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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC), please see Ireland.ie.

Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC)

If you’re travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact



Security status

Do Not Travel

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens require a visa to enter DRC.

A valid passport is required for travel to DRC. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months. Passport cards cannot be used.

For more information on visa and passport requirements, please see the Additional Information tab.

Visitors to DRC are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.

Citizens can also follow the Irish Embassy in Tanzania on Twitter@IrlEmbTanzania to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in DRC by dialling 112.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

As there is no Irish Embassy in DRC, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Tanzania.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

EU Directive on Consular Protection

You can also try contacting the Embassies, Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support. Please note however that the lack of infrastructure throughout the country and continued insecurity in eastern DRC often prevent these Missions from providing normal levels of consular assistance.


The political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is fragile. Things can deteriorate quickly and dangerous incidents can happen. For this reason, we advise against non-essential travel to the country, particularly all travel to the eastern, north-eastern and Bas-Congo areas, including the town of Goma.

Be aware that if unrest in the country worsens, commercial flights may be suspended and border crossing points closed. This will restrict your ability to leave the country.

Border areas

If you are travelling to the DRC, avoid entering or leaving overland from Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi except via Goma and Bukavu and be extremely careful at crossing points. The border crossings between Rwanda and the DRC at Gisenyi/Goma and Cyangugu/Bukavu are currently open between 6am and 6pm. Both borders are liable to short notice closure and you shouldn’t rely on them as a point of exit from the DRC. The border with Angola can also be subject to closure at short notice. You must have the correct documentation for to enter the country, including a visa issued by the nearest DRC Embassy to your country of residence. It is no longer possible to buy a short-term pass at the border to enter the country.


Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational. Always keep yourself informed of changes to the political situation by monitoring local and international media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.


Crime is on the rise, particularly in Kinshasa, and you should be extremely careful, especially at night and always take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Street crime

In Kinshasa, robberies by gangs of street children are increasingly common and becoming more aggressive. You should always stick to the main thoroughfares when driving and make sure that you park in a supervised area.

Reporting crime

There’s no emergency services number in the Democratic Republic of Congo, equivalent to the 999 service in Ireland.

If you’re a victim of crime, notify the nearest police station or gendarmerie. However, you should be aware that laws and regulations are not administered consistently in the DRC and legal recourse in cases of theft and robbery is limited. If you need assistance, you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Tanzania.


If you’re planning to drive in Democratic Republic of Congo, you should be extremely careful. Roads are generally in poor condition, and often impassable in the rainy season. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law
  • Be aware of Democratic Republic of Congo’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
  • Stick to the main routes  and always park in a supervised area


Travellers are frequently detained and questioned by poorly disciplined security forces at numerous official and unofficial roadblocks and border crossings throughout the country. Requests for bribes in such instances are common, and security forces are reported to have occasionally injured or killed people who refuse to pay.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Practical advice

  • Read our travel advice, inform yourself before travelling and get advice locally when you arrive
  • Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them
  • Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal


Taking photos of, or near, military or security installations and staff, and some public buildings, is prohibited and can result in arrest and detention.



Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.


From July 2023 DRC removed all COVID-19 related entry requirements. Proof of either vaccination or a negative test result is no longer required. COVID-19 related exit requirements were removed in 2022.

Medical facilities

The Centre Prive d'Urgence (CPU) clinic in Kinshasa is able to cope with basic health problems and to stabilise a patient after most serious accidents. Medical evacuation is advisable as soon as possible. Outside Kinshasa, western standard medical facilities are practically non-existent.


Malaria is prevalent in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.

Other illnesses

DRC has experienced a number of Ebola outbreaks in recent years. There are also currently outbreaks of cholera, measles, monkey pox, plague, yellow fever and vaccine-derived polio.


HIV/AIDS is prevalent in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You should exercise necessary caution if engaging in activities that expose you to possible infection. If you suspect that you have been exposed to possible infection, you should seek immediate medical attention.


Check what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. We can’t advise you on vaccinations, but you can get information about vaccinations from your local GP or an International Health and Travel Centre.

Evidence of vaccination (in the form of a certificate) can be a requirement for entry to some countries.


Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. You may wish to also bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication.

Medical emergency facilities

In Kinshasa:

  • Centre Prive d’Urgence (CPU), Corner of Avenue Commerce and Bas-Congo, Kinshasa-Gombe, DRC, Telephone: + 243 89 50 302. Open 24 hours for emergency treatment.
  • Centre Medical de Kinshasa (CMK), Avenue Wagenia No 168, Kinshasa-Gombe, DRC, Main Telephone: +243 89 50 300 or +243 99 82 65004, Emergency number: + 243 90 884 0277. Open 24 hours. Offers general and emergency medical services.
  • CMM Emergency Medical Centre, Avenue 48 de la Mongala, Kinshasa, DRC, Telephone: +243 81 884 1774, Offers general medical services.

In Goma:

  • Maison Medicale Du Centre (MMC), 20 Avenue Kamina, Goma, DRC, Telephone: +243 80 84 20 442 or 99 77 57 226 or 80 85 92 778

Additional Information

Additional information


All Irish nationals need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to DRC issued by the nearest Democratic Republic of Congo Embassy. It is no longer possible to buy a short-term pass at the border to enter the country. Irish nationals living in Ireland can apply for a visa through the DRC Embassy in London:

The Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

281 Gray’s Inn Road



Telephone: 0207 580 3931

Email: info@ambardc-londres.gouv.cd

You should check requirements with the DRC Embassy in London depending on your type of visa and allow at least 2 to 3 weeks for visa processing.


It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help by issuing you an emergency travel document that will get you home. We'll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you.

As Ireland does not have an Embassy or Consulate in DRC there may be additional complications in issuing an emergency travel document. You should contact our Irish Embassy in Tanzania to find out what you need to do to apply for an emergency travel document. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.

Departure tax

There is a departure tax of $55 per passenger on international flights and $10 per passenger on domestic flights. These are official fees paid when checking in. Get an official receipt plus a copy for each fee. You should hand the originals on request to immigration and at boarding, and keep the copies.


The climate in the Democratic Republic of Congo is tropical. It’s generally hot and humid in the equatorial river basin. The southern highlands are cooler and drier. The eastern highlands are cool and wet. 

As the country is located on the equator, there are climatic variations to the north and south. North of the equator the rainy season is from April to October, the dry season lasting from December to February. South of the equator the rainy season is from November to March, the dry season lasting from April to October.


Earthquakes occasionally take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most recent one occurred in 2015 and measured approximately 5.6 on the Richter scale.

If you’re travelling to or living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.


Mount Nyiragongo in the north east of the country (20 km from Goma) is an active volcano that last erupted on 22 May 2021. Local authorities, the UN and local NGOs continue to monitor its activity. If you are in the area (against our travel advice) then you should follow local advice in the event of an eruption.


There are occasional droughts in the dry season.


The Congo River floods during the rainy season causing widespread disruption in the river basin.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

In cases of an emergency outside of regular office hours, the Embassy can be contacted by calling the Duty Officer directly on +255 754 783 455.

Embassy of Ireland
Toure Drive
Plot No. 353
P.O.Box 9612,
Dar es Salaam

Tel: +255 22 221 3800
Fax: + 255 22 2602 362

Monday to Thursday 08:00 - 16:30, Friday 08:00 - 14:00

Contact us