Although the area has been inhabited for over 90,000 years by the Bantu people as a fishing and trading village, the city of Kinshasa was given official status in 1881 by King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopoldville, as it was known, was founded as private property but this area has now burgeoned into a mega-city. The city is located in the western part of the country and is near the Congo River.

Over 11 million people live in Kinshasa today, and this equates to roughly 15% of the population of the country. Kinshasa is the third-largest city in Africa after Cairo and Lagos and remains an important trading hub in the continent today. The city is the largest urban area that speaks French as the primary language, recently surpassing Paris. The indigenous people of the region include the Humbu and Teke peoples who have resided in the area for centuries.

Well-known attractions in the city include the National Museum which houses over 45,000 objects, the Serpents du Congo, a snake farm 28km from downtown, as well as Livingstone Falls. Within the city, the local restaurants and bars provide for great nightlife as well as a diverse range of cuisine to sample. The local bars and restaurants also offer great platforms to see the local music and entertainment scene which is incredibly unique.

The climate of Kinshasa is classified as a tropical wet and dry environment with a long rainy season that occurs from October-May. The dry season in the country runs from June-September and is considered somewhat short in comparison to other African countries in the same area. The average high temperature during March and April (the hottest months of the year) is 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The dry season in Kinshasa provides average temperatures that are slightly cooler than the rainy season although the temperature remains somewhat consistent throughout the year.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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