Kinshasa is a city with modern shops and restaurants, but it is known above all as the birthplace of African music.
It is one of Africa’s biggest cities and is the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a cheap city with a very lively nightlife. Kinshasa has suffered greatly from turbulent changes in the past few years. A visit is certainly worthwhile in order to experience the atmosphere of this city.
A list of sights would fail to do justice to Kinshasa. You must certainly sample the atmosphere of this big African city. Living in Kinshasa is a special experience, since the city is surrounded by countryside full of tropical rainforest and endangered species of animals.
SLEEP The 12 suites of the family-run Le Havre de Paix hotel (Avenue Mpeti, Quartier Socimat, Commune de la Gombé, www.havredepaix.net) surround a compact swimming pool and garden. It’s a well-known favourite with regular visitors to the city.
EAT No trip to Kinshasa is complete without dining on some of the Congo River’s giant freshwater prawns (called cossa cossa). Le Roi du Cossa (220 Avenue Mpolo Maurice) serves up these delicious king-sized crevettes, along with tasty fish dishes in a low-key atmosphere.
LATER Bring on the night with a backbeat of chilled tunes, a mojito and tapas on the rooftop of the Latino flavored Skylounge (397 Boulevard du 30 Juin).
- Fancy escaping to a desert island for a picnic? Now’s the time! All you need to do is pack your sandwiches and rent a boat from the Kinshasa Yacht Club (55 Avenue des Inflammables). Half an hour later you can be reclining on a sandbar on the Congo River. Boats can carry eight people and will set you back around 138,000CDF/€136 (price includes a driver and picnic furniture).
- Take a breather from the metropolis in the Congo jungle. Just 30km outside the city lies bonobo sanctuary Lola ya Bonobo (www.lolayabonobo.org). Accommodation is available at the sanctuary and 99% of the proceeds go back to caring for these endangered primates.
are available from the rank outside departures at N’Djili International Airport. Be sure to confirm the price before leaving: it costs around 29,500CDF/€29 for the one-hour trip into town. Or pre-arrange a car with your hotel.