Lubumbashi

Travel Guide Africa Democratic Republic of Congo Lubumbashi

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Introduction

Lubumbashi is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has about 1.5 million inhabitants according to the latest officials estimates. It is the capital of the relatively wealthy province of Haut-Katanga and is located in the extreme southeast of the country.

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Sights and Activities

Lubumbashi has several prominent examples of colonial architecture, such as the art-déco style Palace of Justice, the Grand Hotel or the cathedral Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Paul. Some have been restored in the last few years.

Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Paul (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Paul). Built in 1910.
Lubumbashi Zoological Garden, Boulevard Kamanyola. In addition to several predators like lions and tigers, this zoo has a large snake collection and termites museum.
National Museum of Lubumbashi (Musée national de Lubumbashi), 750 Avenue du Musée. Has a collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts of the regions history.

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Events and Festivals

Commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence

This annual celebration is held every January 4th. Also known as Martyr’s Day, the Commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence is held as a double event to remember the victims of violence against human rights and also the martyrs of justice.

National Heroes’ Day

Referred to as “Heroes’ Day,” this public holiday is celebrated annually on January 17. It commemorates the death of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s popular leader. It is one of the two festivals that commemorate Lumumba’s fight for human dignity in the region.

National Liberation Day

The Congo observes National Liberation Day every year on May 17. This is a public holiday, so all offices and most businesses are closed. It pays tribute to the efforts of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo rebel group who fought the government during the second war. MLC was led by Jean-Pierre Bemba, the son of Bemba Saolona, a Congolese billionaire. Street parades and cultural shows are held.

Independence Day

Independence Day is celebrated every June 30.

Parents’ Day

The world observes Parents’ Day every August 1, but in the Congo, it is considered a public holiday. Locals are enthusiastic about giving greeting cards and gifts to their family.

Youth Day

The Congo celebrates Youth Day on October 14. During this national day, different organizations host sporting events and other festivities for young people.

Army Day

An observed as a national holiday, the country honors its military forces every November 17.

Christmas

Unlike most Western countries, the Congo treats Christmas as a religious festival. It is less commercialized, so presents are uncommon. On Christmas Eve, churches stage musicals with at least five to six choir performances and nativity plays. Some communities enjoy festivities until dawn when Christmas Day services start at 9:00am Families typically prepare a feast at home, and for those who can afford it, pork and chicken are staples.

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Weather

Lubumbashi has a subtropical humid climate with generally warm and pleasant weather. The rainy season lasts from November to March, when the city receives and average of around 250mm of rain per month. Temperatures are mostly between 25 °C and 28 °C during the day, except in September and October when temperatures are above 30 °C. Average nights vary from 8-10 °C from May to August and around 13-16 °C from October to April.

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Getting There

By Plane

Lubumbashi International Airport (FBM) operates flights to/from Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Kananga and Mbuji-Mayi.

By Train

ssenger trains to Lubumbashi are slow, infrequent and often cancelled. However, it is possible to travel by train from such far away cities as Ilebo, Kalemie and Kindu. Departures are often a few times per month, or even more infrequent. There has been attempts to improve conditions of the railway over the recent decade but regular passenger services has yet to materialize. Inquires about departures should be made directly at the station or by contacting SNCC, the national operator. The colonial-era Gare de Lubumbashi is centrally located.

By Bus

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

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Eat

Plage Tshombe: several restaurants and bars, situated on Route du Golf at Lake Tshombe.
Le Boucher: A high end restaurant on La Plage Golf.
Lattelicious: an American style bar/restaurant and cafe in the Quartier du Golf.
Cercle Grec (Taverna Communaute Hellenique): The Greek Club in town, serves a variety of mezze and other plates. It also has sports grounds and a playground.
Latte Lounge: Same owner as Lattelicious, located in town on Ave Kilela Balanda.
Planet Hollybum: A hotel on Ave Kilela Balanda, which also has an Italian restaurant, specializing in pizza.
India Spice: Indian restaurant, which serves buffet or a la carte.

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Sleep

Bougian Villa, Av Lukonzolwa 58/59 (Golf Area), ☏ +243 811 743182. Check-in: noon, check-out: 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$-185$.
AMS Guest House, 7409 Avenue de la Revolution, ☏ +243 995465769. Check-in: noon, check-out: 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.
Grand Hotel Karavia, 55 Route du Golf (Next to the golf course), ☏ +243 815 583058. Formerly the old Sheraton Hotel that was abandoned for 10 Years, fully Renovated in 2010.
Park Hotel (Hotel Leopold II), 50 Avenue Munongo (Between main post office and train station), ☏ +243 97032330. 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.
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.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the Democratic Republic of the Congo is: 243.

To make an international call from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the code is: 00

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Lubumbashi Travel Helpers

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This is version 5. Last edited at 12:34 on Aug 5, 20 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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