What to do and see in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Best Places and Tips

December 11, 2017 Trinity Boughner

Kinshasa (/kɪnˈʃɑːsə/; French: [kɛ̃ʃaza]; formerly Léopoldville (French: Léopoldville or Dutch  Leopoldstad (help·info))) is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is beside the Congo River.
Restaurants in Kinshasa

1. Lola ya Bonobo

Les Petites Chutes de la Lukaya, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Excellent
58%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 196 reviews

Lola ya Bonobo

Reviewed By FiFi A - London, United Kingdom

Been twice now and enjoyed both times. The guides are so articulate and really know and love their job. The bonobos are super cute and each have their own special personalities. It's a really great sanctuary and worth visiting to learn something new.
There is a souvenir shop (could be improved) and should really be a place to take photos to take away.

2. Ma Vallee

Lac ma vallee | Commune de Mont Ngafula/ Quartier Kimwenza pres de Lola ya Bonobos, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo +243 829 900 009
Excellent
32%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 73 reviews

Ma Vallee

Surrounded by the equatorial forest, Ma Vallée is a scenic African lake.

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

This place is now called "Africa Park Adventures" (as of 2016), so check reviews with that name. The lake is still called "Lac ma vallee," but it has new management and many new activities to do, beyond just a walk around the lake. Take comfortable shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen. There is an entrance fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children ; outside food and drinks are not allowed.

3. Musee National de Kinshasa (National Museum)

Avenue du 24 Novembre, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Excellent
23%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
5%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 34 reviews

Musee National de Kinshasa (National Museum)

Located in the capital, the Musée National de Kinshasa hosts the country's primary collection of Zairian art.

Reviewed By Richard J - Omaha

With almost no tourism activities in Kinshasa, we were pleased to find a fine collection of crafts, artifacts, and examples of Congolese life past and present. The signs are in French, and the docent they assigned us had very limited English. Luckily, our own guide ‘s English was excellent. But even so, most exhibits are pretty self-explanatory if you know anything about African history and culture.

4. Academie des Beaux-Arts

Avenue de 24 Novembre | À proximité de l'Ecole belge, quartier de la Gombe, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2438941010
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Academie des Beaux-Arts

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

We enjoyed visiting, there are two exposition halls. You can visit the workshop and see sculptors / ceramists at work. There is also an outdoor sculpture garden. We didn't have a chance to see the third museum space (upstairs from the sculpture workshop) as we got rained out! The Academie also offers evening classes in various artistic domains.

5. Symphonie des Arts

15 Avenue de l'Avenir, Kintambo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo +243 819 901 000
Excellent
16%
Good
60%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
12%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 24 reviews

Symphonie des Arts

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

What the other reviewers have written is accurate. Things are expensive here, and the staff tend to follow you around. However, if you can get past that, you’ll find nicer and higher quality art pieces than you find in the Thieves Market for example. They also hold an annual Holiday Bazaar with a variety of vendors. It is a well attended event, as all the students from the ballet school perform (the ballet school is located within the Symphonie des Arts).

6. Cathedrale Notre-Dame Du Congo

Avenue du 24 Novembre, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Excellent
38%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 8 reviews

Cathedrale Notre-Dame Du Congo

Reviewed By A TripAdvisor Member

The place artsy to everyone who loves tourism for old discovery and tombs. The interior is better than the outside, but'll be much better if they can refurbish more while not ruining its old shape. The ushers are welcomed into that church and after church to show you and explain to you every single thing in out and within the church and without forgetting the history of why Cathedral been chosen to be there.

7. Eglise CBFC-Gombe

32 Avenue Lukusa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Excellent
28%
Good
58%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 7 reviews

Eglise CBFC-Gombe

Reviewed By Martijn t - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

In English this place is known as the International Protestant Church of Kinshasa. On sundays from 10 to 11 there is an English language service. The community is very international and friendly. The compound itself is a very quiet and friendly place with this beautiful little old Church at the heart. The compound also hold an international school and the IPCK organizes the usual fare of sunday schools; bible study and meetings. Its altogether a friendly place in Kinshasa in a lovely setting.

8. Texaf Bilembo

Utexafrica, 372 av. Colonel Mondjiba | Gombe, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo +243 817 854 033
Excellent
84%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Texaf Bilembo

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

I enjoyed this gallery; the gift shop has local handicrafts and locally made food products (jelly, etc.), as well as books about DRCongo. They sometimes show feature films in the gallery viewing space. Well worth the time for a visit.

9. Serpents du Congo

14 Avenue Kananga | Quartier Binza Pigeon, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo +243 999 918 530
Excellent
45%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
11%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 9 reviews

Serpents du Congo

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

This is one of the few attractions of Kinshasa that is really fun and educational for children and teens. I'm not sure where it is located now, but when we went it was up Matadi road, in the direction of Zongo Falls. Well worth the drive. We had to pay an entrance fee, if I recall correctly something like $10 per adult and $5 per child, but the snake handler was extremely knowledgeable and we felt it was well worth the visit.

10. Institut francais de Kinshasa

Av de La Gombe, Croisement Avec Forces Armees (Haut Commandement) | B.p. 5236, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo +243 843 964 802
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Institut francais de Kinshasa

Reviewed By TroisChatsLies - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Institut français (French Institute) Halle de la Gombe has a wonderful program of live music, dance, theatre, cinema, and much more every month. There is always something going on, and it is usually free, or very low cost (FC 2,000 for example). In the past I've been to a Korean film festival, seen a dance-sport show, live theatre by local artists, a music/dance show by artists visiting from Spain... they invite artists from around the world and also showcase local talent.
The Institute also has an exhibition hall where local artists, photographers and sculptors are showcased, a large French-language lending library, offers French and Lingala language courses, computer courses, and much more. Highly recommended for visitors to Kinshasa and residents alike.

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