Official Global Travel Advisories

Mandatory COVID-19 testing

To be allowed to board a flight to Canada, all air passengers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of their scheduled time of departure to Canada. If the traveller has a connecting flight to Canada, the pre-departure test must be conducted within 72 hours of the last direct flight to Canada. This means they may need to schedule a COVID-19 test at their transit city within 72 hours of their direct flight to Canada.

All travellers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, arriving to Canada by land are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours prior to crossing the border into Canada.

Alternatively, travellers can present a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to departure.

More information on measures in place to enter Canada – Government of Canada

Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) Register Travel insurance Destinations

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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health notices (Public Health Agency of Canada)


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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

COVID-19 – Global travel advisory

Effective date: March 13, 2020

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.

More about the Global travel advisory

Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

Avoid non-essential travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to the current political and security situation.

Eastern and northeastern areas of the DRC - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the eastern and northeastern areas of the DRC, in particular:

  • the provinces of:
    • Maniema
    • North Kivu
    • South Kivu
    • Tanganyika (northeastern area of the former province of Katanga);
    • Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele and Ituri (northeastern area of the former province of Orientale)
    • points of entry to Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda
    • areas bordering South Sudan (including the Garamba National Park) and Uganda

If you are currently in these areas, you should regularly review the situation to determine whether your continued presence in the area is warranted.

Safety and security situation

Kasaï provinces - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the following provinces due to frequent clashes between security forces and armed militias:

  • Kasaï
  • Kasaï-Central
  • Kasaï-Oriental

Safety and security situation

Safety and security

Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

Preventative measures and restrictions are in place and may vary depending on the municipality. You must wear a face covering in public.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
  • Avoid crowded areas

The security situation in the DRC is unpredictable and could deteriorate suddenly.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent suddenly.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Don’t attempt to cross road blockades, even if they appear unattended
  • Plan to have adequate water and food supplies in the event that main supply points are temporarily inaccessible
  • Monitor local media for the latest information

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Curfews

Curfews can be imposed without notice. Always comply with the directives issued by local authorities.

Eastern DRC

In the eastern part of the country—including Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika and the provinces of Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele and Ituri—the situation remains challenging. This is because of the continued presence of armed groups and their regular clashes with the Congolese armed forces (FARCD), whether or not they are backed by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

The DRC government has difficulty imposing order throughout the territory, and crime is rampant.

Provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu

Situation in the Kivus

The situation in the Kivus remains unstable. Armed conflicts continue in some areas outside provincial capitals, despite the signing of peace accords and the presence of UN forces.

Members of various armed groups continue to plunder and commit violent crimes against civilians, including murder, kidnapping, armed assault and rape. The FARCD, sometimes with the assistance of MONUSCO, has been fighting armed groups in order to eradicate them. The resulting humanitarian crisis has led to significant population movements.

Caution is advised in Goma (the capital of North Kivu) and Bukavu (capital of South Kivu), although the situation in those cities is more stable. It is very important that you take into account the information provided by Congolese authorities and MONUSCO, to help avoid dangerous situations.

The use of public transportation here is not advised, as is the case throughout the country.

The North Kivu territories of Beni, Masisi, Rutshuru and Walikale and South Kivu’s Kabare and Shabunda are particularly dangerous. In the Kivus, military operations to eradicate elements of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) could lead to a deterioration of safety in different areas outside the two capitals.

Local businesses and services, including airports, are often disrupted in these provinces.

If you are in North Kivu or South Kivu, you must continually reassess the situation to determine whether your continued presence in the area is warranted.

Tanganyika province

The province of Tanganyika, and especially Manono Territory in the northeastern part of the former province of Katanga, is the theatre of an ethnic conflict between the Pygmies and the Luba. The Mai-Mai militia periodically re-engage.

Ituri province

Despite initial progress on the disarmament of militia groups in the province of Ituri, armed confrontation continues in the northeastern part of the former province of Orientale. Outside Ituri’s main city, Bunia, public safety measures are inadequate.

