Dare I say I actually really liked Lubumbashi? I guess part of it comes from the fact that after Kinshasa this city could have been terrible and after Kinshasa it would have looked like paradise. Set casually among the casual red soil of Central Africa, Lubumbashi sits on a fairly nondescript piece of land in the south of the DR Congo. Though the city is essentially in the middle of nowhere, it’s site and situation is furthering its powerful growth and rapid ascension in power. In many ways, the city feels closer to East Africa. It’s fairly developed, and the common market language is Swahili. But politically, this city is still very much a part of the mess that is the DR Congo.
Things to Do and See in Lubumbashi
Truthfully there isn’t a whole lot for tourists to do in Lubumbashi. As for me, I feasted on the fact that there were actually good grocery stores available for a change. If you’re up for it, I’m told that the local football club is quite strong and the stadium is a good one if you have the time. If you’re up for a local market, hit up Marche de Katuba. There are also some interesting statues around town, but nothing that will blow your mind.
There is a national park just outside of town called Kaziba-Baluba, but I can’t speak for it one way or another as I didn’t have time to visit. In town, there is also the botanical gardens which are OK.
Where to Eat in Lubumbashi
There are some good eats in town, both locally and expat spots. Of course, if you’re on a budget, you’ll likely want to stick to the street foods. The best place for budget meals are at the small beer-serving eateries. The most popular fast food chain in Lubumbashi is likely Katanga Fried Chicken which is always busy and quite tasty. There is also a decent place for food called the Perroquet.
Where to Stay in Lubumbashi
Like most places in the DR Congo, there isn’t a great variety of respectable hostels and guesthouses in Lubumbashi. I did, however, find a couple places. I ended up staying at a place called Kaby de Luxe which is on likaski and sendwe. It’s a nice quiet spot and the rooms are really big and fit with hot water, A/C, a sofa, TV, and a comfy bed. It cost me $50 but it was well worth it for the night. The Methodist Church on Likasi also offers cheap rooms.
Getting out of Town
- Bus: You’ll find both shared taxis and buses headed south to Zambia and to other destinations within the DR Congo. The roads in this part of the country are decent, but not perfect.
- Train: Though inconsistent, I’m told the train runs all the way from here to Kananga, but only goes once a week or so. It’s best to inquire on site as things regarding the rails in DR Congo change constantly.
- Plane: There are regular flights to South Africa, and Zambia from here in Lubumbashi. For national flights, CAA flies to all major cities in the DR Congo.
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