A trip to DR Congo in which we will experience a cultural immersion with various ethnic groups that have preserved a large part of their ancestral traditions, such as the Pende, the Kuba and the Nbounda. In addition, the incredible Kinshasa awaits us.
Highlights of this trip to the DR Congo
Kinshasa, the African megacity has a lot to offer the traveller. Urban art, contemporary art, museums, galleries, lively nightlife, live music and much more. In the capital we will have a meeting with the Sapeurs. With the help of some good friends we will attend different street performances with the artists of Kinact. We will visit some of Kinshasa’s voodoo temples.
The fascinating world of new religions in the DRC is something we will not overlook on our trip. We will travel to Central Congo to visit that of the prophet Tata Gonda. Not far from the Tata Gonda headquarters we will be able to observe the old colonial world disappearing into neglect. We will explore some interesting places in Central Congo such as Mbanza Gungu.
We will travel to the Pende Territory in search of traditional culture, ceremonies and masquerades. We will continue our expedition to the remote Kuba Kingdom, in search of the remains of what was once one of Africa’s most powerful empires. Undoubtedly, the highlight of this culturally immersive journey will be in a remote Mbounda village where we will witness Mukanda passage rite. Not far from Kinshasa we will stop to meet the Yaka people.
We love Kinshasa!
We will tour the centre of Kinshasa. We focus on current urban trends. We will visit some good friends, who are developing a lot of interesting projects in Kinshasa. We will spend the whole day with a lot of activities and visits. Meeting with Sapeurs, street performance with artists, visits to voodoo temples…
In the vast Pende territory the traditional culture also refuses to disappear. We will explore two different parts of the Pende territory as it is very different depending on which region you visit (east or west). In between the visits we will attend a traditional celebration where the Nganga (masters) and Kwila (teachers) will dance to the rhythm of the sacred drums and balafons along with a number of Minjanji, Solares, Mbouya and many other masks.
Nestled in the fertile forest and savannah bordered by the Sankuru, Lulua and Kasai rivers, the Kuba kingdom was a conglomerate of several smaller principalities of diverse ethnic origins. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Central African interior witnessed the flourishing of a kingdom that was known for its organisation, architecture, weaving, carving and traditions: the remote Kuba kingdom.
Ancient masked dances and rituals and a royal family living off the privileges of the past. We will also immerse ourselves in the world of fabrics, tapestries and wood carvings. A world-famous craft that is still alive today.
Mukanda rite of passage of the Mbounda people
In July and August, with the end of the school term, many ethnic groups in Congo continue their rites of passage. About a hundred or so children will spend nearly two months in the initiation camp where they will be circumcised and taught everything they need to know to become adults. Rituals, dozens and dozens of masks and impressive ancestral scenes will take place during our stay. This will undoubtedly be the highlight of the trip.
New religions: Tata Gonda
In the depths of the province of Central Congo, the followers of the now dead prophet Tata Gonda live in total autarchy. Today, several hundred voluntary followers from Congo and Angola continue to follow the spiritual path of their “guru”. In total intimacy, this community lives self-sufficiently according to their beliefs. They do community work, have vegetable gardens, a river with drinking water, a fish hatchery, prayer facilities, dormitories and everything else these “tropical Franciscans” could need.
Prospective expedition in Katanga region
For those joining this trip only, we will optionally offer the opportunity to do a prospective expedition in Katanga province. From Lubumbashi we will travel to Kolwezi to visit different mines and continue up along the Angolan border in search of ethnic groups and traditional ceremonies. More information in private.