Cart is empty
Story: Colourful. Welcoming. Unexpected. These are the three words I would use to describe Kinshasa.
Initially, I couldn’t help but be slightly apprehensive of the reception we would receive as foreigners in this vibrant place. And the warnings from random online publications and my family and friends dully swirled around in my head, but the reality couldn’t be further from their fears.
We made a point to see ordinary schools, shops and more. We watched basketball games in courts somewhat strategically placed in the heart of the community. Spirited school children and gifted athletes sparkled against the rundown yet equally bright landscapes.
As we set off on our adventure and explored, the everyday people of Kinshasa stopped to greet us, rolling down their car windows and honking their horns to say hello. Perhaps they could sense our worry and wanted to put us at ease; in any case, it felt as if we were long-lost relatives returning home and being embraced.
The hum of the city felt both alien and familiar. The constantly gridlocked, dusty and unfinished roads stretched before us. Cars, motorbikes and taxis filled the streets with passengers trying to get home after a long day at work. And strangely in that moment, seeing them all spilling out of the vehicles, I was reminded of home.
Etched in my mind, heart and soul until the end of time, this trip has made me so grateful and blessed. I’m extremely lucky that I met the people of Kinshasa.
You May Also Like
You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.
Embrace the adventurous appetite of the next generation with an annual subscription. SUITCASE Magazine challenges travel perceptions with thought-provoking photo journals, city guides and articles by award-winning international writers.
We'll tell you where you can find the perfect boutique hotel in Paris for under £150, if you tell us about the best dive bar in your city. Deal? Share your stories and photos with #SUITCASEtravels.