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Republic of the Congo

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Atlantic Palace Hotel
Atlantic Palace Hotel - dream vacation

Charles de Gaulles AvePointe-Noire

Ledger Plaza Maya Maya
Ledger Plaza Maya Maya - dream vacation

Avenue Auxence Ickonga BP 1178Brazzaville

Mikhael\'s Hotel
Mikhael\'s Hotel - dream vacation

67 Nelson Mandela AvenueBrazzaville

GHS Hotel
GHS Hotel - dream vacation

Boulevard Denis Sassou NguessoBrazzaville

Radisson Blu M\'Bamou Palace Hotel Brazzaville
Radisson Blu M\'Bamou Palace Hotel Brazzaville - dream vacation

Avenue Amilcar Cabral Centre-Ville CornicheBrazzaville

Residence Saint-Jacques Brazzaville
Residence Saint-Jacques Brazzaville - dream vacation

381 Rue Du Ruisseau CentrevilleBrazzaville

Hotel Palm Beach Pointe-Noire
Hotel Palm Beach Pointe-Noire - dream vacation

Rue bord de mer cote sauvagePointe-Noire

Residence Saint-Jacques Bord de Mer
Residence Saint-Jacques Bord de Mer - dream vacation

381 Rue Du Ruisseau Centreville Brazzaville CongoPointe-Noire

The Republic of the Congo is in Central Africa. The country is also known as Congo-Brazzaville to distinguish it from its giant eastern neighbour, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola (the exclave of Cabinda).

Regions

While Congo's regions are diverse, there is one constant you can rely on: about 80% of the entire country is covered in the dense Congo Rainforest.

Cities

  • Brazzaville — the capital of the Republic of the Congo. It is separated from Kinshasa, the capital of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, by the Congo River.
  • Abala-Ndolo
  • Djambala
  • 2 Dolisie
  • 3 Mossendjo
  • Ouésso — a transit hub in the remotest far north of the country, in a territory with many nearby Pygmy villages.
  • 4 Owando — considered one of the best places to visit in the north of Republic of Congo.
  • 5 Pointe Noire — a port city on the coast.

Other destinations

  • Conkouati Reserve
  • Ile Mbamou Island — a government-owned island that is located about one hour from Brazzaville.
  • Lefini Reserve — the country's best known reserve, bordering Lesio-Louna to the north.
  • The Lesio Louna Gorilla Reserve — a park located north of Brazzaville and is dedicated to the protection of gorillas in the Congo.
  • Mount Fouari National Reserve
  • 1 Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park — the largest and most remote of Congo's national parks and reserves, located in the far north bordering the Central African Republic's Dzanga Sangha National Reserve.
  • Odzala National Park — the country's most famous national park.
  • Tiger Fish Congo Camp. You can visit the Tiger Fish Camp to capture the biggest tiger fish in the world - the largest fish ever caught there was 56kg!

Understand

Following independence as the Congo Republic on August 15, 1960, Fulbert Youlou ruled as the country's first president until labour elements and rival political parties instigated a three-day uprising that ousted him. The Congolese military took charge of the country briefly and installed a civilian provisional government headed by Alphonse Massamba-Débat.

Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a five-year term but it was ended abruptly with an August 1968 coup d'état. Capt. Marien Ngouabi, who had participated in the coup, assumed the presidency on 31 December 1968. One year later, President Ngouabi proclaimed Congo to be Africa's first "people's republic" and announced the decision of the National Revolutionary Movement to change its name to the Congolese Labour Party (PCT). On 16 March 1977, President Ngouabi was assassinated. An 11-member Military Committee of the Party (CMP) was named to head an interim government with Col. (later Gen.) Joachim Yhombi-Opango to serve as President of the Republic.

After decades of turbulent politics bolstered by Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Congo completed a transition to multi-party democracy with elections in August 1992. Denis Sassou Nguesso conceded defeat and Congo's new president, Prof. Pascal Lissouba, was inaugurated on 31 August 1992.

