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Best Hiking Trails in Democratic Republic of Congo

Overview

A large country in central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rich in natural resources and known for many of the political challenges faced by this country, including a fluctuating security situation.  There is some great hiking to be had in DRC, especially in the form of gorilla trekking in the mountains, particularly in Virunga National Park, one of the best known destinations for this activity.  Other areas include the majestic Rwenzori Mountains, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, volcanoes around Goma, Lake Edward and Lake Kivu. The best months to hike in Democratic Republic of Congo are some winter months and the summer months.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Capital: Kinshasa

When To Hike in Democratic Republic of Congo?

January – February; May – September: A couple of winter months and the summer seem to be the least wettest period to go hiking here
April – May: In some areas, these months could be ok
October – December; March – May: Rainy

Climate: Equatorial (temperatures steady all year round, lots of precipitation throughout the year).  Mountains receive a lot of precipitation compared to other parts of the country. 

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy – Hard: Easy in the sense that some areas (such as Virunga National Park) have established hiking trails and infrastructure, but many areas don’t and you require a guide for most of the hiking that you want to do. 

Transportation required: Car (hiring a driver)

Most popular hikes in Democratic Republic of Congo

The main areas for hiking are in the east and southeast of the country. There are four lakes on the eastern border, from north to south – Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake Kivu, Lake Tangyanika. While the known mountainous areas listed below are around Lake Edward and Lake Kivu, there are mountains around Lake Albert and Lake Tangyankia that’s hard to find info on. The main mountain ranges are the Ruwenzori Mountains, Virunga Mountains, Mitumba Mountains and the Itombwe Mountains. Two most popular spots seem to be Virunga NP and Nyiragongo. Highest Mountain: Mount Stanley (5109 m), in Rwenzori Mountains National Park, shared with Uganda.

Filter out hiking places of Democratic Republic of Congo by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Itombwe Mountains

  • May – Sept
  • No info on hiking here
  • Mount Mohi (3475 m)

Kahuzi-Biega National Park 

  • June – Aug
  • Part of the Mitumba mountains
  • Mount Kahuzi
  • Mount Biega

Around Goma

  • Volcanoes near Goma:
  • Mt Nyiragongo (3470 m stratovolcano) – access from Goma; need a guide; world’s largest lava lake
  • Mikeno Volcano
  • Mount Karisimbi

Virunga National Park

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug
  • Africa’s oldest national park – Virunga National Park 
  • Gorilla trekking is big here; very organized

Rwenzori Mountains

  • Jan – Feb; June – Aug
  • Mt Stanley, highest peak, shared with Uganda
  • On the Ugandan side, there is Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Long Distance Trails of Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo's Walking & Hiking Resources

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and related sites. 

Democratic Republic of Congo Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Congo: Democratic Republic, Bradt Travel Guide, by Sean Rorison, 2012, Bradt Travel Guides – the only comprehensive English language travel guide – https://amzn.to/3vuSh60

 

Best Hiking Trails in Democratic Republic of Congo:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices, as there are no published guidebooks:

  • Congo Nile Trail
  • Mount Nyiragongo
  • Mount Kahuzi
  • Mount Biega
  • Mount Karisimbi
  • Mikeno Volcano
  • Mount Stanley

Easy Hiking Trails in Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • Virunga National Park
  • Lake Kivu
  • Mount Mangengenge

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Hiking Websites:

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Official Tourism Site:  

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Hiking Apps: 

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Bonobo sanctuary
  • Zongo Falls
  • The four lakes (Lake Kivu, Lake Edward, Lake Tangyanika and Lake Albert)

Other Important Points

  • The security situation is something to look at before going; but Virunga NP is VERY well organized and will close down if there’s any security issues