7 Days in Lubumbashi, DR congo – After difficulties, mining activity has picked up again in the last fifteen years and Lubumbashi is once again enjoying its former glory. The charming rolling savannas that teemed with all the Big 5 animals in the mid-eighties, is a now cosmopolitan city where many nationalities live side by side in harmony owing to a good presence of the numerous expatriates who are in the mining and other sectors.
Lubumbashi currently has a population of almost 2 million, making it the or largest city in the country, according to some estimates.L’shi, or Lubum to its friends, is divided into seven communes, six of which are urban (Lubumbashi, Kamalondo, Kenya, Katuba, Kampemba and Ruashi) and one urban-rural, known as the “annex commune”.
Compared to other cities in DR Congo, Lubumbashi is relatively clean and modern Boasting to have some of the widest streets in Africa with a much relaxed pace of life unlike in other parts of DR Congo. Lubumbashi, with extensive infrastructure and numerous ongoing construction projects is a gem to be appreciated.
Lubumbashi is an intellectual city thanks to the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU), that served as a political hotbed that managed to stage some student protests that turned bloody during the Mobutu Sese Seko era) and to date, Lubumbashi remains a city of various higher institutes in its territory.
In Lubumbashi, French is the officially spoken language in the city alongside Kiswahili with a Congolese accent. Apart of Kiswahili and a plethora of local dialects, English is reasonably spoken in most of the business and residential districts that are highly dominated by the expatriates.
Why Visit Lubumbashi
At Oluokos Signature, we highly recommend a visit to Lubumbashi. Lubumbashi city and its surroundings offer a wealth of opportunities for to indulge into the beautiful miombo woodland and the savanna grassland settings. Its expansive metropolis boasts numerous leisure, educative and entertainment venues that range from accommodation, fitness, museums, a zoo and nature parks, numerous lakes and rivers and the notably affluent golf district that is located along Lake Tshombe (Lake Kipopo). To guests and the residents equally, Lushi or Lubum as it’s fondly knowns, is a city whose developmental milestones are sure commitment to peace and tranquility.
Lubumbashi city and its surroundings offer a wealth of opportunities for to indulge into the beautiful miombo woodland and the savanna grassland settings. Its expansive metropolis boasts numerous leisure, educative and entertainment venues that range from accommodation, fitness, museums, a zoo and nature parks, numerous lakes and rivers and the notably affluent golf district that is located along Lake Tshombe (Lake Kipopo). To guests and the residents equally, Lushi or Lubum as it’s fondly knowns, is a city whose developmental milestones are sure commitment to peace and tranquility. Here is our advice if you are have about a week to spend in Lubumbashi.
Day 1: Arrival and Hotel Check-in at your favourite hotel in Lubumbashi
At Luano International Airport that serves the city of Lubumbashi, It’s worth to note that international flights land in the afternoon. Therefore, you must have advance arrangements for your airport clearance and then transfer to the city. This can be organized privately or our company can arrange it on your behalf at an affordable cost.
Upon check-in at the hotel, you can take a short rest as you enjoy some light meals then spend your afternoon leisurely. Alternatively, you could request for a short walk but this will heavily depend on your flight arrival time.
Day 2: Lubumbashi Tour & Lumumba Assassination Site
Lubumbashi, which used to be the capital city of the mineral rich Katanga Province and the actual capital of the Haut-Katanga Province, is the first economic hub. It is also very diverse with ease of transport and a rare place to explore the imposing colonial architectures in the city and its outskirts.
After breakfast, you will be picked from the hotel and begin the city tour. We will begin with: Saints. Peter’s and Paul’s Cathedral. The imposing large brick façade and square tower, the Saints-Pierre-et-Paul Cathedral in Lubumbashi is one of the most remarkable buildings in the city and is considered one of the most beautiful religious buildings. From a simple chapel in 1910, it became a cathedral in 1922 by the decision of Bishop Jean-Félix de Hemptinne and was fully completed in 1935.
From the cathedral, we will proceed to the National Museum of Lubumbashi. The museum has a very rich ethnographic and entomological collection that have been built up over the years, forming a reference heritage and the permanent collection of the museum which also hosts temporary thematic exhibitions. Brussels has a collaboration with the Museum of Lubumbashi for the development of this historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Katanga.
Another place of interest will be the Lubumbashi Zoo, a great place to visit if you’re interested in wildlife and nature in general. Here, you will see a variety of African wildlife, including the tiger, lions, elephants, and giraffes. Historically, the zoo dates back to 1932 during the colonial days. Spread over 30 beautifully wooded hectares; the zoo has 48 species of animals with the star attraction being the 86-year-old crocodile.
We will then proceed to the Lubumbashi Zoological Garden. Jeunes Animaux Confisqués au Katanga in French, was founded in 2006 by Frank and Roxane Chantereau. The critical important conservation center accepts and cares for chimpanzees resulting from trafficking, poaching and loss of habitat.
The Kasombo Prison, built in 1900, was the first in Lubumbashi and it’s where the church leader Kimbangu was imprisoned. We will explore other parts of the city to marvel at the old and colonial architectures, visit some souvenir shops to sample the best from the Congolese artisans and this will present the perfect opportunity to meet the beautiful faces of Congo for a chit chat.
