Breathtaking Cruises

Congo River Cruises

Introduction to Congo River Cruises

Starting in South Katanga and travelling to the Atlantic Ocean, near Banana, at a full length of 4,371 km the Congo River is the second largest river in the world. A sail on its waters provides an ideal holiday away from the world, in the midst of a completely different environment and culture. The region in itself has been affected by conflicts, but despite this it has not lost its charm and rugged beauty. Recognizing the tourism potential of the river, tourism companies and other companies providing various services for tourists have settled there, making all necessary services available. Most visitors opt to travel on a traditional cruising boat and specialized local guides are available at all times.

Planning a Congo River cruise

The easy option when planning a cruise is to get a specialized company to plan it for you. Hakuna Matata Tours organize a 22 day long expedition, sailing about 1000 miles on the Congo River, from Kinshasha to Kisangani. Cruises are organized for a maximum of 20 guests and include hotel lodging in both Kinshasha and Kisangani and ashore camping each night in between. The price per person is $4,900 for the entire trip.

Several other companies offer small boats in a very similar manner, taking you down the Congo River. What you should probably know is that the trip can be as much adventurous as it is relaxing (in that unwinding sort of way) and although you will find much better conditions than backpacking, you will still have to expect conditions that are more suited for nature lovers than for sophisticated travelers. On the other hand, sailing through the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve itself should be a wonderful experience, with 32,000 different tree species, not to mention the African fauna turning up on every step.

Political Issues

On top of the challenges that you need to face from Mother Nature, some man-made issues also cloud tourism in the area. It's important to know before leaving for Congo that the country is not entirely stable, politically speaking. Corruption is ripe throughout the area and the country was ranked 156th out of 163 countries in the world as far as transparency goes, in 2006. The conflicts going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo still kill an estimated 45,000 people per month (2009 estimation). The death-toll is however increased by disease and famine which is quite widespread in the region. Tensions with the neighboring country of Rwanda also increase the instability in the region. Tourists generally manage to remain uninvolved in this situation, but it is a good idea to be prepared for the potential dangers in the region.


Despite conditions that might not make this the most laid-back trip you've made in your life, the Congo River and regions are definitely worth a visit, at least once in a lifetime. The culture in the area is very diverse, reflecting ethnically different populations. The African art is something also worth checking out. If adventure and diversity is what you seek, there's no better place to find it!