However, Congo's democratic progress was derailed in 1997. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. On 5 June, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his private militia, known as "Cobras", to resist. Thus began a 4-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of Brazzaville and caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths. In early October, Angolan troops invaded Congo on the side of Sassou and, in mid-October, the Lissouba government fell. Soon thereafter, Sassou declared himself President. The Congo Civil War continued for another year and a half until a peace deal was struck between the various factions in December 1999.

In sham elections in 2002, Sassou won with almost 90% of the vote cast. His two main rivals Lissouba and Bernard Kolelas were prevented from competing and the only remaining credible rival, Andre Milongo, advised his supporters to boycott the elections and then withdrew from the race. A new constitution, agreed upon by referendum in January 2002, granted the president new powers and also extended his term to seven years as well as introducing a new bicameral assembly. International observers took issue with the organization of the presidential election as well as the constitutional referendum, both of which were reminiscent in their organization of Congo's era of the one-party state.

Elections in July 2009 were boycotted by opposition parties. Inevitably, Sassou was re-elected, but with a questionably high turnout. Demonstrations in Brazzaville were firmly put down by riot police.

The Republic of the Congo's sparse population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country, leaving the vast areas of tropical jungle in the north virtually uninhabited. Thus, the Republic of Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa, with 85% of its total population living in a few urban areas, namely in BrazzavillePointe-Noire, or one of the small cities or villages lining the 332-mile (534 km) railway which connects the two cities. In rural areas, industrial and commercial activity has declined rapidly, leaving rural economies dependent on the government for support and subsistence. Before the 1997 war, about 15,000 Europeans and other non-Africans lived in Congo, most of whom were French. Only about 9,500 remain.

Get in

Visa requirements

The following countries can enter the Republic of the Congo for 90 days without a visa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Citizens of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, and Togo can also obtain a visa on arrival. Citizens of other countries require a visa in advance, and showing up without one can cause many things you will want to avoid at all costs (fines, passport confiscation, etc.). However transit without a visa is possible, if you take the next connecting plane and don't leave the airport.

By plane

Maya-Maya Airport (BZV IATA) in Brazzaville is linked by flights to by Air France, Douala in Cameroon, Addis Ababa and Kinshasa by Ethiopian Airlines, Nairobi, Casablanca and the national carrier, ECAir.

By car

It's safe to drive in the Republic of the Congo. A good sealed road goes north from Brazzaville, but only as far north as President Sassou's hometown of Oyo. Beyond Oyo, the roads get very bumpy and are totally impassable in the rain. It is also very hard to get a rental car you drive yourself

By boat

Passenger and VIP ferries operate daily between Brazzaville and Kinshasa roughly every 2 hours between 8AM and 3PM. Prices for the ferries are: US$15 for the passenger and US$30 for the VIP ferry. The VIP ferry is recommended as these are brand new boats and are not as cramped. A valid visa for both countries is required in either direction. The bureaucracy at either end require some time. Entry and exit procedures in Brazzaville are "easy" and straight forward and people are very helpful in assisting to get through without troubles. In contrast, these procedures are a bit difficult in Kinshasa and depend much on whether you are an individual traveller or assisted by an organisation or an official government representative. There are also speed boats to hire, either in a group or alone (price!), however, it is not advisable to book them as they really speed across the river along the rapids.

Barges follow the Congo, then the Oubangui, rivers right up to Bangui.

Get around

By shared taxi or minibus

Ridiculously cheap shared taxis and minibuses run on an ad hoc basis between towns and villages, crammed with Congolese villagers taking all sorts of livestock for sale in Brazzaville.

By taxi

In Brazzaville, taxis are green. FCFA 700 generally gets you around a neighborhood. This goes up to FCFA 1000 at night. Drivers are generally fair with prices, and haggling is not required before getting in.

By train

The Congo-Ocean Railway (COR, or CFCO) links the Atlantic port of Pointe-Noire (now in the Republic of Congo) with Brazzaville, a distance of 502km.

