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Road Trip to Africa's End - Angola, DRC & Congo Brazzaville

Updated: Apr 22

Are you tired of the same old tourist spots and popular destinations? Do you crave adventure and the thrill of exploring untouched places and experiencing unique cultures?

 

At Kumbukumbu Tours, we strive so much to stand out from the crowd by coming up with tour products that are unique and extra ordinary from the rest. Our expeditions in Africa focus mainly on places that are now beginning to open up to tourism.


On this Expedition, we focus solely on Angola, DRC and Congo Brazzaville, covering the remote areas of Angola, DRC and Congo Brazzaville. These are lands that the modern world has barely touched. Here tribal groups follow time-honoured traditions in the vast unspoiled wildernesses.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TRIP:

  • Please note that the mentioned time frames for each part of the itinerary are rough estimates and subject to change. Some days might require more time due to unforeseen circumstances, while others may be cut short depending on various factors.

  • The most part of this trip is by road and therefore participants should be prepared for long stretches of driving with limited facilities or services available.

  • However, during our road trip, there may be instances where we will be utilizing air transport to reach certain remote locations. This is necessary as some of these places are so isolated that traveling by road would add many days to our journey.

  • Some evenings and nights are spent in tents on the ground, allowing for exchange with local people in the villages.

  • It may not always be possible to adhere strictly to specific diets during the trip.

  • During the trip, there'll be certain locations or scenarios where you will experience a lack of network or internet connectivity for a number of days.

  • We encourage our participants to be physically prepared for this trip as it may present occasional challenges requiring a level of fitness


CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE

Itinerary for 12 Days in Angola, Cabinda and Republic of Congo

  • Day 1 – Luanda to Namibe Region (by plane)

  • Day 2 – Visit the Mucubal tribe, camp with them

  • Day 3 – Visit the Namibe desert

  • Day 4 – Drive to Lubango, Visit the Sera Da Leba and Tundevalu canyons

  • Day 5 – Flight back to Luanda and visit the Shipwrecks

  • Day 6 – Drive to Calandula Falls


MAGIC POINT OF THE TRIP THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO DISCOVER THE HIDDEN GEMS OF DRC;

This part of the trip contains two options;

Option 1; (More days on the road with quite a number of sightings on the way)

  • Day 7-8 – Drive from Calandula to M'banza-Kongo and cross to Matadi in DRC and then visit Boma and Muanda Cities (This will be a two days drive)

  • Day 9 - Explore Muanda City Instead of going to kinshasa people can cross through the mangrove to Cabinda

  • Day 10 - Cross to Cabinda through the Mangrove Forest

  • Day 11 - Visit Cabinda town and drive to Pointe Noire in Republic of Congo

  • Day 12 - Fly from Pointe Noire to Congo Brazzaville (City Tour)

  • Day 13 – A day to the Western Lowland Gorillas

  • Day 14 – Back to Brazzaville…Late evening Flight or next day flight


Option 2; (Lesser days on the road)

  • Day 7 – Drive from Calandula to Luanda

  • Day 8 - Drive from Luanda to Soyo by bus and cross by ship to Congo river mouth and access DRC.

  • Day 9 - Visit the Mangrove Forest

  • Day 10 - Cross to Cabinda town and drive to Pointe Noire in Republic of Congo

  • Day 11 - Visit Pointe Noire, slavery trails and historical Museum

  • Day 12 – Flight to Congo Brazza, Brazzaville city tour

  • Day 13 –  A day with the Western lowland gorillas ... End of Trip!


How to stay connected

  • Money ATMs, credit cards and the money exchange


Visa for Angola, Cabinda and Republic of Congo

Transportation


DAY 1: Luanda to Namibe Region (by plane)

 We will be jetting off from the capital Luanda to the remote Namibe region, nestled in the southwestern corner of Angola. And did we mention it's home to the largest desert in Angola, the mighty Namib Desert?



Namibe is a treasure trove of culture and history, with ancient traditions woven into the fabric of everyday life. But don't get too comfortable because we're just getting started! Prepare to explore the vast expanse of the Namib Desert, the largest desert in all of Angola. This sandy paradise is home to breathtaking landscapes and wild creatures just waiting to be discovered.

 You will then check into your hotel and await tomorrow!

