The Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s second-largest country by area, is frequently underestimated, and like the rest of Africa, is experiencing some growth in its hotel industry as foreign investors and business people flock to the country, according to a CNN report.
Until 10 years ago, the capital of Kinshasa had just two hotels of any international standing, the Memling and the Grand Hotel, formerly the Intercontinental.
The Memling is owned by the SN Brussels Airlines Group, and the Grand is partially owned by the Congolese government.
Following dictator Mobutu Sese Seko overthrow in 1997, and during the subsequent war from 1998-2002, the Grand Hotel was home to government ministers and the upper ranks of the Angolan, Namibian and Zimbabwean armies, which had been sent to defend the government of Laurent Kabila. Kabila overthrew Sese Seko and was assassinated in 2001.
During that time, it wasn’t uncommon to see antelopes running through hotel corridors, the report said.
Today the Grand Hotel is in the final phases of a face-lift, and its occupants tend to come from the business sector.
Meanwhile, as international business people flock to the country, at least six other decent hotels have been built in the capital, and many more are in the works, ranging from luxurious to basic.
Travelers looking for a bargain will likely be disappointed.
The average hotel room in Kinshasa goes from $150-$200 a night, with rooms in the high-end hotels costing upward of $300.
The same is true for accommodation in the copper-mining capital, Lubumbashi. The eastern cities of Goma and Bukavu also have a fair number of hotels, some of which are nice, with most having spectacular views of Lake Kivu. Prices there start around $100.
The rest of the cities in the country have only limited accommodations, CNN reports.