From the start of the civil war in 1997, the line was closed for six years. In 2007 the BBC reported it to be in a "decrepit state with the majority of trains now broken". UNICEF organised a train in August 2007 to distribute malaria nets vital in the prevention of the disease.

Talk

The official language of the RoC is French. The main indigenous languages are Kituba and Lingala.

See

  • Odzala National Park
  • Gorillas in Lesio Louna Gorilla Reserve.
  • Colonial and post-colonial architecture in Brazzaville.
  • Sangha Trinational - a forest in the Sangha and Likouala region that is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (shared with Cameroon and the Central African Republic).

Do

Buy

Money

The currency of the country is the Central African CFA franc, denoted FCFA (ISO currency code: XAF). It's also used by five other Central African countries. It is interchangeable at par with the West African CFA franc (XOF), which is used by six countries. Both currencies are fixed at a rate of 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

The U.S. dollar is not widely accepted.

ATMs

All Ecobank ATMs in Gabon take Mastercard and Visa card for cash withdrawal.

Shopping

There is an artisan mart and boutiques in the market near the BDEAC (Banque Developpement pour les Etats de l'Afrique Centrale). Really beautiful jewelry, masks, paintings, and other artwork.

All business is conducted in cash. Small change is very scarce and hard to come by. Do not accept torn or taped banknotes.

Eat

There is good and healthy Chinese food at Osaka Restaurant, in Pointe Noire. The average price for a meal is US$12-18. All meals are served in nice clean dishes, the restaurant is indoors and has AC, with a back-up generator, just in case. Some of the workers speak English and French.

There are several great restaurants in Brazzaville. Any taxi driver can take you to one of these nicer places (FCFA 5000-15 000). Most places are closed on Sundays. Expect beers to be overpriced here (FCFA 1000-2000).

Drink

Palm wine is a local favorite in the village. Beer is the favorite in town next to Fanta, Coke etc. There is also a local red wine (SOVINCO) imported from Gabon and the "brique", a liter of imported, mostly Spanish wine from the box.

There is a big price range on beer (FCFA 500-5,000) depending on what neighborhood and type of bar or estaurant you're in.

Produced in Congo under Heineken supervision: N'Gok (meaning "Crocodile", blond, Congolese), Primus (blond, Belgium, Central Africa), Mütsig (blond, French Alsace Region), Guinness (dark, Ireland), and Turbo King (dark, Central Africa)

Imported: Heineken and Bavaria

If the above is too much there is also water of various local and imported brands sold in 1.5 litre plastic bottles.

Sleep

Stay safe

In Brazzaville, petty street crime targeting foreigners is rare. However, muggings and pick pocketing do happen frequently near the ports in Pointe Noire and Brazzaville, and sometimes in the Congolese neighborhoods surrounding Brazzaville's City Center. Criminal elements are known to target middle-class and affluent residences without 24-hour guards.

Police resources are limited and response to emergency calls is slow. In the case of theft and robbery, legal recourse is limited and therefore, it is highly recommended to leave all valuable items at home.

There were demonstrations against the re-election of President Sassou in July 2009. Some foreign reporters were assaulted by riot police and had their equipment destroyed. It is generally safe to walk the streets, but stay well away from demonstrations.

Stay healthy

Population estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected. In any case use your common sense: do not have unprotected sex.

The likelihood of getting malaria is very high if effective preventative medication is not taken. The malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum can be very serious. Medical attention should be sought if any symptoms are shown.

Medical care is substandard throughout the country. Hospitals lack modern equipment, necessary medical supplies and medications, and well-trained physicians, nurses and support staff.

  • Netcare Clinic:

Address: B.P. 2422, Brazzaville, Congo Tel: 547 0911 (Main Line) or 679 6711

This facility is a franchise from South Africa. It is clean, has facilities for 3 private rooms, an ambulance, a one bed emergency room, basic radiography, pharmacy and a laboratory with microscopy, haematology, and basic chemists. There are two main doctors, Dr. Ali, a Lebanese doctor who considered as the best medic in Netcare, and Dr. Stephan, a French doctor who is also a good doctor.

