Lubumbashi is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a population of 1.8 million (2015), and the principal city of the Katanga region.


Creole Swahili is the principal language of the Copperbelt mining cities and is somewhat more different from classical East African Swahili than that spoken elsewhere along the eastern edge of Congo. Most people can communicate in French, and many of the elite are more at ease in French than Swahili. English is widely spoken in businesses.

Get in[edit]

Central railway station
Map of Lubumbashi

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Lubumbashi International Airport (FBM  IATA). It is served internationally by Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Mahogany Air. Flights within DR Congo are offered by FlyCAA and Congo Airways. Lubumbashi International Airport (Q738866) on Wikidata Lubumbashi International Airport on Wikipedia

By car or truck[edit]

By bus[edit]

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

By train[edit]

While passenger trains to Lubumbashi are still slow, infrequent and often cancelled, there has been some upgrades in the early 2020s. Two brand new trains runs between Lubumbashi and Kananga, via Likasi and Kamina and numerous smaller towns. The New Diamant Béton and New Express Colombe trains both features couchettes, working electricity and a restaurant car. Journey times are still long, with the full route taking up to two days to complete.

Departures on other routes, such as those from Kalemie and Kindu, are still very infrequent and often limited to a few mixed passenger and goods trains per month. There are no trains from Zambia, the nearest station across the border is in Kitwe. Inquires about departures should be made directly at the station or by contacting SNCC, the national operator.

  • 2 Lubumbashi railway station (Gare de Lubumbashi). Colonial-era station, centrally located.

Get around[edit]


The Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Paul.

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.

  • 1 National Museum of Lubumbashi (Musée national de Lubumbashi), 750 Avenue du Musée. Has a collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts of the regions history. National Museum of Lubumbashi (Q16335725) on Wikidata National Museum of Lubumbashi on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Paul (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Paul). Built in 1910. Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Lubumbashi (Q24030834) on Wikidata Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Lubumbashi on Wikipedia
  • 3 Lubumbashi Zoological Garden, Boulevard Kamanyola. In addition to several predators like lions and tigers, this zoo has a large snake collection and termites museum.
  • 4 Waza Art Center & Spilulu’Studio, 588 Av. Adoula. Recordings, mixing sessions, develops exhibitions, publications, and other cultural productions to foster grassroots experimental artistic practices and promote alternative ways of sharing knowledge and raising consciousness.


  • 1 Cercle Wallon (Belgium club), 2 Avenue de la Révolution. Eat, bar, tennis (incl. lessons), 10 pin bowling.
  • 2 Lubumbashi Golf Club, Route du Golf. Designed in 1934, this golf club hosts numerous competitions each year and is open for guests.
  • Watch one of football club TP Mazembe's games.


  • Carrefour Hyper Psaro.
  • Briquet Ville.
  • Golf Karavia.


  • 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.

On Ave Kilela Balanda:

  • 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.


  • Village Beau Site.
  • Matshipisha.


  • 1 Bougian Villa, 12 Av Lukonzolwa (Golf Area), +243 811 851 985. Check-in: noon, check-out: 10:30. 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. US$145-185.
  • 2 Pullman Grand Hotel Karavia, 55 Route du Golf (Next to the golf course), +243 815 583058. The former Sheraton Hotel that was abandoned for 10 years, and fully renovated in 2010
  • 3 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. US$100.
  • 4 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. US$50.




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