Being an animal lover is not something common in everyone, but caring for them is another thing. I firmly believe that if you care about mother nature and human beings, then you also care about other beings, not only your pets but other animals around you. Growing up, there had always being a dog in my grandmother’s house, so we were used to being around pets.
As a child, the only zoo I’ve visisted was the Egyptian zoo and back then, it was still pretty lovely with all these different species one gets to see. But eventually over the years, we busy ourselves with other things and forget about that small trip to the zoo we once took. When I came to Kinshasa, visiting the zoo was on my bucket list but I got wrapped up in other things and when I remembered I wasted no time in visiting it, so a friend of mine and I went on a Tuesday morning.
The Kinshasa zoo is located in Zando (grand marche), right next to the Botanic garden. To get there, it’s quite easy with all the available transportation. You can either go by bus or taxi or with your own car. The entrance fee is 2500 FC for locals and 4500 FC or $5 for foreigners. When I went there, I was a little bit disappointed to be honest by the state of the place, especially when I realized that a whole lot of animals have been missing since ten or more years ago. Back then, there were over 3000 species in the 1950s and now what’s left is about 150 or less.
The infrastructures need to be modernized and the place needs a little bit of maintenance, but other than that it should be on your bucket list while visiting Kinshasa, especially if you’re on a tight budget and need to see as much as you can. There are still a variety of monkeys and shimpanze and they’re fed mangoes on a daily basis. Luckily, a fruit you find everywhere in Congo. There are also very few crocodiles of different sizes, that I couldn’t see unfortunately when we went. There’s also an owl and and a horse you can ride for a few minutes and get a picture with for a small amount, of about 1000 or 1500 FC. If you use a camera you pay, and if you don’t want to then you can use your smartphone for free. I didn’t have my camera with me that day, so I used my phone for quick pictures. A small souvenir of a place dear to me.
Going out or visiting a local sight isn’t just about how much money you’ve got in your pocket or how luxurious the place is. If you’ve put your heart in going someplace, you’d enjoy it no matter what, just like I did. You don’t need to be equipped with a set of cameras that are hard to manipulate. All you need is a simple phone with a camera of good quality and an adventurous spirit. Take your time as you explore different sights. Though the zoo may not be in its best state, but Kinshasa has changed a lot over the years and in a very short amount of time. I hope that sometime in the future, they can make it a priority to take care more of the zoo and remember that it’s an important part of the country’s history. As I mentioned before, if you’re planning a trip to Kinshasa, add the zoo on your bucket list. You could even visit it the same day as the Botanic garden.