Garamba National Park and border areas with South Sudan and Uganda

Despite the intensified operations by the Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese armed forces and the UN, the Lord’s Resistance Army continues to commit acts of violence against the civilian population. Many people have been killed and thousands have fled the region.

Points of entry from Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda

Points of entry from Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda should be avoided at all times because of continuing insecurity and lawlessness in those areas. The DRC borders with Burundi and Rwanda can be closed on short notice.

The border crossings between the DRC and Rwanda at Bukavu and Goma are closed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Kasaï provinces

Since 2017, clashes have resulted in hundreds of deaths in the provinces of Kasaï, Kasaï‑Central and Kasaï‑Oriental. There is also a risk of kidnapping.

Kinshasa

You should choose a hotel in the country’s capital that is located in the municipality of Gombe, which is both the seat of government and the business sector.

Be extremely cautious outside Gombe and use only reliable means of transportation (see Public transportation).

Avoid any travel after dark.

Crime

Crime is rampant in the DRC as a result of the extreme poverty and the prevailing climate of impunity.

Violent crime and pickpocketing occur in both urban and rural areas, especially after nightfall in crowded public areas and on public transportation.

Some police, or individuals posing as police personnel, stop motorists or pedestrians to extort money.

Avoid walking alone and displaying signs of wealth. Avoid getting into vehicles with strangers, even if they identify themselves as police officers. Always keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed. Do not leave the main highways and do not park in unsupervised areas. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or near a crowd.

Individuals offering discounted precious metals and diamonds have robbed foreign nationals.

ATMs

ATM fees are very high, so people often withdraw significant amounts of cash in one transaction. Thieves target foreigners who withdraw cash from an ATM. Therefore, be very cautious when withdrawing cash, even in hotels.

Checkpoints

Local authorities may increase the number of checkpoints at night, especially:

  • in Gombe
  • in Kintambo, Limete, Mont Ngafula, N’Djili, Ngaba and Ngaliema
  • around Camp Kokolo

Carry government-issued identification (carte rose, carte grise and driver’s licence) at all times and comply with local authorities’ instructions.

If approached by an officer, ask to see his/her credentials. Criminals could try to impersonate law enforcement officers in an attempt to rob you.

Kidnappings

There is an increase in cases of kidnappings-for-ransom in the provinces of Maniema, South Kivu and North Kivu, including in Goma. Foreigners are increasingly targeted.

Be vigilant at all times and have varied and unpredictable routes and schedules.

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau

Road safety

In general, roads in the DRC are not well maintained and are poorly lit.

Some roads may become impassable during the rainy season. You should use a four-wheel-drive vehicle, even in some parts of the capital, Kinshasa.

The road between Kinshasa and Matadi is paved, but the risk of being in an accident is very high because vehicles are poorly maintained, overcrowded and often abandoned on the poorly lit road.

Drivers are aggressive.

Local authorities may try to confiscate your identity documents in an attempt to extract a bribe. To reduce this risk, if you are stopped for an identity check, show your documents through the raised window of the vehicle.

You should also check with local authorities to see if you need to obtain prior authorization for in-country travel.

Public transportation

You should not use the public transportation system in the DRC. Routes are not clearly posted, bus stops are poorly located and vehicles are often overcrowded. A large number of old vans in very poor condition are still in circulation.

Not all taxis are marked and they generally do not meet safety or roadworthiness standards. Use only officially recognized taxis.

Private transportation services can be hired at some hotels.

It is possible to rent a car with or without a driver through rental companies or travel agencies.

Rail service is unsafe and you should not travel by train. There are frequent delays because of the poor state of the rail lines and mechanical breakdowns. Trains are overcrowded and are often frequented by thieves .

A ferry links Kinshasa and Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The service is mainly used by the local population and you should not use it. Smaller motor boats also provide service. These vessels are often overcrowded and you must line up early to secure a spot.

