Kinshasa

Overview

Introduction

The country's capital and largest city (pop. 5,717,000) is on the Congo River directly across from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. Presently, government curfews are in force in Kinshasa. When (and if) things return to normal there, be sure to visit St. Anne's Cathedral (and the art market nearby), the botanical gardens, the Aviators' and Stanley monuments and the prehistoric and ethnological museums at Kinshasa University. Also spend some time people-watching and walking through both the old and new sections of town to look at the various shops. In the Gombe district, the most affluent part of town, upscale shops and restaurants can be found. At night, visit the restaurants and nightclubs in the Matonge area downtown, where the high-pitched sounds of live pop music ring out. (Be aware that the area is notorious for robberies.) Because few of the city's streetlights work, it's very dark at night—trash-burning fires and car headlights provide the only light. Plan to stay one night in the capital. Should you have additional time, hire a taxi or car with driver and take a day to drive along the Congo River road to Zongo Falls, stopping at the little villages along the way. 760 mi/1,225 km southwest of Kisangani.

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