Democratic Republic of the Congo — Transportation
Congo Taxis and Car Rental
Kinshasa is served by taxis, which offer single journey prices or they can also be rented for the entire day. Safety is an issue and there have been reports of mugging. Be sure to have a trustworthy and experienced local guide with you to ensure security.
Driving is an easy way to get around the Congo, but the roads are poorly maintained, and there are security hazards. If you are going to get a car, four-wheel drive vehicles are highly recommended. Fleets are limited, but are available at the airport with advanced bookings recommended.
A ferry operates on the Congo River, and if security allows, you can use it to travel to Kisangani from Kinshasa. The boat stops en route, but does not wait for passengers so you may need to bribe the captain for or a cabin.
Congo Trains and Buses
Train travel is possible to Matadi from Kinshasa, as well as from Lumbumbashi to Ilebo or Kalemie through Kabalo. The Great Lakes railway runs between Ubundu and Kisangani, passing Stanley and Boyoma Falls along the way. Train schedules are unreliable though, as service may be disrupted for lack of fuel or political incidents. Principal trains have dining cars and couchettes, but are still not air-conditioned.
Minibuses operate in big cities like Kinshasa and are also referred to as taxis. The fares often vary, and a premium may be added at will. Another type of taxi in the Congo is the small bus; to hail it, you simply need to point to the direction where you want to go. If the taxi has space and is going that way, it will stop. Foreigners might have difficulty using these hand signals and getting familiar with the routes, and it can get uncomfortable sitting in a cramped vehicle, which is why a tour package is a good idea as drivers do not speak English.