Hi We have done a posting in Nigeria 3 years ago, so we know a bit what to expect from Africa. We realised Lagos was dirty, noisy, congested etc but we also had a fantastic time there and made loads of friends.
Now we are happily settled in London, and loving it with two small children, but the opportunity of Kinshasa has come up.
Anyone got any wise words? Good things and bad things, as well as great things and terrible things, highs and lows?
Mostly concerned about malaria.. how common is it? Not sure I can handle 3 years of ocd mosquito creaming on 2 children.
I know it's unlikely to find a mumsnetter in Kinshasa but thought it would be worth trying!!!
Well, you survived 3 years in Nigeria without incident I take it, but was that pre-children? Tre DRC is very unstable and as a couple I would consider it but with small children, personally I wouldln't no.
I don't know lots about Kinshasa but as I'm about the head to Lagos with a toddler am planning on giving him malaria tabs and preparing for three years of repellant smothering! What I do know about Kinshasa is that there's a little English speaking playgroup. It's called busy bees and they have a Facebook page, you should find it if you look for busy bees Kinshasa. It's run by two Brits and I'm sure they'd be able to fill you in on life there with little ones if you asked. I do know a few people who have been posted there and all have had a great time.
Hi solittletime, I'm also not sure about Kinshasa but we're about to move to Kampala with a 2yo. inthesleeplessnightgarden and I have already talked malaria prevention on another post but if you want me to pass on anything I've learned, then I'm very happy to - have done an absolute tonne of research on all the options, including speaking to in-country doctors, tropical medical specialists here, academics etc etc etc, other families .... am in academia myself so have been lucky enough to have access to lots of brilliant insight and information. I also know of people who have spent time in Kinshasa and enjoyed it very much.
OMG... Kinshasa... My favourite African posting... Loved it, so did my children that were moved there post birth in Europe... Yes, the malaria risk does exist, but my impression was that those who travelled to the interior were more likely to contract the disease. FWIW we lived there for 4 years, did not take any prophylaxis and never had malaria. If you are into sports you will find a surprisingly good choice in Kinshasa: workouts at the ballet studio Nicola, an excellent riding club (fabulous for children), a surprisingly good golf course with greens (not browns as one often finds in Africa), tennis, swimming at the cercle elais and, I would imagine, several years after my departure, much more, including excellent restaurants and a vibrant expat community. Nevertheless, there is very visible, sometimes even shocking poverty... But even bearing that in mind I would go back there tomorrow, even if it meant having to push my sea freight up the Congo river personally. However, as we are neither anglo- nor francophone the school choices available are not an option for us and therefore a retour à Kins will remain a dream for a very long time.
Hi Olderwiser sorry just noticed there had been a late reply to my thread! I'm afraid we're not going to Kinshasa in the end, though by the sounds of caterpillar's reply it can be a great place for a posting! Good luck with your move - hope you're feeling positive about it, I know how daunting it can be!
Living in Kinshasa, its a fab place, there are nurseries here, busy bees which is English and jewels with is also Anglo-phone. For younger children there seems to be a lot to do, also there are regular events at the British embassy which are a good way to meet people when you first arrive. I have 3 dcs here, all 5 years and younger. Haven't been here long, but its a very positive upbeat and energetic African city.