11 Apr 2019 - DRC (Kinshasa)

James Whitmee

I am in Kinshasa in DRC. I started off at the Grand Hotel in Gombe, but have now moved to Le Cypres which is a nice, small hotel in Ngaliema.

It has been tough for hotels here in the last couple of years because of the economic and political instability. There are a five 4-5* hotels representing just under 900 beds, and occupancy has been sub-50%. Prices in this sector are up to $250 per night. The 3* market is a bit stronger, generally charging in the range of $100-150 per night.

Be very careful on the hotel websites when booking hotels in Kinshasa (and Brazzaville), as the cities are very close, only a matter of kilometres apart (but either side of the Congo River). I noticed that if you search in one city options pop up in the other, but they are in different countries (Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo)! I believe this is the only location in the world where you can be in one capital city and see another.

The land market in Kinshasa remains tight. Gombe is the most expensive location. In Zone B, which is further away from the Congo River the range is $750-1,000 per sq m. In Zone A which is closer to the River it is $1,000-2,000 per sq m, with the embassy zone around Roi Baudouin being the most expensive.

There is still quite a lot of construction taking place, particularly upmarket apartment blocks and housing compounds. At the top end of the residential market purchase prices are around $3,500 per sq m. A 3-bed townhouse at La Promenade or Belle Vue near GB/Shoprite rents for $4,000-5,500 per month inclusive. I have done some analysis which suggests that prime residential yields are in the order are in the order of 8%.

I have had an enjoyable and interesting trip to Kinshasa, and have seen a lot of changes in the 10 years or so since I have been coming here. The airport is much more organised now, and there is a reliable taxi service operating from there called Jeffery Transport. I am looking forward to my next project which will be in N’djamena in Chad.

Kinshasa 2019 Kin Plaza Arjaan Rotana

Kin Plaza Arjaan Rotana

Kinshasa 2019 Total HQ

New Total HQ on Avenue de Caisse d’Epargne

Tags: Democratic Republic of the Congo