Congo River Expedition

Congo River Expedition

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 28 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 - Kinshasa

Arrive in Kinshasa and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Hotel Invest or similar.

Day 2 – Kinshasa City Tour

After breakfast visit the wonderful Lola Ya Bonobo project outside of Kinshasa. Later in Kinshasa we explore some of the markets and buildings that make this such a fascinating city. Formerly referred to as ‘Kin La Belle’ - meaning ‘Beautiful Kinshasa’, the many years of turmoil has tarnished this image. But slowly, Kinshasa is regaining its splendour. Overnight Hotel Invest or similar. (B) 

Day 3 - Kinshasa to Mbandaka

Fly to Mbandaka, capital of the Equator Province, and the starting point of river expedition. We camp overnight in the city, ready to leave shortly on our 11 day voyage bound for Lisala. Overnight tented camp in Mbandaka. (BLD) 

Days 4 to 13 – Congo River Expedition: First Leg

The first leg of our voyage, upriver from Mbandaka to Lisala is expected to take 9 nights. We will be travelling through a vast area, without roads or airports. The river is a vital-life line for the communities we visit en-route. We will see how they go about their everyday lives, buying and selling produce from small boats that criss-cross the river. The people we meet have little, if any contact with the outside world, and certainly no concept of tourism. It is the genuinely spontaneous encounters which makes the trip so pioneering and a must for intrepid travellers. There are few places left on earth where such encounters are possible. It is a special experience shared by only an elite group of travellers a year. (BLD) 

Each night will be spent ashore or close to a village where we can buy fresh produce, prepare dinner and set-up our tented camp for the night. Tents are large and comfortable, 2m in height. Each tent is equipped with self-inflating mattress and cotton mattress covers and pillows. Travellers should bring their sleeping bag or sleeping sheet, as well as a towel and toiletries. 

Our transport is aboard a 34m long wooden boat, equipped with two powerful outboard engines. Although a traditional boat it is of course equipped with full safety equipment, toilet facilities, a generator, lighting and freezers for food and drinks. A cook and an English speaking guide accompany the trip throughout.  

Day 14 and 15 – Lisala

We expect to arrive in Lisala today. Lisala is the home town of the former President Mobutu and the half way point between Mbandaka to Kisangani. Some of your fellow travellers will be returning to Kinshasa, taking a plane back to the capital the following day. At the same time other travellers will fly from Kinshasa to Lisala, in order to travel on the second leg of the expedition to Kisangani. Overnight tented camp a few miles on from Lisala. (BLD) 

Days 16 to 25 – Congo River Expedition: Second Leg

The second leg of our voyage will take us further up river from Lisala, to our final destination, the city of Kisangani. The trip is expected to take 10 nights and as with the first leg, each night will be spent ashore at or close to a village where we can buy fresh produce, prepare dinner and set-up our tented camp for the night. Highlights of the second leg of the expedition include Bumba, where the river is at its widest, some 20 kilometres across and covered with water hyacinths. Closer to Kisangani we will travel through Yangambi, an important Biosphere Reserve which hosts 32,000 tree species. Wildlife in the reserve includes elephant, river hog and monkeys. (BLD) 

Day 26 – Kisangani

There will be time to explore the city. Founded by Stanley in 1877, highlights include the Tshopo River Falls and the Wagenia fisheries, set-up in the middle of the rapids. Fishing is carried out by means of a complex structure set amongst the rocks to trap the fish. Overnight local hotel. (BLD) 

Day 27 – Kinshasa

Transfer to Kisangani’s airport for a scheduled flight back to Kinshasa. Overnight Hotel Invest or similar. (B) 

Day 28 – Kinshasa

Tour ends with transfer to airport. (B)


Other tours in Congo (DRC)

Congo River Journey - (Part 1) Mbandaka to Lisala »

Congo River Journey - (Part 2) Lisala to Kisangani »