Democratic Republic of the Congo - A short stay

The Democratic Republic of Congo is politically unstable, corrupt and run by a dictator who seized power and changed both his name and the name of the country.   (It used to be called Zaire.)   It is a country that I had no interest in visiting and would still avoid.

However, in June, 2016, I made a decision to make a quick stop there, but the motive was purely financial.   

We were in Zambia, one of the most amazing places I've been.  I was working with Roberto Pazos on an episode of "Peruanos en el Mundo."  Our plan was to go to Morocco next.   But there are NO flights from Ndola, Zambia to Morocco.  We would have to go to Europe and fly back to Morocco.  It didn't make any sense and it was expensive.

Roberto knew there were Peruvians in Kenya, so we decided to fly to Nairobi instead.  We had two options to get there.  One would be non-stop and the other would require a stop at Lubumbashi International Airport in Congo.   Normally, a non-stop would be an easy decision, but the price difference was huge and neither were cheap.  It was about $367 per person if we stopped in Congo and more than double that if we took the non-stop.    We would also get there quicker by taking the connection via Congo as the non-stop was much later in the day.

After a bit of debating, we decided to head to Congo on a very small Kenyan Airways plane.   The deciding factor was that we would NOT have to get off the plane, something we wouldn't have been able to do anyway since Congo has a restrictive visa policy for US citizens.  

The flight was uneventful.  The route primarily served the mining industries in both Zambia and Congo.

Lubumbashi International Airport in Congo

Our stay in Congo was also uneventful.  A few people got off the plane and a few more boarded during our short shop.   This photo from the plane window is all I saw of Congo.   

We made it to Kenya and saved Morocco for a later trip.

Dates of Travel

  • June, 2016

Places Visited

  • Lubumbashi



This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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