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About Lubumbashi

Sunken into the blazing russet and burnt orange sands of southeast Congo, Lubumbashi hums with the rhythmic twang of guitar and jagged purr of central Africa. Lubumbashi is home to over 1.7 million people and the mining capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Attractions include the Lubumbashi Botanical Garden, National Museum of Lubumbashi, and Lubumbashi Zoo.

Immerse yourself in the ‘city of mines’ and feel the electric rusticism of the Congo with cheap flights to Lubumbashi. Lubumbashi is home to Lubumbashi International Airport (FBM), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. The airport serves Kenya Airways and South African Airways. Non-stop domestic flights to Lubumbashi depart from Johannesburg. Popular connecting flights to Lubumbashi depart from Cape Town and Durban. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Lubumbashi is approximately 2 hours 25 minutes.

Why visit Lubumbashi

lubumbashi mining history

Mining History

Dubbed ‘city of mines’, the city teems with ores of copper, cobalt, gold, manganese and diamonds. Mining has fuelled the city since prehistoric times, embedding itself deeply into its history.

lubumbashi congolese cuisine

Congolese Cuisine

The hearty and delectable flavours of Congolese cuisine will titillate your taste buds and ensnare your senses. Popular dishes include ngai-ngai with fried fish and smoked fish with cassava leaves.

lubumbashi zoo

Lubumbashi Zoo

A sprawling walking park and picturesque alleys offer an exciting glimpse into the rich biodiversity of the Congo. The zoo is home to giraffes, antelopes, leopards, tigers, hippopotami and monkeys.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Democratic Republic of Congo
Currency Congolese Franc
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 103.86 CDF
Language Creole Swahili / French
Hub Airport Lubumbashi International Airport
Time Zone GMT +1
Travel Adaptor Standard type C, E & F

Best time to visit Lubumbashi

Lubumbashi experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot rainy summers and long dry winters. Average temperatures range from 32 degrees Celsius in summer to 7 degrees Celsius in winter. The summers months (December to February) bask the city in humid temperatures and heavy rainfall, while sultry temperatures glaze the city during the dry winter season (May to September). For cheap flights to Lubumbashi, the best time to visit is May, April and November.

Weather & Climate in Lubumbashi

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 16°C 17°C 16°C 15°C 11°C 7°C 7°C 9°C 12°C 15°C 16°C 17°C
High °C 27°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 25°C 26°C 28°C 31°C 32°C 29°C 27°C
Rainfall (mm) 251 260 198 52 4 1 0 0 3 38 164 269

Overview

Nestled between russet hued quarries in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lubumbashi is a city that glints with copper and cobalt hues.

More than 3% of the world’s copper, and half its cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of which is found in the Katanga region. Lubumbashi, dubbed ‘city of mines’ is the mining capital of the Congo.

Although it is most famous for its mining industry, there is more to the city of Lubumbashi than its mining industry.

Wide, sun drenched boulevards that buzz with cosmopolitan energy and the deep reverberations of central Africa, offer a playground for architecture enthusiasts, food lovers and travellers seeking an authentic cultural experience.

The Cathédral St. Pierre et Paul, Palace of Justice, and Grand Hotel are architectural treasures draped in history and Art Deco stylings. The National Museum offers a glimpse into the archaeological and ethnological history of the city. And the Botanical Garden houses rare plant species endemic to the Congo.

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do require a visa when travelling to Lubumbashi, or anywhere else in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You will need to ensure your passport has a validity of at least 6 months and has empty pages for entry stamps.

The Embassy of the Republic of Congo is situated in Pretoria. 791 Francis Baard Street, Arcadia, 0083. Phone: (+27) 012 343 24 55 / (+27) 012 344 6475 / 6. Website: (https://www.embassyofcongo.co.za)

Health & Safety

Lubumbashi is the second-largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been affected by political instability, so it is advisable to take certain precautions and maintain vigilance at all times. Travel insurance to cover theft and medical expenses is recommended. Taking photographs of government buildings, military installations and along border areas is illegal.

Avoid flaunting wealth and carrying large sums of cash and valuables, as pick-pocketing and bag snatching do happen (especially on public transport systems). Avoid travelling alone, and through deserted areas at night (especially women). Only make use of marked and registered taxis, and agree on a fare before beginning the journey. Carrying a colour copy of your passport with you is recommended. Avoid rallies and public demonstrations, and avoid road travel at night.

Lubumbashi is at risk for yellow fever. Proof of vaccination is required. Immunisation against Hepatitis A & B, cholera, typhoid, malaria, and rabies are recommended. Other routine and recommended vaccinations include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella and polio.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG LUBUMBASHI
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 266.61
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 33.33
Cappuccino (regular) R 23.00 R 22.57 R 39.99
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 26.66
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 39.00 R 40.00 R 39.99
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