UK pubcaster BBC has launched a virtual reality docuseries, taking viewers into the conflicted Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The three-part Congo VR follows BBC Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead into the country to meet different communities, explore widespread disease, cover militant groups and admire a rich diversity of wildlife.
The new series is a sequel to Damming the Nile VR, which took viewers to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to explore the water politics surrounding the world’s most famous river.
“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 [Joseph] 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.”
“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,” added Zillah Watson, head of the BBC VR Hub. “Riding along in the UN’s armored 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.”
Congo VR is currently available for free on the BBC VR app, the BBC News YouTube channel and on the BBC VR website. It can be viewed in VR on the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR.