Situated in the far southeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lubumbashi - or ‘lubum’, as it is known to the locals - is a city at the heart of the country’s culture, industry and economy. The city is the second biggest in the Democratic Republic, with well over a million people living in it and a booming mining industry that attracts expatriates each year. The city sits very high above sea level - 1,208 meters to be precise - which brings down the temperature considerably from the harsh African heat found elsewhere in the country. Despite French being the official language of the city and the country, most people in Lubumbashi speak a dialect of the Kishwashii (a language more usually found in neighbor Tanzania), which can make it harder for expats living in Lubumbashi to integrate. However, joining InterNations can help with this transition. Not only are our more than one million members a friendly and helpful bunch, but our Expat Magazine also includes articles on moving to a foreign country.
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Lubumbashi lies on the border between the Democratic of the Congo and Zambia, and has strong transport links that make moving there relatively easy. Railway lines run into the city from Kindu, Sakania, Kolwezi and Llebo in the center of the country, which can be reached from Kinshasa (the country’s capital). Alternatively, the Lubumbashi International Airport provides connections to other destinations in Africa and makes getting together with other members of the InterNations community easier. Once expatriates have moved into Lubumbashi, there are a few sites to keep them entertained. The 1920s Palace of Justice was built by the French in an art-deco style, and remains an excellent example of colonial architecture; whilst the Lubumbashi Zoo, with its impressive collection of animals, makes for a fun day out. The city is also home to a botanical garden and the National Museum of Lubumbashi, which houses local archaeological exhibits and is a great place to visit for expats in Lubumbashi who are interested in the area’s history.
But the main incentive for expatriates moving to Lubumbashi remains the city’s industry. Factories manufacture food, textiles and building materials and the Simba Brewery makes Tembo Beer, popular throughout the country. There is also a good banking market in Lubumbashi, with the headquarters of the Trust Merchant bank being located in the heart of the city. Undoubtedly though, mining is the heart of Lubumbashi’s economy and the main reason for expats working in Lubumbashi. The city serves as the mining capital for the entire Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is a major world producer of copper and cobalt. Most of the biggest mining companies in the country keep their headquarters in the center of the city, so finding working opportunities in the city shouldn’t be too difficult; but help settling as an expatriate can be found on the InterNations platform.