With one of the world's great musical communities, delicious food, wonderful colonial era architecture and natural beauty on its doorstep, Kinshasa is a superb destination.
One of the first things that visitors will notice is the presence of music wherever they go. Walk the streets and marketplaces, and you will pass endless groups of musicians playing the DRC's many musical styles, from rumba to soukous.
Kinshasa is also paradise for nature lovers. The forests and plains around the Congolese capital city are filled with exotic species like okapi and leopards, and there are plenty of specialist tour companies who will transport visitors to the best sighting grounds. Sustainable tourism is another growing area, and few eco-tourism projects are as rewarding as the Okapi Conservation Project.
Another local attraction is the majestic River Congo. Rent sturdy boats and sail down the river, stopping on the banks to enjoy a delicious Congolese barbecue meal, or just drift and fish in the placid currents.
Kinshasa is also a fabulous destination for arts and crafts lovers, with the city possessing one of the world's great markets in the marché des voleurs - which will be a great place to find works by the DRC's many accomplished local painters.
The city is also a lively nightlife center. When the sun goes down, party at venues like VIP Bar or head to the riverfront district of Kinkole, with its many restaurants. On some nights, visitors can also treat themselves to a sporting spectacle, with the acrobatics on offer at Kinshasa's judo halls.
No travelers to the city should miss out on the many delicious local dishes as well. Sample freshly caught and cooked shrimp from the Congo River, cooked in a spicy sauce or head to one of the many high quality international restaurants.
Best Time to Fly to Kinshasa
As a tropical destination, the capital of the DRC has some sweltering times of year, and some that are extremely wet, so travel in the "shoulder" seasons for the best sightseeing conditions. Between May and September, the city will be cooler and less humid, and prices will be lower around April and October.
Getting around Kinshasa
The city has a small official bus service but an enormous network of informal taxis and buses that will get you wherever you need to go cheaply. A little French can go a long way in finding out the best routes to take, and where to get off. Visitors can also book taxis for the day, and it is advisable to do so via your hotel or a trusted local.