Today, the BBC has released its next virtual reality (VR) project via the BBC VR app, documentary series called Congo VR, taking viewers into the heart of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Heading into one of Africa’s most dangerous and stunning countries on assignment with BBC News Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead, the three-part series has been produced by BBC VR Hub and BBC News.
A sequel to Damming the Nile VR, which took viewers to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, Congo VR explores this conflicted country, with the first episode heading to capital Kinshasa, joining pygmies on a forest hunt, and stopping off at the ruined luxury palace of former dictator President Mobutu Sese Seko.
Episode two goes fishing in Congo river rapids before joining UN peacekeepers who are dealing with militant groups and an Ebola outbreak. While episode three travels deep into the rainforest where viewers will come face-to-face with Eastern Lowland Gorillas
“To take viewers on an immersive journey up the Congo River is a great opportunity for them to experience just how much more there is to this vast country than the stereotypes of war and disease,” said Leithead in a statement. “The DRC has been haunted by the image of Conrad’s novella the Heart of Darkness for more than a century, but it’s a beautiful, rich and vibrant place. Hopefully, by going on an expedition with us on the river, viewers will get a deeper understanding of the history, the challenges, and the great potential of the DRC.”
Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, commented: “This wonderful follow up to the award-winning Damming the Nile VR takes you right into the heart of this dangerous but beautiful country, somewhere the vast majority of us are never likely to visit. Riding along in the UN’s armoured vehicles you can feel the very palpable sense of danger, and getting so close to the Eastern Lowland gorillas in such an immersive way is an extraordinary thing to see. That’s the beauty of VR, it can give you experiences you could never get anywhere else.”
To see Congo VR all you’ll need to do is download the free BBC VR app for either Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Go. For further additions to the app, keep reading VRFocus.