The article presents the things to do in Lubumbashi. Lubumbashi was the capital city of the former Katanga province which has now been divided into four different provinces: Tanganyika, Haut Katanga, Haut Lomami and Lualaba. The things to do in Lubumbashi will thus involves experiencing the city of Lubumbashi, the country’s economic capital and capital city to only Haut Katanga Province. While in Lubumbashi, you can head north to experience the Upemba National Park in Haut Lomami Province. Also, not so far from Lubumbashi city is the Kundelungu National Park in Haut Katanga province.
Getting to Lubumbashi
Lubumbashi International Airport is the recommended and convenient way to get to Lubumbashi. Founded in the colonial time as Elisabethville Airport, it is also known as the Luano Airport. The airport plays a major role in the development of the region. Congo Airways, the national airline connects Lubumbashi to all major cities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It includes Kinshasa, Goma, Kolwezi, Kananga and Mbujimayi. International Airlines like Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines operates regular flights connecting Lubumbashi to the rest of the world.
In your things to do in Lubumbashi, you will need places for accommodation. Lubumbashi and its surrounding hosts the second-best hotel infrastructures in the Congo after Kinshasa, the capital city. Accommodation in Lubumbashi is made of a mix of 3- and 5-stars hotels and lodges. In some remote places, you should bring you tent because of there no built accommodation for visitors.
Things to do in Lubumbashi
1°. City of Lubumbashi
Lubumbashi comes first in our top 5 activities in Lubumbashi. It is the actual capital of only Haut-Katanga Province and the country’s major economic hub. It is also very diverse with ease of transport and a rare place to explore the imposing colonial architectures. In Lubumbashi you can visit the National Museum of Lubumbashi; Lubumbashi Zoological Garden; The Kasombo Prison (1900s), the first in Lubumbashi and where the church leader Kimbangu was imprisoned; Old and colonial architectures; Souvenir shops, Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, a cathedral which served as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lubumbashi established in 1920 under Pope John XXIII. You can also visit, the historic place of assassination of the first prime minister of the DR Congo, Mr Patrice Emery Lumumba. Lumumba died as a national hero after fighting for the Independence of Congo. This first component of things to do in Lubumbashi will take you a full day. You will have an option to use local taxis (a car or a motorbike) for around 50$ or hike a private transportation for 200$ per day all inclusive.
2°. Cultural visits, mine visits and Kiubo Falls
This comes as second in the things to do in Lubumbashi. It brings you around 400 km away from the city of Lubumbashi to Kiubo Falls. On your way to the fall, you will stop in Likasi where you will taste local food for dinner before mingling with locals in Bunkenya. There you can visit the grave of King Msiri from the Yeke Kingdom (aka Garenganze Kingdom). The Yeke Kingdom was once one of the most powerful kingdoms in South-Central Africa controlling half a million square kilometers (1856 to 1891). As you learn about the yeke’s history, tradition and customs, you will be taught that the king Msiri was a merchant involved in copper, ivory and slave trade controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar, Tippo Tip. After Bunkenya, you will head directly to Kiubo Falls. If time allows, you might stop to explore a mine of copper, being extracted from the famous copper belt extending from Congo to Zambia.
Activities in Kiubo includes: A walk along the trails that line the river; ATV all terrain; Kiwakishi cave tour (35km); BBQ evening at the camp; Visit their own electric turbine; Fishing: Tiger Fish, Captain, etc.; Canoe-Calm or tumultuous waters; Bird Watching; Rafting in the rapids; Pedal Boats; Swimming under the small falls; Speedboat cruises on the river; Visit of the surrounding village and its market.
You will have the option to inn in lodges located around Kiubo Falls. The journey from Lubumbashi to Kiubo Falls will take you up to 8 hours. You will need a 4WD Jeep as a means of transportation that can be hired for 250$ per day.
Upemba National Park is one of 9 Congolese National Parks. It is in Haut Lomami Province.
The park offers a beautiful diversity of biogeographical environments conducive to a typical and varied fauna. The zebra, the roan antelope, the Cape elk, the hartebeest, the great kudu … are found in the sector of the high plateaus, while the savannas would still shelter one or the other herd of elephants, buffaloes and antelopes. The swamps host several species of aquatic birds, among the many Palearctic migrants, as well as hippos and crocodiles. The park has numerous falls, the important being Kayo, Ipera, Kwanza, Munte, Dikolongo, and Kalule. But also, many caves, including Tumba and Kiantapo. You will do activities as per your convenience.
Located in the North Eastern part of Lubumbashi, Kundelungu National Park comes fourth in our list of top 5 activities in Lubumbashi. What to see include the Lofoi Falls which is the highest in Africa (384m in one jet). Moreover, the site also comprises other majestic falls where two more emblematic are Masansa and Lutshipuka falls. You will need 4WD Jeep to adapt on the conditions of the road: Presumed existing wildlife are: antelopes, jackals, servals, porcupines, warthogs, snakes, monkeys, buffaloes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, lions, cheetah, leopards, zebras,… Accommodation available are Guest House or inside the park where you set your tent (brings sleeping bags, torch, tips,…) and enjoy the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset. Bring with you your own foods, water and drinks.
The ICCN must be paid for in Advance in addition to purchasing the $40 expatriate license and paying $15 per vehicle.