Includes how to get to and from the country/economy as well as the different transportation options and their reliability within this country.

The DRC’s road, railway, maritime, and airport infrastructure system is dilapidated and requires substantial public and private investment for rehabilitation.

Entering the DRC:
Travelers from the United States generally enter the DRC on flights from Paris or Brussels.  Flights are also available from Nairobi, Istanbul, Addis Ababa, Casablanca, and Johannesburg.

Domestic Travel: Once in-country, most travelers prefer to hire a vehicle and driver for intra-urban ground transport.  Road conditions do not usually permit travel between major cities, but several airlines offer domestic air service.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the DRC’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with ICAO aviation safety standards for oversight of the DRC’s air carrier operations. 

Despite a reputation of being a dangerous and unpredictable aviation market, civil aviation in the DRC is experiencing a revival.  State-owned Congo Airways received the internationally recognized Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in mid-2016.  After a period of consolidation since 2013, there are now 14 airlines in the DRC.  This number is expected to drop further as AOCs will be awarded this year only to airlines that pass rigorous audits.  Recently, the GDRC has taken a number of actions intended to boost Congo Airways, however many of those have been arguably anti-competitive and have put other local airlines at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Public ground transportation is generally crowded, unreliable, unsafe, or in many cases non-existent.  Many taxis are unlicensed and thus not easily identifiable.  Rates vary and the fare should be established before entering the vehicle.  Because taxis carry several passengers, travelers wishing to be the vehicle’s sole occupant should establish this fact at the outset. 

The DRC’s rail network is composed of several, non-contiguous components that have fallen into disrepair.  The DRC has three legacy portage rail lines connecting port cities between non-navigable stretches of the Congo and Ubangi rivers.   The south and east of the country has three narrow gauge rail lines connecting major cities, including Illebo, Kindu, Likasa, and Kolwezi with Lubumbashi.  The SNCC’s eastern operation features an operating link with the Zambian rail network and a dormant connection to the Angolan rail network.  Passenger rail service is sporadic and schedules are unpredictable.  The SCTP recently completed rehabilitation of the Kinshasa – Matadi portage railway line; a weekly train now runs between the two cities.


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