Congo River Expedition holiday

“This epic, four-week expedition ticks a lot of boxes. The one thing it’s not? A “holiday”, in any traditional sense of the word. This is capital “A” Adventure.”


Kinshasa | 9 days travelling down the Congo River from Mbandaka to Lisala | 10 days from Lisala to Kisangani | Camping in comfortable tents with inflatable mattresses along the way | Meeting local villagers | Yangambi Biosphere Reserve | Tshopo River Falls | Expedition boat is a fully equipped, 34m wooden boat

Description of Congo River Expedition holiday

If travelling down the Amazon or the Nile sounds a bit too tame for you, then a Congo River expedition is just what you need. This four-week odyssey flies from Kinshasa into Mbandaka where the expedition boat sets off for an epic cruise along the mighty river, which acts as a vital lifeline for the many small and large communities that line its banks. Produce is bought and sold on little boats that zip back and forth across the river, as there are no roads in this remote region of Central Africa. One of the Congo River expedition holiday highlights is cruising through Yangambi Biosphere Reserve, which still shelters monkeys, river hogs and elusive forest elephants.

Each night you’ll set up camp in big, comfortable tents with self-inflatable mattresses and pillows – all you need is a sleeping bag and towel. Pitching up near villages which see no other tourists, you can buy ingredients for dinner, cook over an open fire, and fall asleep beneath a carpet of magnificent equatorial stars.
Responsible Travel, Travel Team

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31 Jul 2020
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Congo River Expedition holiday


We are proud of our involvement in the Congo, a country just beginning to recover from years of political unrest and civil war. As the country makes its first tentative steps towards a stable and brighter future, we feel privileged to join the Congolese people on their chosen path.

Environmental concerns are not the top priority of people still emerging from a brutal civil war but we try and encourage sustainability in a peer to peer manner, without condescending or patronising.

As most of our trips are based on camping, we will purchase all of our supplies from the local markets. We do not want to bring in supplies from outside as this will increase our carbon footprint. We are very careful to only do business with stall holders that have no bush meat or illegal produce for sale. There are opportunities to purchase locally made jewellery and ornaments and in doing so you will be supporting the skills of local craftspeople.

At the end of the journey travellers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicine and books, which are distributed to appropriate local charities.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects.


This trip spends several days staying as guests of local people in their villages. The villages are remote and have little opportunity to participate in the market economy, and our stay here contributes to local development with a fair distribution of tourist income spread among the host population. We are extremely careful when staying with local people to respect their way of living and to make sure that all of our impact is positive.

Our stays in the villages are carried out with great sensitivity and much time and effort has gone into preparing for this and ensuring that we are not seen as intruders, but rather are able to contribute something meaningful during our time here. We spend time with local people learning about their heritage and customs, something which helps to reinforce the notion that local traditions are worth protecting and maintaining - in may parts of the Congo these are being abandoned in favour of a more homogenous, 'western' culture.

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