Official motorcades

Presidential and other official motorcades pose hazards to motorists and pedestrians.

Motorists must pull over when sirens or security forces indicate a motorcade.

Do not take photographs of motorcades using communication devices that were not acquired or registered in the DRC, including cell phones and hand-held radios.

Proceed on your way only when security forces permit you to do so.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Airport access

In a crisis, N’Djili International Airport in Kinshasa may close.

The parliament building is located on the road to the airport. When demonstrations are at the site, the airport is difficult to access.

General security information

Tourism facilities are very limited in Kinshasa and virtually non-existent outside the capital. Plan your trip in advance to reduce the risk to your safety.

If you are going to Kinshasa, ensure that there is someone to meet you when you arrive at the airport.

Telephone communication is poor, including with a cell phone.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory.

Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.

These could include:

  • entry bans, particularly for non-residents
  • exit bans
  • quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
  • proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
  • health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
  • travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
  • border closures
  • airport closures
  • flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
  • suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.

  • Monitor the media for the latest information
  • Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
  • Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions

Foreign Representatives in Canada – Global Affairs Canada

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Congolese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from the DRC.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required (Students must obtain a tourist visa)
Transit visa: Required

To enter the DRC, Canadians must obtain a visa from the DRC embassy in Ottawa before leaving Canada.

Visas are not available at ports of entry, and it is not possible to obtain a visa at DRC embassies outside of one’s country of residence.

A multiple-entry visa is required for foreigners who want to enter the DRC more than once (this is often the case with travellers using the ferry service between Kinshasa and Brazzaville, Congo). The multiple-entry visa is available at the embassy of the DRC in Ottawa or in Gombe, Kinshasa, at the DRC’s immigration department (Direction générale de migration), 65 Boulevard du 30 juin (next to the Regideso building).

Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada

Health screening

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease you may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening or a health questionnaire at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.

Difficulties at ports of entry

Travellers going to the DRC commonly encounter difficulties at the airport and other ports of entry.

Arrival at N’Djili International Airport in Kinshasa can be chaotic. Travellers can sometimes be temporarily detained and asked by security and immigration officers to pay unofficial “special fees.”

If you report to a border post without the required documents, you risk being turned back and expelled by immigration control officers.

Currency declaration

Upon entry, all foreigners (resident and non-resident) must declare all amounts of currency exceeding the equivalent of US$10,000. Similarly, all foreign currency must be declared when leaving the country.

Departure tax

All air passengers leaving the DRC must pay an airport infrastructure development tax (IDEF) in the amount of US$58 (subject to change without notice). You must obtain proof of payment of the IDEF (called a Go Pass) to be permitted to board your flight. This document is available at special counters in banks or designated institutions, and at airports.

Crossing to Brazzaville

To cross the Congo River from Kinshasa to Brazzaville, you must have an entry visa issued by the Embassy of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Health

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Outbreak Monitoring

MONITORING:

Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo

There is currently an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Butembo, North Kivu province. EVD is caused by a virus that is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids from people or animals. It is very serious and often fatal.

The Government of Canada currently advises Canadians against non-essential travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Please read the travel health notice: Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.

If you must travel to the DRC, consult a health care professional at least 6 weeks before you travel. While in the DRC, practice proper precautions. There is a vaccine to prevent EVD available under certain circumstances, however it is not authorized for sale in Canada.  
 


Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Meningococcal disease

This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.

Polio *Proof of vaccination*

Polio is present in this country. Polio can be prevented by vaccination, which is part of the routine vaccines for children in Canada.

Recommendation:

  • Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.  

Proof of vaccination:

If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may need to show proof of polio vaccination when you leave the country.

Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination.In Canada, they are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.

Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country.  Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virusyellow fever and  Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse flies usually bite during the day and the bites are usually painful. If untreated, the disease is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like Ebola,  rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a risk in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness.

