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Travel advice for Republic of Congo or Brazzaville

Travel advice for Republic of Congo or Brazzaville

There is nothing more vital than knowing what to expect and bring while travelling to a destination in Africa, our Africa Travel specialist from Wilderness Explorers Africa has put together vital information you need to know before travelling to the Republic of Congo or Brazzaville.

Passport

A passport valid for at least six months with at least 2 blank pages is required by all tourists travelling to the Republic of Congo.

Tourist Visa

Visitors to the Republic of the Congo must obtain a visa from one of the Republic of the Congo diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or countries that can obtain a visa on arrival please check with your consular before travelling to Congo Brazzaville.

Yellow fever vaccination

Yellow fever is still a problem in Central Africa; Proof of a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter the country.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious mosquito-borne disease that is present in the Republic of Congo. Antimalarial drugs are the best form of prevention alongside repellents and mosquito netting.

Getting to the Republic of Congo

Maya – Maya Airport is the international airport of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo and most flights will land here some of the flights to look out for include Rwanda via Kigali and Nairobi, Kenya Airways, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines via Nairobi, Addis Ababa.

Dress code

Currently, there are no dress code restrictions for Congo Brazzaville for tourists but just for purposes of protecting the cultural norms of the country travellers should abstain from wearing mini clothes that can attract the attention of the locals.

What to pack

You are best off packing comfortable clothing in layers for Congo. If you plan to spend any time in the national parks, long-sleeved tops and trousers are good mosquito protection in the evenings. Simple, lightweight, fast-drying synthetic fibers are a good bet for the daytime. Good, waterproof shoes and a waterproof jacket are also a good idea, as is a sun hat. In Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, you’ll be glad for some smart casual evening wear, as you may feel out of place going out in safari gear.

Currency

Congo uses the Central African franc (CFA), a stable currency also used by five other countries in the region. It’s pegged to the euro at an unchanging rate of CFA655. 957. For travellers, euros are the best currency to bring, though you can change US dollars and British pounds in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.

Money and Tipping

Tourists travelling to the Republic of Congo should ensure that they have the new and latest Euro and American dollars without any ink or writing and try to get both big and smaller notes for shopping and tipping being a less developed country in terms of tourism please request for our Republic of Congo Tip guide, this will depend on the expedition you book.

Health and Medical information

As in neighbouring countries in the region, the health situation in Congo Brazzaville is bad. 426 to 100,000 pregnant women die during or after childbirth. Due to the lack of motivated and well-trained staff and medical infrastructure in many villages people have nowhere to go if they need help. Definitely purchase travel and medical insurance before travelling to Congo Brazzaville.

Language

The official language of the Republic of Congo is French. Other languages are mainly Bantu languages, and the two national languages in the country are Kituba and Lingala (13%), followed by Mboshi, Bateke (17.3%), and more than forty other languages, including Pygmy languages (1.4%), which are not Bantu languages.

Electricity

Electricity distribution is pretty poor in the Republic of Congo and they use European plugs some tourism areas will have solar power.

Expedition Leaders and Guides

Our expedition leaders to the Republic of Congo are usually from East Africa or South Africa and they then meet site guides along the way, the expedition leaders speak English and the local guides will speak English and French.

Accommodation

Brazzaville is the main capital and river port of the Republic of the Congo and accommodation here is pretty good you can still find 5-star hotel brands here and off the city, the accommodation is pretty basic and an advance booking is required for clients planning a safari to the Republic of Congo.

Meals and drinks

  • Saka/ Pondu: A rich local favourite made from a base of cassava leaves, palm oil and salt fish.
  • Goat stew: A traditional Congolese dish usually served with fufu or manioc.
  • Pili Pili: Spicy chilli sauce, served on the side of most Congolese dishes.

For tourists, all hotels will serve western kinds of foods but we strongly advise clients to avoid cold foods like salads and ice creams and drink strictly bottled water.

Internet availability

Wireless internet is available in the big cities but in the national parks, there is hardly any internet connectivity.

Cell phones

In the major cities, the cell phone connection is pretty good but when you start heading out of the city the reception becomes pretty bad, during your expedition our tour leaders will have a communication link between the lodges and other service providers.

Laundry

Laundry services are present in all lodges usually you will be charged a fee for that service and you will be required to fill a laundry form and you will get the clothes within 12-24 hours depending on the sun as the drying is done manually.

Driving

The people in the Republic of Congo drive on the right-hand side, there are few car rental companies in Congo Brazzaville but with the nature of the roads, it’s not advisable to self-drive in the republic of Congo if you have to hire a car then do it with a driver.

Smocking

Smocking in designated smoking areas is allowed however smocking in the public is prohibited.

Photography

Tourists are free to photograph attractions however permission may be required to photograph people or cultural places, our Expedition leaders are always in charge of that but travellers must not take pictures of security stations, bridges and presidential residences.

Pack for purpose List

Our expeditions are aimed at visiting communities neighbouring the parks and clients should feel free to bring items like books, pens, clothes and playing materials to give out to children in schools for more information contact our Travel experts.

Safety of Congo Brazzaville

However, Brazzaville is one of Africa’s safer cities, and certainly one of its safest capitals. Most other tourist and African travel destinations, including Nairobi and Johannesburg and Lagos, are far more dangerous. Expats and tourists generally can walk at night here with reasonable vigilance. The expeditions our expeditions will ensure your safety during and after the safari.

Travel advisory

We do provide updated information on the security situation and health concerns to our booked travellers via Email and this covers also the traveller’s terms and conditions of the Expedition and this information is usually confidential.

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