  • Pharmacie Mavre

Tel: 81 18 39 Located in Centreville, next to the Cabinet Dentaire building Brazzaville boasts a number of pharmacies, but Pharmacie Mavre is recommended. Please remember to always check the expiration dates on boxes before purchasing any products.

Respect

White travelers should take care while travelling in the Republic. Racial tension and discrimination is not uncommon here, so be safe and keep to yourself.

Connect

You can talk to your loved ones using any of the three mobile operators MTN, CelTel (now Zain), or Warid

The local call rate are relatively cheap and cost you around FCFA 20-20 per minute.


Congo: Democratic Republic· Republic (Bradt Travel Guide)

Sean Rorison

Known as the heart of Africa, the Congos are one of the last bastions in Africa for the seriously adventurous traveler. This revised guide tells you how to travel both adventurously and safely with the practical information and unique maps needed to explore this jungle territory. The Congos encompass Africa’s largest area of intact rainforest and much of the book is devoted to the spectacular wildlife including the mountain gorilla and the critically endangered eastern lowland gorilla. This is the only comprehensive guide to both Congos in English.

The Lunda: Democratic Republic of the Congo (English and French Edition)

Manuela Palmeirim

•An anthropological journey, narrated in photographs, that tells the story of the Lunda people of modern-day CongoThe Lunda are dignified people, powerful and faithful to their traditions. Their civilization was one of the largest in Africa in the 18th and mid-19th century, and it remains vibrant in the 21st. In Musumba, their imperial capital located in the South of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lunda rites continue to be practiced with fervor by the population, and the dynasty of kings still holds renowned traditional authority.The Italian photographer Angelo Turconi, who is well acquainted with the region, wanted to show the vitality of these Bantu people, who maintain a strong attachment to their culture and social structure despite the border divisions which occurred during the colonization period. Together with John Anthony, also a photographer, and anthropologist Manuela Palmeirim, who has authored a documented study on the Lunda culture, Turconi takes us on a journey to a part of Africa which preserves many ancient traditions and yet is firmly rooted in the present.Text in English and French.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Democratic Republic of the Congo

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Democratic Republic of the Congo with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Tour in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Find out, yet, a pure part of African tourism and experience the adventure of an era

Anderson Jones

Tourism in Democratic Republic of Congo. The scenic beauty, diverse culture and abundant tourist attractions have made the charming Landscape of Democratic Republic of Congo an ideal tourists' paradise. The Geography of Democratic Republic of Congo makes it one of the most unusual destinations on earth.It has been said that the Democratic Republic of Congo is the country around which all other African countries revolve. Two thirds the size of Europe with only 450 km of paved road- an area of vast jungles and dark corners, scattered outposts and tribal strong-holds, equatorial rainforests and active volcanoes truly one of the most untamed countries on the surface of the earth.As the country of Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) is intersected by the Equator, the seasons are reversed in the north and south. Both of the regions have two short wet seasons and two short dry seasons while the central region experiences an equatorial climate with an average annual precipitation of 1,700 mm. Average temperature in Kinshasa varies between 18 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius.During the past 15 years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Zaïre, hasn't been accessible for tourists. Two subsequent wars made travel practically impossible. Now that the political situation has stabilized, tourists are able to visit this magnificent country again.Home to such elusive animals as the bonobo, okapi, bongo and Congo peacock, the country is in many ways defined by its people and whilst positive news from the area hard to find, optimism is not. Those who spend time with local people usually discover a depth of strength, resilience, faith and good humor that helps them to “digest” and respond to the situation with “tough compassion” rather than with despair.This eBook titled: “Tour in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC” is provided for your Guide and information when touring Democratic Republic of Congo, you don’t need to get lost or frustrated during your tour in any way, and you will have the knowledge of the environment and the places you intend to visit ahead of your visit. Security information is very important when touring a country. Our security information in this book is complete to provide you the security guide, once you abide to the instruction given in the book.You may need to read and understand the information related to Democratic Republic of Congo tourism and its content without traveling to Democratic Republic of Congo in person, you can only achieve this by making this book your tourism informer (presided for Democratic Republic of Congo tourism), you will not have any information to miss out

Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War

Ben Rawlence

While poring over dust-caked pamphlets in the library, Ben Rawlence stumbles upon the photo of a lost city of colonial Congo--a glistening, modern metropolis built by huge tin mines and European capitalists. Today, that city, Manono, sits beyond the infamous “Triangle of Death,” in an area rarely reached by outsiders since war turned the country’s rivers to blood.In this compelling debut, Rawlence sets out to gather the news from this ghost town in one of the most dangerous places in the world. Ignoring the advice of locals, reporters, and mercenaries, he travels by foot, motorbike, and canoe, taking his time and meeting the people who are rebuilding their homes with hope, faith, and nervous instinct. We meet Benjamin, the kindly father of the most terrifying Mai Mai warlord; Leya, who happily gives up a good job in Zambia to return to her razed town; Colonel Ibrahim, a guerrilla turned army officer; the Lebanese cousins Mohammed and Mohammed, who oversee the remains of Manono’s great mine; the priest Jean-Baptiste, who explains the conjoined prices of beer and normality; and the talk-show host Mama Christine, who dispenses counsel and courage in equal measure.From the “blood cheese” of Goma to the decaying city of Manono, Rawlence shares the real story of Congo during and after the war, and finds not just a lost city but the seeds of a peaceful future.

Forgotten War: Democratic Republic of the Congo

James Nachtwey, Gary Knight, Simon Robinson, Nicolas de Torrente

Forgotten War: Democratic Republic of the Congo is a collaboration between VII Photo Agency, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and de.MO. Introduction by Simon Robinson, who has covered Africa for Time since 1999; foreword is by Nicolas de Torrente, executive director of MSF.

Extraordinary photographs document the crisis in eastern Congo where the death toll is the highest ever attributed to war anywhere in the world since World War II. Violence, war-related hunger, and disease continue to kill 1,000 people every day, and almost four million deaths have occurred in the past five years.

Also recorded is the response by the MSF, a medical humanitarian organization delivering aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.

Brazzaville Charms: Magic and Rebellion in the Republic of the Congo

Cassie Knight

Brutalized by colonialism, plundered by politicians and destroyed in terrifying civil wars: Congo Brazzaville is Africa at its worst. But it is also home to people who inspire hope through their courage, their determination, their enduring optimism, and their sense of fun. Brazzaville Charms is a unique portrait of a country long ignored by the rest of the world. This first-person account, based on original research and interviews, tells the story of militiamen who are led by a dreadlocked reincarnation of Christ, of exorcisms and sorcery, of pygmies who are owned by their masters, of timber companies exploiting the rain forest, and of the wars that have been caused by oil.

CONGO, REPUBLIC Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Congo, Republic

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Republic of the Congo with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Rwanda: with Eastern Congo (Bradt Travel Guides)

