There was medical care, something Belgians lacked that time, and they were well fed.
But you cannot avoid that none of them was struck by illness and sadly enough seven of them died of influenza.
Those seven were not allowed to be buried within the wall of the local cemetery of the church but at the periphery. Those days the rules were very strict on who was allowed or not. But the story that they have been buried (almost dropped) somewhere in the woods is strongly denied by the people of Tervuren.
On their staying in Belgium, they have been visiting the movies and went to the fair, something most people only could dream of to do.
When the exhibition was ended, the 293 Congolese were sent to their homeland again. They could take everything they had been using in Tervuren with them: the bed, the linen, household stuff.
The heads of the villages were asked what they liked to take extra with them and they asked for a walking stick because Leopold II had one and they thought it was of high standard to have one.
Where lies the truth, where lies the exaggeration and the rumours? Somewhere in between I guess.
When in 1897 the World Expo took place in Brussels, Leopold II organised as a spin-off the Colonial World Expo at the same time in Tervuren.
I recommend you to read the other tips to situate this event.
The colonial exhibit was meant to introduce the new colony to the Belgian population.
There was not yet television and all that kind so there was a more direct approach to bring people in contact with these kinds of things: exhibitions where a way to do so.
Three villages were reconstructed and 300 real Africans inhabited these improvised villages. They had to show the visitors the daily life, they sang and they danced, they were dressed tribal garb. Nowadays we would ask if this was political correct or not, but not in those days. However there have been critics.
The Belgian weather was not a good trade against the African one and people didn’t have to sleep in these villages. Instead they have a real bed in the building of the Royal Stables. Some talk disintegrating about this, but if you go back to those days, not many Belgians enjoyed the luxury that these Africans were offered.
In front of the Royal Museum of Central Africa you have a huge zebra path to cross the rather heavy traffic road.
There were no lights so it looks a bit hazardeous to cross.
In Belgium the pedestrians have priority but at a street where they drive fast, you best be careful, look if there is not a car approaching fast and make a gesture so that they can see you are intending to cross the road.
They are obliged to stop.
I am not sure if tourists know this rule... so be careful if a car with a foreign plate approaches you... the foreign plate might be the last thing you might get to see `-)