WARNING: The Democratic Republic of the Congo remains one of the most underdeveloped countries in Africa and a significant portion of the DRC is not safe for any travel or sightseeing. In addition to active conflicts, the country has very limited health care and tourism facilities, even by African standards. More details can be found in the Stay safe section.
The regions of North South Kivu have been in a state of continuous conflict since the early 1990s. In 2012, a new rebel faction—”M23″—formed and has since gone on to capture/attack many towns in the region, presenting the most serious crisis since the end of the Second Congo War in 2003. The faction has been accused of killing civilians and raping women. In November 2012, the rebels captured Goma —the largest city in the region—forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians and refugees to flee the city. They agreed to withdraw and hold peace talks (which remain unfruitful as of mid-2013), but still pose a great threat in the region. The North/South Kivu regions should be considered off limits by all visitors, except for aid/humanitarian workers who (and whose sponsor) are keenly aware of the risks.
The northeastern part of the country, just about everywhere north and east of the cities of Kisangani Buma is unsafe due to active rebel groups responsible for low-level violence.
Those visiting for business, research, or international aid purposes should consult with their organization and seek expert guidance before planning a trip. Travellers visiting on their own should consult the advice of your embassy for any travel to the DRC aside from the Kinshasa and Bas-Congo area (crime is a very serious problem in Kinshasa) and the vicinity of Lubumbashi.