We will then proceed to Tony & Tony for lunch. This cheek restaurant has a cozy setting for enjoying Mediterranean cuisine with remarkable mezze specialties. Tony & Tony is asconsidered one of the best restaurants in the city of Lubumbashi. Apart from the delicious meals, they have an impressive selection of South African wines and whiskies from around the world.
After a lunch, we will leave the city for a visit the the Hero Lumumba Assassination Site. For a quick reminder, Patrice Émery Lumumba is the first Congo National Hero who was actively involved in Congo Independence before being murdered for political reasons on 17 Jan 1961. The plane that brought him from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi was relocated on the site.
Full day Lubumbashi City Excursion takes about 8 – 10 hours and we are looking to be back at the hotel by 5 pm latest.
Day 3: Likasi – Bunkeya – Kyubo Falls
After breakfast in the morning, we will leave Lubumbashi for the Kyubo Falls. The drive will be long and may take six-seven hours including stopovers. Our first stopover will be for an official visit to a mine followed by short break for lunch in Likasi. Our final stopover will be at Bunkeya to visit the King Msiri’s grave (1830 – 1891). He founded and ruled the Yeke Kingdom called Garenganze Kingdom in southeastern Katanga (today in the Democratic Republic of Congo) from around 1856 to 1891. He was a merchant involved in copper, ivory and slave trade controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar. From here, we will drive to the beautiful Kyubo Falls Lodge for the evening and the night for falls for the first part of activities and overnight.
Days: 4 and 5: Kiubo Falls
We will spend these two days marveling at the beauty of nature. These spectacular waterfalls are found within Katanga region and are characterized by multiple tiers and cascades on River Lufira and 300 km from Lubumbashi.
These waterfalls are around 270 meters wide and measure a height of 60 meters. Kiubo fairy waterfalls in particular are found on a tributary of River Lufira and have less water volume and therefore have an outstanding appearance.
The 90 meters wide and 60 meters Kiubo Falls are among the most beautiful falls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kiubo Falls Lodge belongs to the Lonrho hotel group (Grand Karavia Hotel in Lubumbashi). The site offers a wide range of leisure activities: fishing, canoeing, rafting, cruises, pedal boats, swimming, mountain biking, quad biking, tennis, basketball. An expedition to the caves of Kiwakishi can also be organized from here.
A luxury lodge was built just downstream of the falls on a 650 ha area covered in shrubby savannah. Air safaris are possible to fly over the falls and the Upemba Park with its hypothetical herds of elephants and horse antelopes (roan).
The site offers a beautiful of leisure activities: fishing, canoeing, rafting, cruises, pedal boats, ATV, quad, tennis, basketball.
Kiubo Lodge is accessible by car or small aircraft (1 hour) with runway on the site. By road (paved over 120 km), count 6 to 8 hours from Lubumbashi, with a good 4×4. In the rainy season, the dirt track part is difficult to pass. On the road, take the opportunity to make a stopover at Bunkeya, the stronghold of the historic chief M’siri, with a strong historical charge.
Today, we will have free day at the lodge where you may undertake various activities. Below are some of the activities that you may wish to enjoy.
The visit of Kiubo Falls comes with interesting activities in and around the waterfall.
Nature walk along the Lufira River: Discover Kiubo Falls site at the rhythm of your steps, taking the time to explore the sumptuous landscape of the river mingled with nature …
All Terrain Vehicle: Embark on quads, or embark on a walking adventure off the beaten track
Visit of the Kiwakishi Caves: Explore the splendid cave with an exceptional setting that will get you mesmerized.
Visit the Electric Power Station: In the company of your guide, you will explore this machine which has proven itself in supplying the entire site with electricity.
Fishing: Whether you are an expert angler or an armature fisherman, Kiubo Falls offer you a fishing expedition that will meet your expectations. Tiger Fish and Bream are in the waters.
Canoeing: The calm waters of the Kiubo Falls offers canoe trips where you enjoy some cool moments with your family or friends.
Birdwatching: The surrounding habitats of Kiubo Falls Lodge has some of the best habitats has some amazing bird species both residents and the migrants.
White Water Rafting: The water rapids on the Lufira River offers some of the best water rafting experience. Don’t miss this mind-boggling adventures!
Pedal Boats: Let’s go eco at Kiubo, you can reduce your carbon footprints by riding a pedal boats!
Boat Cruise: Challenge yourself by trying some impressive waves rapids in a speedboat specially designed to brave the most turbulent waters!
Visit the village and its market: Explore the local experiences by visiting some of the local tourist attractions. Have encounters with the regions rich traditions and cultures.
Aerial Fly-past: It’s possible to take a light aircraft for a quick flight through the falls and the Upemba National Park. If lucky, you could spot some elephants and herds of Roan Antelopes.
Days: 6: Kiubo Falls – Lubumbashi
This morning, we will depart Kiubo Falls Lodge for a leisurely drive to Lubumbashi with punctuated stopovers on the way. Our arrival will be late in the afternoon where you will be transferred to the hotel for your last in the Katanga region.
Days: 7: Lubumbashi – Your Next Destination of choice
Today, you’ll wake up for a rejuvenating breakfast to be followed by a transfer to the airport for your final fight out of Lubumbashi to your next destination of choice or back home.
Entrust our experts to plan for your Lubumbashi day trip experiences
Are you in Lubumbashi for a business meeting or one of those big conferences in DR Congo? Oluokos Signature team is available to organize for you personalized memorable excursions within Lubumbashi and tours beyond.