The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:
- the provinces of Kasaï Oriental, Haut-Uele, Haut Lomami, Ituri, North Kivu. 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 city of Goma in North Kivu province
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- 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
- the territory of Kwamouth (located in Mai-Ndombe province)
The Pope is due to visit Kinshasa from 31 January to 3 February 2023. Areas around N’djili Airport, including the road leading to and from the airport into and out of the city, N’Dolo Airport and Gombe district will likely experience severe traffic disruption, some road closures and a heightened security presence around this time. Movements may be restricted. Visitors with plans to travel within Kinshasa, or leave the city, are advised to consider alternative arrangements.
There are protests planned for 24 November 2022 near the Goma office which may impact access to the Grande Barrière border crossing.
As of 15 November 2022, M23 have captured the town of Kibumba, approximately 15-20km north of Goma. For security reasons, staff have been temporarily withdrawn from the Goma office. We advise against all travel to Goma.
As of 13 November 2022, clashes between M23 and the Congolese military were taking place in Kibumba, approximately 15-20km north of Goma. The situation remains unstable and fast-moving. Further advances towards the town of Goma could be made with little warning and existing routes out of Goma, including the airport and border, could close at short notice. You should be prepared to leave at short notice via available routes. Travellers should regularly check government advice for updates. (Safety and Security)
As of 6 November 2022, Goma airport is being closed down periodically for short periods of time to facilitate military aircraft movements. Alternative routes to exit Goma may be required at short notice.
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 2022. 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.
On 29 September 2022 DRC’s 15th Ebola outbreak was declared over. The outbreak began on 21 August 2022 in Beni, North Kivu province in Eastern DRC. There have been no new cases since the 21 August 2022. 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.
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 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.