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Lubumbashi is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a population of 1,374,000 and the principal city of the Katanga region.


Central Lubumbashi

Creole Swahili is the principal language of the Copperbelt mining cities and is somewhat more different from classical East African Swahili than that spoken elsewhere along the eastern edge of Congo. Most people can communicate in French, and many of the elite are more at ease in French than Swahili. English is widely spoken in businesses.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Lubumbashi is served internationally by South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Zambian Airways. Flights within Congo D. R. are offered by Hewa Bora Airways [3], Korongo Airlines (operated by Brusselsairlines) and by CAA [4].

By car/truck[edit]

Travel by car is totally discouraged as the roads in the Congo are of quite poor quality and you risk being attacked in the remoteness around Lubumbashi.

By bus[edit]

Connections via Zambia to Dar es Salaam and to South Africa.

By train[edit]

Freight trains connect to Zambia, Dilolo to the west on the Angolan border in Katanga province, Ilebo to the far northwest in Kasai Province with river transport on to Kinshasa, and via Kamina to Kindu and Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika border with Tanzania) to the north. Passenger service is infrequent and slow without international connections. Angola is completing rebuilding of the link from Dilolo to the ocean at Lobito after decades of war, and a direct rail link to Kinshasa, connecting on to the Atlantic coast, is again being planned.

Get around[edit]

Unless you are a local your only means of travel around the city is by foot but if you can handle try driving a 4x4 car or a jeep.

See[edit][add listing]

Zoo de Lubumbashi, on Route Kipushi, as well as several predators like lion and tiger, zoo has a large snake collection and termites museum. Watch one of TP Mazembe's games (football team), as they are the best football team in Africa.

Do[edit][add listing]

Cercle Wallon (Belgium club): Eat, bar, tennis (incl. lessons), 10 pin bowling. 2 Avenue De la Revolution . Finally you could play a posh game of Golf at Golf de Lubumbashi , Route de Golf around the North-West of the City.

Check with locals to see if there is a show at the Amphitheatre on Avenue Kasombo and have a good watch of the show.

Also befriend a local and have him/her take you to the great Marche de Katuba , Avenue Central. Finally watch a movie at the great cinema , Cine Betamax.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are several markets scattered throughout the city. Most stands sell copper and brass bracelets and rings, carved animals made out of wood or ivory, and religious figurines and crosses.

For groceries, visit Hyper Psaro, a pricey but nice ex-pat market. There are also many roadside stands that sell wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables. Most grocery stores have a range of groceries, from cheap vegetables to pricey South African imports.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Plage Tshombe: several restaurants and bars, situated on Route du Golf at Lake Tshombe. Also if your in the mood for fast food go to the city center's large chips shop KATANGA FRIED CHICKEN. Le Perroquet on Avenue Kapenda is a nice Restaurant.

In or near the centre: "La Brioche" (Avenue Kabila) is a nice French style cafe also serving light meals. "Chez Olga" is local resto at crn. 30 Juin/De Hemptine. "Le Transit" is local resto at crn. 30 Juin/ Djamena. "Petit Bruxelles" is a garden resto at Kabanga no.624 (north from centre)

Drink[edit][add listing]

"La Kalebasse" in Ave. Likasi (beside Hotel Kaby) is a local bar in a backyard (with DJ Spilulu's music in the evening). Several drinking terraces at Ave. Adoua, southbound from Ave. Kabila.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Bougian Villa Guest House, Av Lukonzolwa 58/59 (Golf Area), +243811743182, [1]. checkin: noon; checkout: 10:30AM. Bougian Villa is a South African-owned Guest House claiming to offer the best accommodation in Lubumbashi. In-house restaurant (which offers good value home-style meals for breakfast, lunch, and supper), also a full bar, wifi internet, dstv, etc. 145$-185$.  edit
  • AMS Guest House, 7409, Avenue de la Revolution, +243995465769. checkin: noon; checkout: 11AM. 18 rooms with air-con, DSTV, wi-fi and en-suite bathrooms, kitchenettes. Hotel also has a restaurant and bar. US$ 130 bed and breakfast, US$ 145 half board, US$ 165 full board.  edit
  • Hotel Karavia, down town on route du golf, it is in between the golf course at the left( west) side and lake karavia ( Tshombe ), [2]. Formerly the old Sheraton Hotel that was abandoned for 10 Years, Fully Renovated in 2010  edit
  • Park Hotel (Hotel Leopold II), 50, Avenue Munongo (between main post office and train station). Built in 1929, this art deco gem is Lubumbashi's classic hotel. The inner courtyard has an excellent restaurant, with delightful live jazz most evenings. $100.  edit
  • Hotel Belle-Vue, Av. Kasai (one block from train station). One of the most beautiful buildings in Lubumbashi. The rooms are simple and inexpensive. The balcony overlooking the busy street is charming. $50.  edit

"Kamy de Luxe" is basic but acceptable, 5 min. south of centre (Ave. Kabila) in Ave. Likasi between Ave. Lomamy and Ave. Sendwe. (double with shower from 20000 FC = 17 EUR)- right beside is "La Kalebasse", local daily dancing and drinking.


You can buy a SIM card or an entirely new cell phone from one of the roadside stands, or you can use your current phone plan. Although it is sometimes difficult to find a signal, it is sometimes successful and rates are not outrageous.

ONT (National Tourist Organisation): Ave. Kabila 64 (2eme etage), Batiment LAC; helpful Mme. Jenny, phone 0997147872.

SNCC Lubumbashi (train station): phone 081409515159 chef de consigne, very helpful with timetable.

Get out[edit]

The safest way to leave by using the direct rail link to kinshasa and leave at Njili airport which might cost a lot of dollars so it's best you leave the way you came.

Comment: There is no "direct rail link to Kinshasa", the railway only goes as far as Ilebo (very rare, from where you have to find a boat via Badundu to Kinshasa or get a shared taxi to Kikwit and then Kinshasa), and about every 15 to 30 days trains to Kananga, Kindu and Kalemie.

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