Overnight: Namibe Region.



DAY 2: Visit the Mucubal tribe, camp with them

 Good morning, adventurers! Today we are heading off the beaten path to visit the fascinating Mucubal tribe in remote South Angola.


Before I continue, I should tell you that everything Mucubal people do is beautiful. Their huts are like arid igloos sculpted in white clay, their women wear layers of simple brass bracelets across their arms and over one of their legs, their men wander the countryside with neatly shaved hair and a loin cloth made from colourful Mucubal fabric.


Mucubal have some very strong time-honoured customs and traditions which they value so dearly. They are seriously interested in cattle, worship it and do not care about the rest of the world outside of the bush.


But wait, the fun doesn't stop there! We will be camping right alongside the Mucubal tribe in their beautiful, ornate villages. You will experience a night of storytelling, traditional music and dance, and maybe even try out some of their delicious cuisine.


This is the time to test your camping skills because we will be sleeping in tents in the Mucubal village. Is this something you can take up?!

Overnight: Mucubal Village


DAY 3: Visit the Namibe desert

Namibe Province in Angola is a true gem where the desert meets the ocean.

We plan to head deep into the Namib desert, into the very South Western Corner of Angola, close to the border of Namibia. The maps and GPS show extremely few roads here, and not a single store or gas station for a very, very long way.

Expecting to drive on sand, sand and more sand, our 4x4 vehicles will have enough gas to keep us going on the road.

Picture by Cornel Van Heerden


With stops at the iconic “dune sea” where you can marvel at the endless waves of sand stretching as far as the eyes can see. This is a perfect place for epic desert selfies. Please make sure to carry your sunblock, hat and plenty of water.


We have a chance of also finding what is possibly the world’s biggest welwitschia plant nicknamed "Onion of the Desert" because the core of the plant is often used for food, whether raw or cooked. The Welwitschia is an ancient plant and originates from the Jurassic period. These plants are endemic to the Namibe desert of Namibia and Angola and can be as old as 2000 years.

Picture by Cornel Van Heerden


As the sun begins to set, you will make your way to a campsite where you will enjoy a delicious traditional meal and later retire for the day. 

Overnight: Namibe Desert


DAY 4: Drive to Lubango, Visit the Sera Da Leba and Tundevalu canyons

Tucked away in the untamed splendor of southern Angola is Lubango, a city that stays out of the spotlight most of the time and yet is home to a wealth of historical significance and natural beauties. Lubango is yet undiscovered and underappreciated. Good enough, that is where the road takes us today to discover the beautiful Sera Da Leba and the Tundavalu Gap.


Sera Da Leba is a breathtaking mountain road built in the 1970s spirals down from a high plateau elevation of 1845 meters to almost sea level in just over 10 kilometers; transversing 3/4 different climate zones during any ascent of descent. The Serra da Leba pass is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a classic road in a country seldom visited by tourists.


Next, is the Tundavalu Canyons, a natural wonder that will leave you in awe. The rugged cliffs and deep ravines are a sight to behold, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap some truly epic photos. From the top of the canyons, you can look out over the vast expanse of the valley below and appreciate the raw and unspoiled beauty of this hidden gem.


Overnight: Lubango


DAY 5: Flight back to Luanda and visit the Shipwrecks

Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to Lubango as we fly back to Luanda.


 In Luanda, we visit the infamous shipwreck graveyard, the final resting place of long lost forgotten ships from all over the world. These old vessels have been worn down by the passage of time and now serve as hauntingly beautiful reminders of the region's rich maritime history.


 There are many conflicting stories, but apparently in the 1970’s, old ships were towed to the area from Luanda Harbour. There were no decommissioning facilities, so the tides eventually pushed the ships onshore.

A mix of cargo boats, oil tankers and smaller fishing vessels, it is an abandoned explorers paradise. Over the years, many of the boats have been salvaged for scrap, but there is still a lot left to see.


Overnight: Luanda


DAY 6: Drive to Kalandula Falls

Calandula Falls are one of the most famous landmarks in Angola!

In contrast to the well-known African waterfalls, such as In the Victoria Falls, the Kalandula Falls are still a haven of tranquility. Far away from mass tourism, one can often admire and enjoy this spectacle on its own. Here you can experience the real Africa.


