- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Republic of Congo
The Republic of Congo has some really exciting tourist attractions but doesn't yet have the infrastructure to support tourism. The country is considered mostly safe for foreigners, although crime is a problem, but the roads are poor and sometimes impassable, making it difficult to reach the amazing destinations the country has to offer. As a result, tourists tend to stick to the two largest cities, Brazzaville and Pointe Noire, which both have international airports and are linked by rail.
Places to go in the Republic of Congo
The capital and largest city of the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville is located on the mighty Congo River, just opposite the sprawling city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the only place in the world where two capital cities face each other across a river. Over a third of the Republic of Congo's population live in Brazzaville, which is located in flat savanna terrain. The city's history has been marred by multiple conflicts, but in recent years it has been far more restive as it slowly recovers from a long civil war.
Odzala National Park
The Odzala-Kokoua National Park is in the northwest of the Republic of Congo, and is one of the most amazing protected wilderness areas in the world. The park was founded in 1935 and remains one of the most important strongholds for forest elephants and western gorilla conservation in Central Africa. The Congo Basin is home to the second largest rainforest in the world and this natural wonder can be experienced on a visit to the park, which includes swathes of mature rainforest, as well as savanna and rivers which are home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Odzala-Kokoua was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and it is also recognised as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International as a result of the wealth of birdlife. The park is known for its impressive variety of apes, including gorillas, and for its forest elephants.
Pointe Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of Congo, the commercial hub of the country, and a very popular destination with tourists in the Congo. It is the centre of the oil industry in the region and a major sea port. Tourists flock to Pointe Noire mainly to enjoy the stretch of beaches and the French atmosphere of the place which hearkens back to the colonial past and is reinvigorated by the large French expat community.
The city is served by the Agostinho Neto International Airport and flying is often the best way to reach Pointe Noire, as the train journey is not considered entirely safe and the roads are sometimes impassable.