Who would have thought that Mbanza-Ngungu, DRC would end up being such a sight for sore eyes. After nearly dying of malaria in the little town of Lukala – where I slept in a rough bit of accommodation – I relished in my short time here. I found a room with a shower, a bed that was soft, the electricity worked and I got a bit of a reprieve in a hotel that for me felt like about 15 stars. I didn’t do anything here in town, I don’t know if there’s anything to do in town either. All I know, is that it beats the hell out of the chaos of Kinshasa, and the hospitality I got here in town was top-notch. If you need a place to crash for a night, this is an excellent place to do so.
Where to Eat in Mbanza-Ngungu
Like most towns in Central Africa, there isn’t really a selection of restaurants. Instead, you’ll find street-side bars that also serve basic Africa-style food. The hotels are generally where you’re going to find your meals. There is a place called “Restaurant Poulet” that serves chicken as you might have guessed.
Where to Stay in Mbanza-Ngunu
There are two decent hotels in town, but I have to be honest with you in telling you that the name of the one I stayed, which was amazing, got lost along with my broken phone. My directions to get there are, if you’re coming from Kinshasa, you’ll pass the Gare. From there, you’re going to find that the highway splits. In the middle, there is a dirt road. Ask the locals, they’ll be able to point you from there. It’s perfect, but a bit expensive. The other option in town is called Hotel Makani.
Things to Do
There isn’t really anything to do in town, although the market is quite active. Just up the road in the town of Inkisi there are the Kisantu Falls which are worth seeing.
Communication and Banking
There was meant to be internet at the university, but when I got there they told me it has been down for a couple weeks. I’m not sure it’ll be back anytime soon. Most people told me that was the only place. You can buy top-up cards and SIM cards just about anywhere in town.
You can get cash out at one of the bank machines in the heart of town. As you climb up the hill into town, there are a couple gas stations on the side of the road, both have bank machines that pay out in USD and local currency.
Getting out of Town
It’s fairly easy to get out of Mbanza-Ngungu. You can head to the shared taxi terminal where you’ll find rides in all possible directions. If you’re going to Kinshasa, there will be both buses and shared taxis going every 15 minutes or so.