LOCAL CUSTOMS

LOCAL CUSTOMS

LOCATION
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, bordered by (clockwise from the southwest) Angola, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania across Lake Tanganyika, and Zambia. The country lies between latitudes 6°N and 14°S, and longitudes 12° and 32°E. It straddles the Equator, with one-third to the North and two-thirds to the South. The size of Congo, 2,345,408 square kilometers (905,567 sq mi), is slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway..

CLIMATE
The Democratic Republic of the Congo lies on the Equator, with one-third of the country to the north and two-thirds to the south. The climate is hot and humid in the river basin and cool and dry in the southern highlands, with a cold, alpine climate in the Rwenzori Mountains. South of the Equator, the rainy season lasts from October to May and north of the Equator, from April to November. Along the Equator, rainfall is fairly regular throughout the year. During the wet season, thunderstorms often are violent but seldom last more than a few hours. The average rainfall for the entire country is about 1,070 mm (42 in).

ELECTRICITY
Electricity: 220 volts –Plug type C : Europ, Asia, South America and I China. Adapters are available at Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo- please ask the concierge upon your arrival.
CURRENCY
The currency is the Congolese Franc, where CDF is made up of 100 centimes. US $ is almost accept everywhere.

CREDIT CARDS
Only MasterCard and Visa are accepted in hotels, restaurants, larger shops and department stores.

NATIONAL AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
1st January, 16 January and 17 January, 1 May, 17 May, 30 June, 1 August and 25 December .

LANGUAGE
The main languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are French, (Ki) Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo, but there are over 200 languages and dialects spoken by around 250 ethnic groups. Over 70% Congolese are Christians, the rest follow African religions, Islam and other beliefs
General Etiquette The Congolese take great pride in their appearance and manner of dress. Regardless of financial status, it is common to wear clean and pressed handmade garments. There is a certain formality in social interactions in both urban and rural areas. An inquiry must be made about one's health and family to indicate the required level of respect. Older people are shown respect through physical

Business EtiquetteJackets and ties are not usually worn by men on business visits but are expected when visiting government officials. A knowledge of French is essential as there are no professional translators available Congolese are generally open and accommodating in both personal and business dealings. However, protocol remains important in business meetings and transactions, particularly with government officials. Common sense, courtesy, and European traditions of social etiquette apply. Hands are shaken with men and women on encounter and departure. Do not use first names until invited to do so. “Monsieur,” “Madame,” and “Mademoiselle” are the usual forms of address. Senior government officials should be addressed with the appropriate formal title (such as Excellency or Mr. Minister). French is the language of business in the DRC; almost all meetings will be conducted in French. Requests for meetings, particularly with government officials, should be sent by formal written request.

Congolese Food
Congo's farmland is the source of a wide variety of crops.
These include maize, rice, cassava (manioc), sweet potato, yam, taro, plantain, tomato, pumpkin and varieties of peas and nuts. These foods are eaten throughout the country, but there are also regional dishes.

Tipping
Most major hotels and restaurants include a service charge on their bill. Although tipping is not mandatory, you may tip porters and taxi drivers at your discretion. Ten percent is customary in restaurants, clubs and bars where service charge is not included.

Kempinski
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