Taxis in Kinshasa
Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a busy city characterised by expansive markets, the majestic Congo River, and proximity to various day-trip destinations like the Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary and the historical town of Mbanza-Ngungu. Although public transport in Kinshasa is limited and often overcrowded, the city has over 60 thousand taxis, making cabs a convenient option for those looking to explore the city comfortably and efficiently, especially when time is of the essence. However, keep in mind that, navigating Kinshasa by taxi is not as straightforward as in other destinations; travellers should be mindful of ongoing issues with kidnapping and hijacking that sometimes occur in unofficial taxis hailed at the roadside.
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Taxi costs in Kinshasa
Taxi fares are usually calculated using a taximeter based on the time and distance travelled, so the further you travel around the city, the more expensive your ride will be. While some taxis have meters, it’s more common for drivers to set fixed rates, especially for popular routes. Here’s a basic rundown of how taxi costs in Kinshasa are typically calculated:
Base fare – €1.37 (CDF 3,937)
Price per km – €1.37 (CDF 3,937)
Waiting time (per hour) – €5.47 (CDF 15,719)
Additional charges may apply for things like oversized luggage, travelling during major holidays, or if you request special services, like a guided tour of the city. Make sure you agree on a price with your driver before getting in the vehicle or ensure the taximeter is on and reset when you begin your journey.
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How to get a taxi in Kinshasa
When considering a taxi transfer in Kinshasa, there are several options to find one, but you must keep safety in mind. Many people in Kinshasa use ride-hailing apps, offering advantages such as fare estimates, driver ratings, and electronic receipts. The Yango App is a popular choice for a taxi in Kinshasa. Calling a local taxi company to request a pickup is also a good option. Two of the more popular Kinshasa taxi companies you can phone are UBIZ Cabs, reachable at +243 (841) 201 928 and RoiTaxi at +243 (903) 748 384.
Hailing a taxi on the street is a common practice in Kinshasa. However, be cautious, as ride-hailing can be risky, especially after sunset. There have been many incidents of kidnappings and carjackings of unregistered taxis and what they call a shared ‘taxi bus’ in Kinshasa – mainly targeting women and foreigners, where valuables are stolen and passengers are abandoned in isolated areas. What they call a “taxi bus” in Kinshasa is a cheap option shared with other riders. Be prepared to be jostled around a bit as these are known for being jam-packed onto wooden seats and driving aggressively. Passengers may also need to walk a few blocks to their destination since they only stop at popular junctions.
To ensure safety, it is advisable to book in advance with a trustworthy company like Welcome Pickups or use the French app called Hoja, which allows you to scan a taxi’s QR code to verify its authenticity and obtain details about the driver and vehicle. Official taxis in Kinshasa can be recognised by their yellow or light blue colour and can also be found at taxi stands around town.
Booking your Kinshasa taxi in advance
Taxis in Kinshasa provide peace of mind and convenience when travelling from A to B. With Welcome, you will have a guaranteed fixed rate fare paid in advance, eliminating the need for haggling or uncertainty about costs. You will also have a reliable and knowledgeable English-speaking driver to answer any questions and advise you about spending time in Kinshasa. We guarantee an on-time pickup and a 24-hour customer service line for your convenience. With flexible cancellation options, pre-booking is an excellent option in Kinshasa.
Kinshasa taxi tips
- Agree on a fare with the driver before you start your journey to avoid unpleasant surprises. Clarify the quoted price is for the ride rather than per person.
- Carry smaller denominations of the Congolese Franc or pre-pay for your ride through a private transfer app.
- Leave plenty of time for your journey. There is a massive issue with traffic, especially at peak times.
- Ensuring the safety of your Kinshasa taxi should be your utmost priority.
Wheelchair accessible taxis in Kinshasa
Unfortunately, there aren’t any wheelchair-accessible taxis in Kinshasa. If you require a specialised vehicle with a ramp or hydraulic lift, you must pre-book this service with a private tour operator before you land.
Safety and complaints in Kinshasa taxis
Pre-booking a taxi in Kinshasa is the safest way to ride, but if you choose to hail a taxi on the roadside, use the Hoja app to check the vehicle’s authenticity and safety before getting in. If you have a bad experience or are overcharged, ask your Kinshasa taxi driver for a receipt and take note of the registration number or license plate. You can then file a complaint with the taxi company or the local transport authority.