We decided we wanted a nice hike outside of Kinshasa for the weekend, since there are limited opportunities to walk in the city. Our tour guide picked us up from Kinshasa and drove us to Menkao, which is a city outside of central Kinshasa but still in Kinshasa Province. When we got out of the vehicle, we were met by many locals, curious why we were there in all our backpacking gear. Our tour guide handled our passport and visa information with DGM and organized motos to bring our tents and extra luggage to the camp site in Karo village (31 km from Menkao). Then we started our trek.
This is just to inform you that as of June 2016, the authors of this blog have all left the Congo. While this means that when you read this blog, the information may be a bit outdated, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the many exciting adventures suggested here (security permitting). We’d be happy to update information if you find something has changed drastically, and we’ll also be happy to include guest posts for new adventures!
Each trip to Kinshasa’s Marché Central promises a new adventure. Some days we’ve come away overjoyed with purchases of baby clothes, Halloween costumes, RDC track suits, seeds to plant, or soy beans, while others we’ve been followed by rowdy teenagers, or for one our friends, knocked over and had bones broken by similar groups. Continue reading
I have so many Bombo-Lumene stories that I don’t even know which ones to share. There have been floats down the rapids, frolics in the valley beyond the river, terrifying bridge crossings (though nothing like Kimpese), Milky Way Galaxy sightings, goats chasing dogs, dogs chasing goats, “wild animals” that turned out to be friends looking for food after everyone had gone to bed, or two guys singing “No Scrubs” and not remembering (or admitting to it) the next day.
The great thing about the Bombo-Lumene National Park is that it is such a hassle-free camping trip. Almost everyone who likes to escape Kinshasa has made a trip here, and it’s a relatively short trip on a much calmer road than the Route de Matadi which goes towards Zongo, Kimbese, or Kisantu. There are amenities if you want them, like a chalet with two rooms and a bathroom, hotel rooms in case you want to sleep in a bed, Florence Nightingale-type tents that can fit up to 10 people inside or smaller ones, each fitted with mattresses for each person, or you can just bring your own tent. There is no electricity though, so keep that in mind while making your decisions! The people who work there light the BBQ for you (if you want it), wash your dishes before you wake up the next day (bliss), and even light a bonfire after dinner if you so wish. You can apparently see wild animals like antelopes and water buffalos, but since someone from WWF who I think is by default luckier in seeing things like that than I am told me so, I am not convinced.