Philip Briggs

Now into its seventh edition and written by Philip Briggs, the world's leading writer of guidebooks to Africa, Bradt's Rwanda has been the go-to guide for visitors to this historical and resurgent 'Land of a Thousand Hills' for nearly two decades, and it continues to be in a class of its own when it comes to in-depth information on this emerald slice of East Africa. With freshly researched and updated details on developments across the country, Bradt's Rwanda includes up-to-date maps of rapidly modernising Kigali, information on hiking to the summit of Mount Bisoke and a newly expanded chapter on excursions into the neighbouring DRC. In this new edition are extensive and recently updated maps and natural history information, details of kayak and canoe excursions on Lake Kivu and the Mukungwa River, all you need to know about tracking not only mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park but also lowland gorillas in the Congo, and information about overnight stays on tea plantations at Sorwathe or Gisovu. Also covered are Nyungwe Forest National Park, where a wealth of endemic birds and primates inhabit the largest surviving montane forest in East Africa; Nyanza, where the hilltop Rukari Palace Museum marks the site of the old mwami's (king's) palace; and the National/Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda, the top cultural site in Rwanda's second city, Huye (Butare). Coverage of nearby cities and national parks in the neighbouring DRC has been expanded since last edition, providing all the necessary information to take an excursion into Rwanda's enormous and poorly understood neighbour. Rwanda continues to change and develop at an unprecedented pace, and there's hardly a more accessible part of Africa to be found anywhere on the continent. It's no less intriguing for the convenience, however, and Rwanda's superlative natural attractions seem to improve by the day, with growing animal populations and an on-going rhino reintroduction program in Akagera National Park.Having now gone through nearly 18 years of editions, Bradt's Rwanda is not only the most in-depth guide available, but also the guide with the longest history in the country itself.

AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Heavy gunfire was reported in the centre of Brazzaville on the morning of December 16, 2013. Even though the situation currently appears calm, be extremely vigilant and avoid unnecessary movement.

Due to insecurity in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), you should use extreme caution if travelling to the border areas in northern Congo along the Ubangui River. Sporadic fighting occurs in the Pool region, which includes the capital, Brazzaville, and east of Bouenza.

Business visitors should travel to the Republic of Congo only if they have assistance from their hosts and/or local authorities. The security situation remains unpredictable. You should stay in close contact with the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo or Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada in Ottawa while you are in the Republic of Congo.

Crime

Criminal activity occurs as a result of long-term economic recession and the influx of arms. Street crime such as mugging and purse snatching can occur. Local police resources are limited and response to emergency calls is often very slow (15 minutes or more). In case of robbery, legal recourse is limited. Ensure that personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times. Do not show signs of affluence, and do not venture out alone after dark.

Poorly marked roadblocks monitored by undisciplined, armed soldiers are present throughout the country. Security forces may detain foreigners and/or attempt extortion.

Civil unrest

Even though a ceasefire accord was signed in March 2003 between the Congolese government and the Ninja rebel group, war-related crimes, such as the murder of Congolese civilians or looting of private property, remain a risk, particularly in the Pool region. You should exercise caution and should be especially vigilant and avoid situations where political violence and demonstrations may occur.

Road travel

Other than National Route 2, north of Brazzaville, which reaches the city of Oyo, most roads are dirt tracks. Overland travel outside major cities should only be undertaken during daylight hours, in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles. You should provide your itinerary to the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa. Although no authorization is required for road travel in the Pool region, you can take the precaution of requesting information on current safety issues from the Congolese local security services or the United Nations offices in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Rail travel

Passenger travel on the railroad is discouraged, as there are frequent reports of extortion by undisciplined security forces and robberies by criminal elements along the route. The rail line between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville should be avoided as it is not safe and is frequently attacked by rebels. The rail service is very sporadic at best and several serious accidents in recent years have raised concerned over safety standards.

Air travel

Travel between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire should be by air. Note that while flights between Brazzaville and the cities of Pointe-Noire, Nkayi and Loubomo run on a daily basis, the air links to other cities like Impfondo may be more random. Departure schedules are often not respected.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Tourist facilities are limited. There are frequent electrical power outages and fuel shortages.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from all countries.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse fly bites are painful and if the disease is left untreated it is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas during the day. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common during the daytime and close to running water. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are poor, particularly in rural areas. Medicinal supplies are limited.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Photography of public buildings or military installations is prohibited. Ask permission before photographing individuals.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Money

The currency is the Central African CFA franc (or XAF bank code). The economy is primarily cash-based, but credit cards are accepted at a few hotels and restaurants in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.

Climate

The rainy season extends from September to June in the south. Some roads may become impassable during this period. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

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