivu. It is situated on the frontier between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda and is in the western branch of the East African Rift, the Albertine Rift. Kivu Lake empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows into Tanganyika Lake to the south.

The lake bed sits on a rift valley that is being gradually pulled apart, triggering volcanic activity in the area. There are 28 species of fish fauna in Lake Kivu and it is home to four species of freshwater crabs. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Kivu is a natural drinking water reservoir for people in Goma town and some nearby villages in the Kabare and Kalehe regions.

Driving directions

  1. From Kigali, take a bus to reach Muhanga.
  2. Travel from Muhanga to get in the Lake Kivu

Things To Do

Kivu Lake is a perfect place to spend a few days just soaking up the serenity of one of the most beautiful regions in Africa. With the following activities, you will be able to appreciate this famous spot:

1. Go Kayaking

Adventurous tourists will surely enjoy this fun water-based activity as Lake Kivu is a great place for kayaking. Get your heart pumping in a kayak and tour around the lake.

2. Take Cultural tours

If you’re interested in knowing more about the culture of the country, taking cultural tours are the best way to go. You can do a self-managed tour or join a guided tour for a detailed immersive tour.

3. Boat tours

If you’re not into thrilling activities, you can opt to join boat tours and get the best view of the stunning landscape. Watching the sunset with a loved one on a boat tour is surely a picture-perfect experience.

Lake Tanganyika Photo by Guy Basabose

Lake Tanganyika

Tanganyika Lake is a Wonderful African Lake. Tanganyika is one of the oldest freshwater lakes in the world, the second-largest in volume and, in all cases, the second-deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia. In the area of the Albertine Rift, the western part of the East African Rift, Lake Tanganyika is found and is confined by the valley's mountainous walls.

The lake is stratified and usually seasonal blending does not extend beyond depths of 150 m (490 ft). In the south, the mixing primarily occurs as upwellings and is wind-driven, but up- and downwellings also occur elsewhere in the lake to a lesser degree.

Driving Directions

  1. It is possible to reach the lake via any of the neighboring countries.
  2. Kigoma and Kalemie both have small airports and both are connected to their countries' rail networks.

Things To Do

As one of the great lakes in Africa, Lake Tanganyika has lots of activities waiting for you. The lake offers the following activities:

1. Try Water-based sports

If you’re into adventure sports, try the water-based sports featured here in Lake Tanganyika. Swimming, water skiing, wakeboarding, and kite surfing are just some of the water sports you can do here.

2. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon while fishing

The lake has abundant resources, including different species of fish. If you’re into more relaxing activities, fishing is the perfect activity for you.

3. Snorkeling and Scuba diving

Snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular activities here in the lake. Don’t miss out on the wonders found under the lake by trying scuba diving and snorkeling.

4. Fish encounter with a wide selection of beautifully colored fish

You can also just view the fishes by the lake if you’re not into the activities mentioned above. Just by swimming in the lake or just standing there is enough to appreciate the beauty that the lake possesses.

Lake Edward

A freshwater lake that is one of the 2,231 Ramsar sites in the world, a distinction that identifies it as a significant international wetland. Lake Edward is a critical source of income for many fishermen from the two nations.

Lake Edward is known to be the smallest among the African Great Lakes. It is found on the frontier between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda, in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift, and a few kilometers south of the equator on the northern shore.

Driving directions

  1. It lies astride the border of Congo (Kinshasa) and Uganda at an elevation of 2,992 feet (912 m) and is 48 miles (77 km) long and 26 miles (42 km) wide.
  2. On the northeast it is connected to the smaller Lake George.

Things To Do

Lake Edward, just like the other lakes, offer enjoyable activities to tourists. Here are some of them.

1. Enjoy the free use of paddle boards in the clear water

Paddle your way through the lake with the paddle boards. It’s surely an enjoyable activity with friends.

2. Create sand castles in Lake Edward's very gradual sandy depth.

Lake Edward is known for its sand depth, so it’s possible to create sand castles here. Unleash your creativity and make beautiful sand castles with your loved ones.

3. Take picture-perfect scenic views.

Don’t forget to take a picture of the charming lake here. Cherishing and storing the memories of this place is a must for travelers like you.

Continue to appreciate the beauty of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When planning to visit, secure an International Driver’s permit today. You can also learn regulations about driving through the International Driver’s permit Democratic Republic of Congo video and International Driver’s permit Democratic Republic of Congo review.

To learn more, watch more videos about having the driving license in the DRC, 7 visit the website of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can write your DR Congo reviews and experiences on the site by leaving a comment or posting a Democratic Republic of Congo driving video on the website of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Stay tuned and updated for the current news and video about the Democratic Republic of the Congo today. The Driving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reviews of today's experiences will serve as a testimony on how great it is to be in the country.

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