The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- the provinces of Kasaï, Kasaï Central, Kasaï Oriental, Haut-Uele, Haut Lomami, Ituri, North Kivu (except the city of Goma - see below), South Kivu (except the city of Bukavu - see below), Maniema and Tanganyika in eastern DRC
- areas to the west and east of Kananga, including Tshikapa and Mwene-Ditu (as shown on the map)
- within 50km of the border with the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The FCO advise 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).
Public gatherings and demonstrations can be called with little or no notice and can quickly turn violent in DRC. In all instances, you should remain vigilant and be aware of disruptions to journeys around Kinshasa, as well as to and from N’Djili airport. If a demonstration or disturbance takes place, leave quickly and don’t attempt to watch or photograph it.
The security situation in eastern DRC remains unstable. The continued presence of armed groups, military operations against them, intercommunal violence and an influx of refugees from neighbouring countries all contribute to a deterioration in the political, security and humanitarian situation. There are continued reports of attacks and kidnappings, including against staff from NGOs. There have been a number of reported attacks on Ebola responders working in affected areas. See Safety and security
Consular support is severely limited in parts of DRC. The lack of infrastructure throughout the country and continued 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. There are limits to the assistance the FCO can provide in a crisis, depending on the security and transport situation. You should not assume that the FCO will be able to provide assistance to leave the country in the event of serious unrest.
On 17 July 2019, the World Health Organisation declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) following an outbreak of the Ebola virus in eastern DRC. New cases continue to be reported across the affected areas including the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. Cases have been confirmed in Goma since 14 July 2019. If you are in these areas you should take precautions to minimise your risk of exposure. Further advice is available on the World Health Organisation website. On 1 August 2019 border restrictions were temporarily put in place for those travelling between Goma and Rwanda, these have since been lifted but the potential for further disruption remains. The latest updates can be found on the World Health Organisation website. Public Health England’s Returning Workers Scheme provides guidance for British nationals who will be returning to the UK from areas affected by the outbreak. See Health
Street crime and robbery, including by individuals posing as plain clothes police, is common. Recent months have seen an increase in such criminal activity in and around the city of Lubumbashi. 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. International non-governmental organisations in Kinshasa and Goma have been targeted. Take extra care at night. See Crime
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Attacks could be indiscriminate. You should be vigilant, especially in places visited by foreigners. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.