"Zaire (Dem. Rep. of Congo) in the Old Days!" Top 5 Page for this destination Democratic Republic of Congo by Bwana_Brown

Democratic Republic of Congo Travel Guide: 266 reviews and 848 photos

While working in Zambia in the early-1970's, I had occasion for a few trips across the northern border into Zaire. Originally called the Congo while a Belgian colony, then transformed into Zaire while Mobotu Sese Seku was President and then back to the Congo again in recent years - it was Zaire in my days there! Most of these trips to Zaire involved passing through that odd bit of the country (called the Pedicle) that sticks down into Zambia while I was enroute to more northerly parts of Zambia (via a ferry such as this one meeting my ferry on the Luapula River border crossing during one of these trips). Even back then, a trip into Zaire was a bit of an adventure (much more dangerous now I should think) because of the relative lawlessness that existed due to the remoteness of this part of Zaire from central control (remember the Katanga rebellion in the 1960's?). Even so, it was the chance of a lifetime so let's go for it! Sometimes we would get really brave and just wander across the border without passport control so we could have a few of the local brews on the Zairean side.

  • Last visit to Democratic Republic of Congo: Jun 1974
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (55)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    great reading your pg here - would love to see more of Africa myself but probably still not quite brave enough....to see the Congo anyway...got to get some of the easier/safer ones before too long though, Burundi last year was a good start!

  • Purpleshade's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2009 at 7:24 PM

    Interesting reminiscences, but possibly more suited to a traveloague that tips which make them seem current. :)Lesley

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    Great page about a time gone by and it is funny to see these "wonderful" colors of the old slides, because not so long ago these kind of colors were "the state of the Art" ;-)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2008 at 5:09 AM

    Great stuff Glenn! YOur time in this region obviously made a long-lasting impression on you and you describe it so vividly even after so long - I really enjoyed reading all your memories and seeing the old photos :)

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    Great insight into former Zaire, thanks for sharing!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    There was a time in Poland too when foreigners had to exchange quite a large sum of money daily. Fortunately, this is over! I wonder what the former Congo looks like now.

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    A big job to keep a bottle of Simba Beer cold... or do you just drink it fast ;~)

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2007 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Bwana. Recently watched "Last King of Scotland" re neighboring Uganda, back in the day. Wow. What an experience.

  • Aafia's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2007 at 9:06 AM

    Your pages take me back 35 years when my family lived in Africa. And then 30 years ago when I volunteered there. How I would have loved to have traveled to Congo. I loved the Poisonwood Bible and I hung on to every word while reading this novel.

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2007 at 1:25 PM

    What nice memories you have! I've just started reading "The Poisonwood Bible" by B. Kingsolver (set in Congo), so it is interesting to read about your impressions. Bth, 40 US dollars to spend in a day seems really much for those days.


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