What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Morale, as always, is very individual. This is a busy Embassy and people work hard. The happiest people seem to make smart choices for themselves, e.g., if the traffic gets to them, they hire a driver. Or, if they need non-work friends, they go to the frisbee at TASOK, or the volleyball with the Brits. We have found a great group of expats who love being here, so our morale was pretty good, but I know there are those that struggle. - Aug 2019
The expat community is smaller than you would think, given Kinshasa's size, but there is definitely a community. Morale varies, but I think it's generally good. - Apr 2019
Pretty extensive. You can definitely have a circle of friends outside of the embassy community if you actively seek it out. In general I think morale is fair. Again, Kinshasa takes some getting used to but if you have the right attitude, it is not that bad. It's surprising how many people choose to extend. - Dec 2017
Large due to the USAID programs here. - Dec 2017
This depends on the day. Morale was low leading up to the political unrest last year. The uncertainty of who would have to go, when we would leave and return, and where we would be sent was tough to bear. This will likely all start again September 2017 based on what the government does with the newly scheduled election process.
Normally, morale is good. People get out, people socialize, people entertain, people stock up on groceries and plan activities at home. My advice? Make your home into a sanctuary from the daily stressors of Kinshasa living. If you have kids, bring lots of activities for their entertainment while at home for Shelter-in-Place times and bad weather.
Overall this post is easy to manage once you have your expectations in line with reality and make the effort to get out, socialize, and get about town. - Mar 2017
Morale is low compared to other places I have lived, and very few people choose to stay longer than they must. Many leave early and/or try to spend a lot of time out of country. Unfortunately, recent political tension, the resulting uncertainty, and security restrictions put in place by embassies and international organizations have contributed to this low morale. The political situation shows no signs of improving, so these factors are likely to continue. - Jan 2017
Pretty big -- UN is still a huge presence, and there is a large diplomatic and NGO crowd, and growing numbers of private sector individuals. - Sep 2016
The expat community is relatively small and very tight knit. I would say generally the morale is pretty good - at least among our friends (mostly families). This is an amazing place for kids - I have no idea how my daughter will readjust to a US life without constant playmates, a nanny, a pool and 12 months of outdoor play weather, but if you are single it may not be as much fun. - Apr 2016
Very large with a lot of variety in the morale. Most in Kinshasa know what they signed up for and find the fun, excitement, and interest. Medical or housing problems can bring a tour down fast, however. Huge UN mission, none of whom are allowed to bring family, so they are always an active group looking for fun. - Jan 2014
Large. Lots of NGO people, UN people, Embassy people, missionaries, some investors and entrepreneurs. Again it's not limitless, but there are a lot compared to other posts in Africa. - Nov 2012
Very large. - May 2012
Large. - Feb 2012
Large. - Nov 2011
Rather sizeable. Don't forget that the UN still has the world largest mission stationed here - Aug 2011
Fair. Lots of Europeans looking to make money. Lots of NGOs and embassy employees. - Jan 2011
Fairly large. - Jan 2009