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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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CONGO TRAVEL GUIDE

The Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, is a small yet vibrant country in Central Africa that offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience for adventurous tourists. The country is home to lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and an intriguing cultural heritage, making it a great destination for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and those interested in history and culture. Visitors can explore national parks, such as Odzala-Kokoua and Nouabalé-Ndoki, go on gorilla treks, take river safaris, and discover traditional villages and markets. Although not as well-known as some of its African neighbors, the Republic of Congo is a hidden gem that offers a rich and authentic travel experience for those willing to venture off the tourist trail.

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Capital: Brazzaville

Government: Republic

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)

Area: 342,000 km2

Population:5,244 million (2018 est.)

Language: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo has the most users)

Religion: Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%

Electricity: 220V/50Hz (French plug)

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SEASONS AT A GLANCE

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT CONGO

The best time to visit the Republic of Congo is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally dry and warm, with lower humidity levels. This makes it easier to explore the country's natural attractions, such as Odzala-Kokoua National Park and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, and to go on gorilla treks or river safaris.

 

However, it's worth noting that temperatures can still be high during the day, reaching up to 32°C (90°F), so visitors should be prepared for the heat. The rainy season, which runs from October to May, can be challenging for travel due to the heavy rainfall and potential flooding. Additionally, some roads and attractions may be inaccessible during this time.

 

It's also worth checking the latest travel advice before planning a trip to the Republic of Congo, as the country has experienced political unrest and security concerns in recent years.

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CONGO TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to the Republic of Congo will depend on several factors, such as your travel style, itinerary, and the time of year you visit.

Generally speaking, the Republic of Congo is not a budget destination, and costs can be relatively high due to the limited tourist infrastructure in the country. Here are some approximate costs to consider:

  • Flights: A return flight from Europe or North America can cost between $800 and $1,500, depending on the season and airline.
  • Accommodation: Budget accommodations, such as hostels or guesthouses, can start at around $20 per night, while mid-range hotels can cost $100 to $200 per night. Luxury lodges can cost upwards of $500 per night.
  • Food: Basic meals at local restaurants can cost around $5 to $10, while mid-range restaurants can cost $15 to $25 per meal.
  • Activities: Activities such as gorilla trekking, river safaris, and national park fees can cost several hundred dollars per person.

It's also worth noting that some areas of the country may require permits or special arrangements, which can add to the overall cost of your trip. Additionally, travel insurance is recommended for the Republic of Congo, and this should be factored into your budget.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR CONGO

Here are some travel tips for the Republic of Congo that may be helpful for tourists:

  • Obtain necessary visas and permits: Before traveling to the Republic of Congo, check the visa requirements for your country of origin and make sure to obtain the necessary permits and visas in advance.
  • Get vaccinated: It's recommended to get vaccinated against yellow fever, as well as other common diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis A.
  • Pack for the climate: The Republic of Congo has a humid tropical climate, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Also, pack insect repellent and sunscreen.
  • Be prepared for limited infrastructure: The Republic of Congo is a developing country, so be prepared for limited infrastructure and tourist amenities. It's advisable to bring cash in local currency as ATMs and credit card facilities may not be widely available.
  • Respect local customs: The Republic of Congo is a culturally diverse country, so it's important to respect local customs and traditions. Learn a few phrases in French or the local language, and dress modestly when visiting villages or public places.
  • Be aware of security concerns: Some parts of the Republic of Congo have experienced political unrest and security concerns in recent years, so it's advisable to check the latest travel advice before planning your trip.
  • Travel with a reputable tour operator: To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, consider traveling with a reputable tour operator who is knowledgeable about the local area and can provide guidance on the best places to visit and stay.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF CONGO

The Republic of Congo has several regions worth visiting, each offering unique attractions and experiences. Here are some of the main regions and their highlights:

  • Brazzaville: The capital city of the Republic of Congo is located on the banks of the Congo River and is known for its vibrant markets, colonial architecture, and cultural attractions such as the Basilique Sainte-Anne and the National Museum of Congo.
  • Odzala-Kokoua National Park: This pristine wilderness area in the northwest of the country is home to diverse wildlife, including western lowland gorillas, forest elephants, and chimpanzees. Visitors can go on gorilla treks, river safaris, and nature walks to experience the park's natural beauty.
  • Pointe-Noire: This coastal city in the southwest of the country is known for its beautiful beaches, bustling port, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can explore the bustling markets, relax on the beach, or take a boat trip to explore the nearby islands.
  • Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park: This remote rainforest reserve in the north of the country is home to a range of wildlife, including forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Visitors can go on guided hikes, river safaris, and visit local communities to learn about the area's cultural heritage.
  • Lefini Reserve: This wildlife reserve located just outside Brazzaville is home to a variety of species, including elephants, gorillas, and antelopes. Visitors can go on guided nature walks, river cruises, and birdwatching tours to explore the area's natural beauty.
  • Lesio-Louna Reserve: This wildlife sanctuary in the south of the country is known for its rescued and rehabilitated primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas. Visitors can take guided tours of the reserve and learn about the conservation efforts to protect the area's wildlife.

