Dangers & Annoyances
Kinshasa's reputation for crime proceeds it. However, like many aspects of life in Congo the reality is rather different. Yes, you should always remain vigilant, never walk where there aren't many other people around, and don't walk anywhere in the city after dark, but in truth the city centre is no more dangerous than many other big African cities. Shegue (aggressive street kids who work in gangs) are a threat, though, and you should keep doors locked and windows rolled up when riding in cars. In Matonge and, to a lesser extent, Bandal, pickpocketing is rife. Officials (or people posing as) demanding bribes are a pain. Those at the ferry port to Brazzaville and the international airport are particularly unpleasant. Be very discreet taking photos anywhere in Kinshasa – it's asking for trouble.