Kinshasa is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River. While sprawling, chaotic and often intimidating, Kinshasa is also a major cultural and intellectual center for Central Africa with a flourishing community of musicians and artists.
Kinshasa has the largest population of any city proper in Africa with a population of 10,076,099, and ranks as its third largest metropolitan area after Cairo and Lagos. It is also the largest French-speaking city proper in the world (by any other measure, it still ranks second behind the Paris urban area). After decades of armed conflicts imposed by neighbouring countries, the infrastructures of the once leading modern African city are now being remarkably restored. Chinese companies are involved in numerous projects of reconstruction throughout the city.
Like other cities close to the Equator, Kinshasa’s climate is defined by a dry and a wet season. The dry season stretches from June to September, and in these months the temperature is also a few degrees lower than throughout the rain season.