Foreign travel advice
Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC will be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations football final at 3pm on 7 February. There are likely to be large crowds in the immediate aftermath of the game. You should avoid travelling on the roads from 4pm, particularly to the east of Gombe and south of Blvd du 30 Juin, and avoid large crowds.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to eastern and north eastern DRC. The only exceptions to this are the towns of Bukavu and Goma, to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of the DRC.
On 2 June 2015 small arms and heavy weapons fire was heard across the city of Goma. Reports indicate that most of the gunfire was related to an incident at a military base at the airport, but there were also shots fired in the city centre and at a vegetable market close to the airport. You should remain vigilant at all times.
Demonstrations can quickly turn violent in the DRC. In January 2015 there were violent demonstrations in Kinshasa in response to an electoral reform bill being considered by parliament. Troops were deployed to the streets to maintain order. Many schools, shops and businesses were closed and movement around the city was restricted.
Credible reports indicate that between 5 and 30 people were killed as a result of the violence, including 2 members of the police. There were also reports of violent demonstrations, looting and general unrest in other areas of the country, including in Goma, Bukavu, Mbandaka, Lubumbashi and Bas-Congo.
During periods of potential unrest remain vigilant, listen to local media and monitor the situation in your area closely. Take extra care at night. Avoid unnecessary journeys and stay away from areas where demonstrations are likely to take place, particularly the area around the parliament in Kinshasa. Protests may quickly turn violent without warning. Commercial flights may be suspended and borders closed.
The security situation in eastern DRC remains unstable. While British staff do visit Goma, there are not always British staff in the area, and our ability to offer consular assistance is therefore severely limited. In 2015 there has been a series of kidnappings in North Kivu in the area around Goma in addition to military operations against armed groups.
The lack of infrastructure throughout the country and continued insecurity in eastern DRC may prevent the British Embassy in Kinshasa from being able to extend normal levels of consular assistance to British nationals anywhere in DRC other than Kinshasa.
Street crime and robbery, including by individuals posing as plain clothes police, is common. Beware of gangs promising you cut price gold and diamonds. International non-governmental organisations in Kinshasa and Goma have been targeted. See Crime
Keep a low profile and avoid any large crowds and demonstrations. Stay alert to local political developments. See Political situation
There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.