These are just a few of the regions worth visiting in the Republic of Congo. Each offers a unique and authentic travel experience that showcases the country's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and rich wildlife.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CONGO

The Republic of Congo offers a wide range of unique and exciting experiences for visitors. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting the country:

  • Go on a gorilla trek: The Republic of Congo is one of the best places in the world to see western lowland gorillas in their natural habitat. Visitors can go on guided treks in the Odzala-Kokoua and Nouabalé-Ndoki national parks to see these majestic primates up close.
  • Explore the rainforest: The country's rainforests are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including forest elephants, chimpanzees, and antelopes. Visitors can go on guided nature walks, river safaris, and birdwatching tours to explore the area's natural beauty.
  • Visit Brazzaville: The capital city of the Republic of Congo is known for its vibrant markets, colonial architecture, and cultural attractions such as the Basilique Sainte-Anne and the National Museum of Congo.
  • Relax on the beach: The country's coastal region offers beautiful beaches and scenic coastal towns such as Pointe-Noire, where visitors can relax on the beach, take boat trips to nearby islands, or explore the local markets and nightlife.
  • Learn about traditional culture: The Republic of Congo has a rich cultural heritage, with many traditional customs and practices still being observed today. Visitors can visit local communities and learn about traditional crafts, music, and dance.
  • Visit wildlife reserves: The country has several wildlife reserves, such as the Lefini Reserve and the Lesio-Louna Reserve, where visitors can see a variety of animals and learn about conservation efforts to protect the area's wildlife.

These are just a few of the many things to see and do when visiting the Republic of Congo. Whether you're interested in wildlife, culture, or adventure, the country offers a unique and authentic travel experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

WHAT TO EAT IN CONGO

The Republic of Congo offers a diverse range of cuisine that reflects its cultural heritage and natural resources. Here are some of the foods to try when visiting the country:

  • Poulet Moambé: This is the national dish of the Republic of Congo, and it consists of chicken cooked in a sauce made with palm nuts, onions, and garlic. It is usually served with fufu or rice.
  • Saka-Saka: This is a popular side dish made with cassava leaves, often served with grilled fish or meat.
  • Kwanga: This is a traditional Congolese food made from cassava flour, which is cooked and fermented to produce a sour, bread-like dough. It is often served with grilled fish or meat.
  • Yassa: This is a West African dish made with marinated chicken or fish, onions, and lemon juice. It is often served with rice or couscous.
  • Makayabu: This is a type of smoked fish that is often used in soups and stews.
  • Beignets: These are sweet, deep-fried doughnuts that are often served as a dessert or snack.
  • Fruits: The Republic of Congo has a wide variety of tropical fruits, including mangoes, pineapples, papayas, and bananas, which are often served as a refreshing snack or dessert.

These are just a few of the many delicious foods to try when visiting the Republic of Congo. The country offers a rich culinary experience that is sure to satisfy any foodie's palate.

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WHERE TO STAY IN CONGO

When visiting the Republic of the Congo for the first time, choosing the right area or region to stay in is essential for experiencing the country's unique culture, wildlife, and natural beauty. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation suggestions for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Brazzaville:

As the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville offers a blend of urban vibrancy, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions, providing visitors with a comprehensive introduction to the country's rich heritage.

  • Budget: Residence Saint-Jacques - Affordable guesthouse located in the city center, offering simple rooms, essential amenities, and a convenient base for exploring Brazzaville's markets, museums, and riverside promenades.

  • Mid-range: Mikhael's Hotel - a boutique hotel located in the city center of Brazzaville. It offers spacious rooms with contemporary decor and amenities such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and satellite TV. The hotel also features a restaurant, bar, and terrace.

  • Luxury: Radisson Blu M’Bamou Palace Hotel - A luxurious hotel offering upscale rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and panoramic views of the Congo River, set within a historic colonial-era palace.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Brazzaville, consider booking directly with hotels or guesthouses and negotiating room rates, especially for extended stays. Additionally, visiting during the offseason (April to October) when tourism is lower may result in lower accommodation prices.


Where to stay in Pointe-Noire:

Pointe-Noire is the country's economic hub and a major port city, known for its beautiful beaches, lively markets, and vibrant nightlife, making it an ideal destination for leisure and business travelers alike.

  • Budget: Hotel Palm Beach - Affordable hotel located near the beachfront, offering simple rooms, essential amenities, and a relaxed atmosphere, within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and shops.

  • Mid-range: Atlantic Palace Hotel - A mid-range hotel featuring comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving seafood specialties, situated in the city center near the port and the Place de l’Indépendance.

  • Luxury: Kouilou Hotel - A luxurious beachfront resort offering elegant rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and recreational facilities, including tennis courts and water sports activities.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Pointe-Noire, consider exploring accommodations in the neighborhoods away from the city center, which may offer lower prices and a more relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, booking accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or events, can help secure better rates.


Where to stay in Odzala-Kokoua National Park:

For a unique wildlife and nature experience, consider staying in lodges within Odzala-Kokoua National Park, where you can explore pristine rainforests, observe wildlife, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Congo Basin.

  • Budget: Mboko Camp - Rustic yet comfortable accommodations offering en-suite safari tents, guided activities, and immersive nature experiences, ideal for budget-conscious travelers seeking an authentic safari adventure.

  • Mid-range: Lango Camp - A mid-range eco-lodge featuring stylish tented chalets, gourmet dining options, and guided wildlife safaris and river excursions, providing a comfortable and immersive experience in the heart of the national park.

  • Luxury: Ngaga Camp - A luxurious eco-retreat offering spacious forest bungalows, fine dining experiences, and guided gorilla trekking adventures, providing an exclusive and unforgettable wilderness experience in the Congo Basin.

Tips: Accommodations within Odzala-Kokoua National Park are typically all-inclusive, covering meals, guided activities, and park fees. To ensure availability and secure the best value, it's recommended to book these lodges well in advance, especially during the peak safari season (June to September).


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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