Welcome to Kinshasa, DRC – Report from Alasdair Meldrum

After a hesitant start to our arrival in DRC (plane had to circle while power to landing lights was restored) we arrived safely in N’djili Airport. Previous arrivals have always appeared a bit chaotic with lots of staff milling around on the tarmac. This time there were still people around but it all looked a bit more organised. Buses are now used to take you the 100m to the terminal building – I am always happy to walk but they are obviously following international standards.

Passport control was organised with proper booths and a 20minute queue. No issue getting through control, quick stop at the Yellow Fever check and we were through into baggage reclaim. We were met by our representative who looked after getting our luggage (Tip – make sure you keep your luggage receipt (they tear off section you get when you check in) otherwise you will not get your bags out of the reclaim area).

Quick stop to the VIP area where we met up with Mr. Ruffin Bangu Mbuandi PWATY

The former mad and chaotic drive into centre of Kinshasa has been transformed with the construction of a modern 8 lane highway. Driving is still a bit chaotic with the presence of many poorly maintained mini buses but in comparison the journey is a huge improvement.

First impression was the strong smell of a combination of exhaust fumes and burning charcoal – I would hate to see the results from any air quality monitoring carried out – again one more issue they need to try and resolve as they continue to grow and prosper!

Our accommodation for the first few nights was the Hotel Sultani in Kinshasa – nice pleasant place to stay with perfectly acceptable rooms and facilities.