Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Gorilla Tracking in the DRC's (Zaire) Famous Kahuzi Biega National Park and getting there using a WW2 Catalina Seaplane
No travel bucket list could be considered complete without being confronted and stared down at by a curious silverback gorilla a mere 10 feet away. On this extraordinary adventure, I was lucky enough to fly into Zaire/DRC using the most romantic form of transport I think I have ever taken … a Catalina Seaplane. I was guiding 16 guests on a Pan African safari that was exploring the origins of man as its theme. The ‘patron’ of the safari was none other than Bill Gates. And to have the privilege of observing not only the gorillas in Zaire, but also the chimpanzees on the tropical shores of Lake Tanganyika, is something I hope to one day pass on to my children by taking them on a similar journey. We need to act fast if we are to save these magnificent creatures and their natural kingdoms and ensure that their children too can benefit from such a spine-tingling and highly emotional interaction.
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Eastern D.R.C. Belongs On Any Real Top Ten List!
The Eastern D.R.C. Belongs On Any Top Ten List
We have visited 4 times now.
You don’t need to know Bill Gates, or arrive in a VIP private plane to enjoy breathtaking scenery, friendly people and up-close encounters with Lowland & Highland Gorillas, as well as the world’s largest lava lake on one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Nyirangongo.
All you need is a sense of adventure, patience for bureaucracy, and an acceptance of basic amenities (or have a little extra set aside for some really comfy lodges).
Tourism opportunities abound, both on the mainland and nearby incredibly beautiful Idjwi Island in Lake Kivu.
One can easily spend a week or more, and have a trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
You’ll have not only ‘bragging rights’ but more important, you will become an ambassador for a largely ignored part of the tourism world.
D.R.C. - you’ve got to go!

Rita Rayman
Free-lance travel consultant - Rescuing boring bucket lists globally!