You will see the Falls from two perspectives if the weather permits it. First you will have the marvelous view from the top of the Falls into the countryside before you see the Falls from the bottom.

Overnight: Kalandula


DAY 7: Drive from Kalandula to Luanda

This is a five to six hours drive. You are all tired and weary on your arrival and the only thing on everyone's mind is to rest a bit. The activities ahead are not any easier and sovyou need all the energy you can gather.


We have been here and about Angola but we are about to get to the Magic point of this trip, so don't get tired yet. I should call it a climax of the sought.


Driving to Luanda, we will pass by the Avenida 4 de Fevereiro and stop at the “Eu ‘heart’ Luanda”sign for some beautiful memory pictures. You will then explore the colorful local markets.

Overnight: Luanda


DAY 8: Drive from Luanda to Soyo by bus and cross by ship to Congo river mouth and access DRC.

This journey takes you from Luanda where you will board onto a public bus that will take you to Soyo, on the most NW point of Angola. Moving on a public bus is a fun experience that not only allows you to see a lot of everyday life but also to travel how the locals do and to make friends along the way.


The journey to Soyo takes you to a whole new zone! It feels like moving through a wild bush. From huge baobabs to dense palm forests to small villages along the way and at times the ocean will will be visible, it is all special.


While in Soyo, a city located south of the mouth of the Congo River, you will board a Ferry that will take you across the Congo river mouth and access DRC by the Atlantic Ocean.

Overnight in DRC


DAY 9: Visit the Mangrove Forest in Muanda

The Mangroves National Park, is situated at the Congo river mouth within the territory of Moanda, close to the proximity to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s only true ocean town of Muanda.


The mangroves here are different from the ones found in South Asia forming a different type of mangrove forest typical to the Democratic Republic of Congo.


You will take a boat cruise at Mangroves National Park that will take you on the Congo River basin where you will be able to spot hippos, crocodiles, manatees and various water birds. The views of flora and fauna here are extraordinary.

Overnight in the Park.


DAY 10: Cross to Cabinda town and drive to Pointe Noire in Republic of Congo

Formerly known as “Portuguese Congo”, Cabinda is a curious little region sandwiched between the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Having endured a 30 year long struggle to claim independence from the rest of Angola, it likely may become one of the next world’s “newest” countries give or take a few years (decades?). We’re arriving here early before that happens.


The city of Cabinda itself is not much to talk about. The main attractions are the church, the big statue of Pope John Paul II along the beach front, May Park and Central market. Although quite pleasant, once we leave the city, it gets much nicer in the cute smaller villages and there is no traffic.



After that short village tour, we will then cross the border into the Republic of Congo and drive to Pointe Noire where we will head to the beach to cool off in the Atlantic Ocean.

 Overnight: Pointe Noire


DAY 11: Visit Pointe Noire, slavery trails and historical Museum

Pointe Noire is the economical hub of the Republic of Congo and where history awaits us at every turn.

 Here you find the Slavery Trails, where you can learn about the dark past of slavery in the region. But fear not, we won't let the heavy subject matter weigh us down. We'll approach it with curiosity and respect, honoring the resilience and strength of those who suffered.


Another "must see" in Pointe Noire is the Historical Museum, where artifacts and exhibits await to transport us back in time. Let's channel our inner explorers and investigate every nook and cranny of this fascinating place.


Take a walk around the town of Pointe Noire and check out the harbor and it's close by beach. Congo is one of the few Central African countries which still has a (sort of) functioning railway system. If time allows, you might get the chance to check out the Colonial Railway Station of Pointe Noire, a true gem for railway fanatics.

 Overnight: Pointe Noire


DAY 12: Flight to Congo Brazza, Brazzaville city tour

Brazzaville, the capital city of the Republic of Congo aka Congo Brazzaville to differeciate it fom its counter part DRC.

Congo Brazaville as a country also has its highlights like;


The Nabemba Tower, St Anne Basilica, and the Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzaville Memorial where you can learn about the history and culture of the city. The Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzaville Memorial is also a good place to go to. The memorial is dedicated to an Italian explorer who founded Brazzaville.


For a unique and fun experience, the afternoon can be spent visiting the Brazzaville sapeurs. These stylish and flamboyant individuals are known for their impeccable fashion sense and love of extravagant clothing. Watch them strut their stuff on the streets and maybe even join in on the festivities!

