Exploring DR Congo
Rich in natural resources and staggering beauty, the Congo’s recent history has been a long and tragic struggle that in many ways can be traced back to that first exploratory river journey made by Stanley back in 1874.
Known as Zaire until 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s third largest country. The country had been the private kingdom of the Belgium King Leopold II for over 20 years, before pressure from other European powers, in particular Great Britain, forced the Belgian parliament to declare the territory a Belgium colony in 1908. European involvement in the Congo was largely one of brutality and exploitation and in 1960 a growing nationalist movement under Patrice Lumumba gained independence, paving the way for what many hoped would be a democratic future for the old Belgian colony.
Independence however was followed by internal struggle and civil unrest, until a 1965 coup saw Mobuto Sese Seko seize power. Decades of corruption and political repression then saw Mobuto himself overthrown in 1997, but only for the Congolese to see their country enter a protracted conflict involving neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Today the Congo still has plenty of problems. However there are areas, particularly running along the banks and tributaries of the mighty Mountain Gorillas, Lowland Gorillas, face the active lava of Nyiragongo, Virunga National Park and Congo River to mention few that offer the adventurous travelers some true off-the-beaten-track encounters. As usual Kisoro Tours are trail-blazing hot these new routes.