Kinshasa Travel Guide

Looking for an exciting adventure? Look no further than Kinshasa! This comprehensive travel guide has everything you need to plan your visit.

Introduction to Kinshasa

Kinshasa, the bustling capital of Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a city of music, dance, and adventure. Not only is the city a hotbed for Congolese culture, it’s also home to several beautiful natural attractions. Kinshasa is located in Western DRC, in Central Africa.

List of Places to Visit in Kinshasa

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

If you’re interested in learning about the history and culture of Kinshasa, there are several museums and historical landmarks worth visiting.

  1. National Museum of Kinshasa - This museum houses a collection of artifacts that showcase the history of DRC, including artwork, traditional clothing, and weapons.
  2. Patrice Lumumba Monument - This monument serves as a tribute to Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese independence leader who was assassinated in 1961.
  3. Cathedral Notre-Dame Du Congo - This stunning cathedral is the largest religious building in Kinshasa and is known for its beautiful stained-glass windows.

Natural Attractions of Kinshasa: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

If you’re looking for some outdoor fun in Kinshasa, there are several natural attractions that are worth exploring.

  1. Lola ya Bonobo - This sanctuary is home to over 60 bonobos, a species of great ape that’s only found in DRC. You can spend the day watching the apes play in their natural habitat.
  2. Mount Mangengenge - This beautiful mountain is a popular destination for hikers and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Inga Falls - These falls are located on the Congo River and are some of the largest waterfalls in the world. They’re a must-see for visitors to Kinshasa.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kinshasa

If you’re looking for a little adventure, there are several hiking and biking routes in and around Kinshasa that are worth exploring.

  1. Mont-Ngafula Hiking Trail - This trail is located just outside of Kinshasa and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
  2. Parc de la Concorde - This park is located in the heart of Kinshasa and offers several hiking and biking trails that are perfect for a quick escape from the city.
  3. Congo River Bike Trail - This trail runs along the Congo River and is a popular destination for cyclists. It offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscape.

Best Things to Do in Kinshasa: Activities and Tours

There are endless activities and tours available for visitors to Kinshasa. Here are just a few of the best things to do in the city:

  1. Congo River Boat Tours - These tours offer a unique way to see the sights of Kinshasa from the water. You’ll cruise down the Congo River and enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
  2. Congolese Music and Dance Shows - Kinshasa is known for its vibrant music and dance scene, and there are several shows and performances throughout the city that are worth checking out.
  3. Local Markets - Kinshasa is home to several bustling markets that offer everything from traditional Congolese crafts to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kinshasa

For visitors who want to make the most of their time in Kinshasa, here’s a week-long itinerary to help you plan your trip.

Day Activity
1 Visit the National Museum of Kinshasa
2 Hike Mount Mangengenge
3 Explore Lola ya Bonobo
4 Take a Congo River boat tour
5 Visit the Patrice Lumumba Monument
6 Enjoy a traditional Congolese music and dance show
7 Shop at local markets and enjoy the food scene

Food and Drink Scene of Kinshasa

No trip to Kinshasa is complete without trying the local cuisine. Here are a few must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Fufu and Ndakala - This traditional Congolese dish is made from cassava flour and served with a stew made from meat, vegetables, and spicy peppers.
  2. Maboke - This grilled fish dish is served with a spicy sauce made from palm oil.
  3. Pili Pili Chicken - This spicy chicken dish is a local favorite and is seasoned with a variety of spices and peppers.

Local Beverages

  1. Mbege - This traditional Tanzanian beer is made from bananas and is a popular drink in Kinshasa.
  2. Malamba - This sweet, fermented palm wine is a local favorite and can be found at many bars and restaurants in the city.
  3. Dawa - This vodka-based cocktail is served with honey and lime and is a refreshing drink on a hot day.

Where to Stay in Kinshasa: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kinshasa offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Hotel Memling - This luxury hotel offers stunning views of the Congo River and is located in the heart of the city.
  2. Vivi Palace Hotel - This mid-range hotel offers comfortable rooms and is located near several popular tourist attractions.
  3. La Joie de Vivre Guesthouse - This budget-friendly guesthouse offers comfortable rooms and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

What to Buy in Kinshasa: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs or local products to bring home, there are several options to consider. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Traditional Crafts - Kinshasa is known for its traditional crafts, including wood carvings, baskets, and pottery.
  2. Kuba Cloth - This traditional cloth is made from raffia and is decorated with intricate designs. It’s a unique and beautiful item to bring home.
  3. Coffee - DRC is known for its coffee, and there are several shops and markets in Kinshasa where you can buy high-quality beans to bring home.

Local Culture and Customs of Kinshasa

The people of Kinshasa are known for their warm and welcoming nature. It’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions during your visit. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Greeting Customs - It’s customary to greet people with a handshake and a smile. It’s also polite to use formal titles when addressing people.
  2. Dress Code - Kinshasa is a conservative city, and it’s important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
  3. Etiquette - It’s considered impolite to point with your finger, so use an open hand instead. It’s also customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.

Best Time to Visit Kinshasa

The best time to visit Kinshasa is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. The weather is mild and dry, making it the perfect time to explore the city and its surroundings.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kinshasa

It’s important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions during your visit to Kinshasa. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  1. Respect Local Customs - Be respectful of the local customs and traditions, and try to learn as much as you can about the local culture.
  2. Tip Service Workers - It’s customary to tip service workers, such as restaurant staff and taxi drivers.
  3. Try Local Cuisine - Kinshasa is known for its delicious cuisine, so make sure to try as many local dishes as possible.


  1. Take Photographs without Permission - It’s impolite to take photographs of people or places without permission.
  2. Touch People without Permission - It’s important to ask permission before touching someone, especially if you’re in a religious or traditional setting.
  3. Be Loud and Disrespectful - It’s important to be respectful of the local culture and to avoid being loud and disrespectful in public places.

Safety and Health

It’s important to be aware of the safety and health risks when traveling to Kinshasa.

Safety in Kinshasa

Kinshasa has a reputation for being a dangerous city, and it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are a few tips:

  1. Avoid Walking Alone at Night - It’s best to walk in groups or take a taxi at night.
  2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings - Keep an eye out for anything that seems out of the ordinary, and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
  3. Stay in Safe Areas - Stick to well-lit, tourist-friendly areas of the city, and avoid wandering too far off the beaten path.

Health in Kinshasa

DRC is a country that’s at risk of several infectious diseases, including malaria and yellow fever. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy during your visit:

  1. Get Vaccinated - Make sure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations before traveling to Kinshasa.
  2. Take Precautions Against Mosquito Bites - Wear long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites.
  3. Drink Bottled Water - Stick to bottled water to avoid getting sick from contaminated water sources.

Getting to Kinshasa: Transportation Options and Logistics

There are several transportation options available for getting to Kinshasa.

Airports Near Kinshasa

  1. N’djili International Airport - This is the main international airport in Kinshasa and is located approximately 17 kilometers from the city center.
  2. Ndolo Airport - This is a smaller airport that serves domestic flights within DRC.

Bus Stations Near Kinshasa

  1. Gare Routiere de la Victoire - This is the busiest bus station in Kinshasa and serves several destinations throughout DRC.
  2. Gare Routiere de Mbudi - This is a smaller bus station that serves destinations south of Kinshasa.

Other Options

There are also several ferry services available for traveling to Kinshasa from other cities along the Congo River.

How to Get Around in Kinshasa

There are several transportation options available for getting around in Kinshasa.

  1. Taxi - Taxis are widely available in Kinshasa and are a convenient way to get around the city.
  2. Bus - Public buses are a budget-friendly option for getting around Kinshasa, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable.
  3. Motorbike Taxi - Motorbike taxis, also known as “moto-taxis,” are a popular option for short trips around the city.

Where to Go Next from Kinshasa: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking for more adventure after your visit to Kinshasa, here are a few nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  1. Virunga National Park - This stunning national park is home to several rare animal species, including mountain gorillas.
  2. Brazzaville - The neighboring city of Brazzaville is just across the Congo River and is easily accessible by ferry.
  3. Goma - This city is located near the border of Rwanda and is known for its stunning natural attractions, including Lake Kivu and the Nyiragongo volcano.


Kinshasa is an exciting, vibrant city that’s full of culture, adventure, and natural beauty. With this comprehensive travel guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan your visit and make the most of your time in this amazing city. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Kinshasa today!