 Overnight: Congo Brazzaville


DAY 13: A day with the Western lowland gorillas

The closest place from Brazzaville to see gorillas is Lefini Faunal Reserve where rescued western lowland gorillas are being rehabilitated back into the forest. It's a two hours drive and you can get the chance to trek gorillas and be in close proximity with man's closest relatives.


Researchers at the reserve share their knowledge about conservation efforts and the important role these gorillas play in the ecosystem. And then, the moment you've been waiting for - your first encounter with these magnificent creatures! Spending an hour with them is a truly awe-inspiring experience.


After your gorilla encounter, it's time to kick back and relax at the lodge with a delicious lunch and some well-deserved rest. It's the perfect ending to an incredible adventure in the wild.

You can fly back home depending on your flight schedule.


END OF TOUR




VISA

ANGOLA

  • Currently many countries do not require a visa to enter Angola.  In fact, as of 2024, citizens of 98 countries can enter Angola visa-free for up to 30 days per entry, and 90 days per year. This includes 35 European countries, 14 African countries, 11 Asian countries, and 2 Oceania countries. The countries that are priority foreign countries for Angola include Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Russia, China, and the United States.

  • It’s highly recommended to get all the required documents in place and in the right format before you start the online application. There are a lot of stories of visa applications being rejected because the uploaded files were not the right size or too big.


E-VISA REQUIREMENTS

  • scan of Valid Passport

  • Scan of your Ticket Reservation

  • Scan of Hotel Reservation or Invitation letter

  • Scan of Proof of livelihood

  • Scan of Passport photo

  • Scan of Yellow Fever Certificate

Each of these documents has to be an exact size, format, dpi, and color. You’ll find the requirements on the Angolan E-visa site: www.smevisa.gov.ao.


PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to apply for another visa to enter Cabinda since it's part of Angola. You Angola Visa is enough!


REPUBLIC OF CONGO

  • Visa applications for the Republic of Congo should be sent to: Embassy of the Republic of CongoConsulate Section1720 16th street, NWWashington D.C 20009

  • Email: consulate@ambacongo-us.org. Tel: 202 726 5500/ 202 986 5740


VISA REQUIREMENTS

  • Two fully completed visa application forms Submit two copies of the visa application form. Print, fill out completely and sign. Leaving any portions of the visa application blank will result in the delay of your visa approval process. Note that all listed documents are required. Failure to provide all the required documents may result in the rejection of your application.


  • Two passport color photographs Photos must be 2inches×2inches (51 *51 mm in size), colored, have a white background, and show a full front view of the face. These photos must have been taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance.


  • A valid passport Your passport should remain valid for the next 6 months prior to your date of departure.


  • An invitation letter or hotel reservation (For the tourist visa)


How to stay connected

Simcards

  • Your local guide will help you secure a sim card that has the best Internet connectivity

Credit Cards and Money Exchange

  • Getting money from an ATM is hit and miss in Angola.  There were many ATM machines that were broken or out of money.  It is best you carry hard cash to avoid any inconveniences.

  • Your credit card might also not work Angola.  European credit cards work here, however, North American ones do not.

  • In addition, your local guide will help find the a foreign exchange office that provides good rates.


For the case of the Republic of Congo, dollars are widely used and therefore there will be no pulling ropes to get money to change it.




PLEASE NOTE;

Apply now and join our Angola-DRC-Congo Brazzaville. Follow the link tps://shorturl.at/asBCY to subscribe and accept the terms and conditions to proceed with this exciting Adventure! Only Few spots available, so book your slot now!!!

OUR PAYMENT;

To book your trip with Congo, you will need to pay 30% of the total amount.

There are three payment options available for your ;

You can make a deposit through Western Union, Bank Transfer or Online Payment that will require an extra charge of 4% added to the total amount to cover applicable transaction fees.

OUR CANCELLATION;

Policies depend mainly on the different stakeholders and rules. The amount deposed on our account is directly used to secure your visit permits and hotels on which we don't have any control. However, many of our chosen hotels and partners are flexible to return the money at 90% when your cancellation is announced three Month in advance. For containing the post-covid crisis, we give chance to our clients to postpone at least twice within two years from the time of their booking.
































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