Monkeypox is mainly spread to humans through direct contact with:

  • infected animals (mainly African rodents and non-human primates), by bite, scratch, or contact with their body fluids.

Human to human spread is not common but can occur through:

  • direct contact with the skin lesions or scabs of an infected person or materials contaminated by their lesions (such as bedding and clothing)
  • prolonged contact with a coughing or sneezing person with a rash due to monkeypox

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with potentially infected animals and people.

Plague

There is a risk of plague in this country. Plague is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, and if left untreated, death.

The occurrence of cases in areas where the plague bacteria are known to circulate can be influenced by weather and environmental conditions. In some countries, this results in seasonal outbreaks.
Travellers to areas where plague routinely occurs may be at risk if they are camping, hunting, or in contact with rodents.

Plague is spread by:

  • bites from fleas infected with the plague
  • direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an animal or person who is sick with or has died from plague

Overall risk to travellers is low. Protect yourself by reducing contact with fleas and potentially infected rodents and other wildlife.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Attacks against Ebola treatment centers

Attacks against medical staff and Ebola treatment centers have occurred in the past and resulted in casualties. Attacks could occur in the future.

Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing facilities

Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:

New medical facilities in Kinshasa provide adequate care but, with a few exceptions, medical equipment and health-care services are rudimentary. They are inadequate throughout the rest of the country.

If you travel beyond Kinshasa, you will need air evacuation for any serious illness, injury or surgery. Such an evacuation is very expensive and often requires payment upfront.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Identity checks

Local authorities may ask you to present your passport and visa at any time. In such situations, you are advised to remain calm and cooperative. Failure to comply could result in expulsion.

Always carry a certified copy of your passport and visa with you. Always keep your original passport in a secure place.

Drugs

Persons convicted of the possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs can expect prison terms and heavy fines.

Photographs

Taking photographs in public places, including at N’Djili International Airport in Kinshasa, is prohibited and could lead to arrest and detention.

Driving

You should carry an International Driving Permit.

Other traffic laws

Motorists and pedestrians are required to stop for the raising and the lowering of the national flag at approximately 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day. Policemen and/or military personnel often detain and fine people who fail to do so.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Money

The currency is the Congolese franc (CDF).

Payments can be made in foreign currency, particularly U.S. dollars. Merchants and foreign exchange dealers require that foreign currency be in good condition (not torn) and recently issued (U.S. dollars printed after 2009), due to the amount of counterfeit currency in circulation.

Credit cards are not generally accepted, except by certain hotels, restaurants and major stores. Systematically check and keep all hotel bills.

Major hotels have ATMs from which you can obtain a cash advance with certain credit cards; however, they do not always work.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Rainy season

The rainy season extends from April to October in the north and from November to March in the south. Flash flooding and landslides may occur during these periods and could severely disrupt essential services.

If you are in the affected areas:

  • exercise caution
  • monitor local news and weather reports
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Seismic activity

The DRC is located in an active seismic area.

Volcanoes

Volcanic eruptions are common in some parts of the country. Mount Nyiragongo, situated on the edge of Goma, has erupted many times in the past and has been showing signs of eruption. While it remains at alert level “yellow,” which means that there is no immediate danger, exercise a high degree of caution and closely follow the advice of local authorities. You should monitor news reports and volcanic activity levels, and carry the address and telephone number of the Canadian embassy in Kinshasa with you, should there be an emergency.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.

Consular assistance

Kinshasa - Embassy of Canada
Street Address17, avenue Pumbu, Commune de Gombe, Kinshasa, Congo (Kinshasa)Postal AddressP.O. Box 8341, Kinshasa, 1, Congo (Kinshasa)Telephone243 996 021 500Fax243 996 021 510 or 243 996 021 511Emailkinshasa@international.gc.caInternetwww.canadainternational.gc.ca/congo/ServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to the Democratic Republic of CongoTwitter@CanadaDRC

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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