Practical information

Practical information

Venue

This '1st International Conference on Biodiversity in the Congo Basin’ will be held from June 6th to 10th in Kisangani, the capital of the Province Oriental, DR Congo.

 

Kisangani can be reached by commercial flights (Congolese airlines CAA and Air Kasai – approx. $800 return flight including taxes) to/from Kinshasa and Goma. At least one overnight stay in Kinshasa will always be necessary on your way to Kisangani. The local flights have to be prepaid and cannot be booked from outside of the DR Congo.

To purchase tickets for the local flights, to organize your transportation and stay in Kinshasa you could contact:

 

Tamiley Taty Hippolyte

1ère Rue Limete Quartier Industriel

Limete, Kinsasha

phone:+243 99 99 29 990

htamileytaty@yahoo.fr

 

Services offered : airport pick-up, booking of accommodation, booking of your local flight, arranging all transfers and help with any other requests. More information on costs will be provided later.

The airport of Ndjili (Kinshasa) is located at 40 km from the centre of town. If you're not familiar with Kinshasa, the use of taxis and buses is not encouraged.

 

Participants who are not allowed by their authorities to make use of Congolese commercial airlines are advised to travel via Entebbe (Uganda), from where they can reach Kisangani with a MONUSCO-flight. An overnight stay in Entebbe will always be necessary for both travel legs. If you are in that situation, please indicate so on the registration form.

 

If you travel via Entebbe, you’ll need a visa for Uganda, which can be obtained at your local embassy or at the border.

Type of visa: multi-entry/transit (validity of 6 months)

 

Lodges in Entebbe near airport with free shuttle services: Central Inn, Church rd, plot 45/47 , Entebbe ~$ 50 per night, info@centralinn.co.ug or J. Residence Motel, Plot 704 Block 424,Entebbe ~$ 50 per night, tel: +256 752 629 331, jresidence@gmail.com. Several other options can be found on the internet.

 

Participants at the conference should realize that travelling in the DR Congo, whether it is with a commercial airline or with MONUSCO- flights, requires flexibility of the traveller. Flights may be cancelled or overbooked. Please build in at least one extra day in Kinshasa/Entebbe and, if possible, travel with flexible international tickets to avoid unnecessary frustration and problems.

 

Organisation

A small number of grants for non-Congolese Africans is available. They will be attributed to selected talks and posters’ presenters.

 

For all accepted (selected) participants who receive a grant, the organization will provide:

- travel expenses to Kisangani

- hotel costs for a maximum number of nights determined by the organizers on a case by case basis

- daily allowance for a maximum number of days determined by the organizers on a case by case basis

 

  Important notice:

- additional nights or other extra’s (phone, mini bar,…) are at the charge of the participant

- expenses, not approved by the organizers beforehand and in writing, will not be reimbursed

- expenses for which you do not submit a receipt will not be reimbursed

- the organizers will contact you regarding  the organization of your travels an accommodation. 

 

Congolese and other African participants without a grant will be requested to finance their travel to Kisangani as well as their accommodation and other expenses.

 

All other participants will be requested to finance their travel to Kisangani, accommodation and other expenses, as well as a conference fee:

 - early registration – deadline April 7, 2014: $250

 - student registration: $100

- late registration – deadline May 1, 2014: $300

- payment : cash at the conference site

- the official date of your registration is automatically determined when registering by using the registration form

 

Participants of greater Kisangani may receive a transportation allowance. Conditions will be announced later.

 

Lunches and refreshments during the conference (from lunch on June 7th, including the conference dinner), as well as the abstract book are offered by the organization.

 

Once you will have registered via the  registration form, all correspondence regarding your participation will be done by e-mail.

 

Safety Information

Kisangani and surroundings are safe, but occasionally isolated incidents happen. Taking the following advice into account will minimize the chances that you will run unnecessary risks during your stay.

We urge you to take your official invitation seriously. The local conference organization will do its utmost to help ensure your safety during your entire stay. This implies that, within the city as well as outside of the city area, they will have to ensure that someone accompanies you to act as contact person with local authorities.  Travelling outside the city margins on your own is not recommended, the organisation declines any responsiblity in such case. Always carry a copy of your passport and your official invitation with you. Leave the original documents behind at the conference office.

Never take pictures unless a member of the organizing committee agrees that you can do so safely.

In the unlikely event that military, police or civilians (Intelligence officers are never in uniform) urge you to accompany them to their office or anywhere else, immediately inform the organizing committee and co-travellers of the event. An emergency phone number will be provided later.

 

Vaccinations

A vaccination certificate (yellow booklet) is required at the border post. The yellow fever vaccine is mandatory to obtain a visum for D.R.Congo. Please enquire with your MD about other vaccinations needed.

 

Visa

Each participant is responsible for his own visa application(s). You have or you will receive an invitation letter from the organizers. That letter is necessary to apply for a visa for the DR Congo.  Please check with your local embassy to find out about other documents required.

 

Insurance

Each participant is expected to have his/her own travel insurance. A proof must be provided to the organizer prior to your travels.

 

Accommodation in Kisangani

A whole range of accommodation facilities ($35- $110) is available. Hotels and ‘guests’ will be negotiated and booked by the organizer at the best rate for all participants. Keep in mind that reservations made, are usually considered as ‘to be paid for’, even if you do not show up. This implies that the organisation will bill you if you do not show.

 

Restaurants in Kisangani

Most hotels and restaurants down-town offer meals for $15-25

 

Currency

The currency in the DR Congo is the Franc Congolais (FC). Everything is paid for in cash, even hotels (in $) and restaurants ($ and FC). Purchases on the market and in shops etc. are done in FC.  Dollars can be changed at the banks or with the ‘cambistes’ in the streets (ask your Congolese colleague with which one to deal best). Credit or debit card payment facilities are rare, certainly in Kisangani.
At some banks it is possible to withdraw money with a credit card or bankcard, though the daily limits are low and it  may take time to do so.

$1-notes are generally not accepted.
$100-notes older than 2006 are not accepted, not even by the banks.
All Dollar notes should be undamaged otherwise they are refused (no cracks, folds, rips, staple holes,..).

Make sure you check the dollar notes you are receiving from your bank: refuse those that are (even very lightly) damaged, stapled, folded or older than 2006. They are of no use in Congo. The problem seems to be less of an issue with smaller notes ($50, $20, $10 and $5). 

Western Union has a couple of offices in town. 

 

Electricity

220V, 50Hz. Please take into account that in Kisangani, on some days during several hours and sometimes longer, there may be no electricity.

 

Conference secretariat

Hilde Keunen

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium

e-mail: hilde.keunen@africamuseum.be

phone (office) +32 2769 57 35 cell phone (Belgium) +32 495 25 22 67

cell phone (DR Congo) +243 82 44 44 099

 

Jean Ngabu Chembu

Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité, Kisangani, DR Congo

Secrétaire Administratif CSB a.i.

e-mail: jeanngabuchembu@gmail.com

cell phone : +243 81 57 19 768