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About Congo

Congo is a beautiful country with a volatile and diverse history. Stunning natural wonders and fascinating cultural traditions make Congo backpacking tours a highly memorable experience.

Congo Budget Travel

Below is a list of Congo's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Pointe Noire

Fast Facts

Currency
Communaute Financiare Africane Franc (CFA)

Dialing Code
242

AIDS

Congo HIV/AIDS is a major threat that affects a large percentage of the population, with a high mortality rate mostly due to lack of treatment and healthcare, and also a lack of education and awareness in the country. Retrovirals are rarely available, and most patients do not survive to a high age due to such a lack of healthcare and treatment.

Airports

Congo airports are as follows:
• Brazzaville Airport
• Pointe-Noire Airport

Birdlife

Congo birdlife is fairly large and diverse, with a number of endemic and migrating species to be found across various habitats ranging from savanna grasslands to rich tropical rainforests, river and marine areas as well as mangroves and flood forests. While some species are under threat from habitat loss and deforestation, there are a large number of breeder species in the country to ensure species continuation to some degree.

Conservation

Congo conservation is a hugely important aspect of Congo's environment, and with a large number of threatened, vulnerable or extinct species of plant, animal and bird life, conservation efforts are essential to ensure that the precious ecosystems of Congo's rain forests, mountains, mangroves and savannas are not destroyed further.

Culture

Congo cultures include the following:
• Music and dance is a major cultural pastime in Congo
• Cuisine and food plays an important role in social events and family tradition
• Literature is another important element of Congolese culture
• Art is a very prized cultural tradition in Congo, especially wood carvings

Customs

Congo customs laws allow for the following items:
• 200 cigarettes or one box of cigars or tobacco
• Women are allowed to import cigarettes only
• 1 bottle of alcohol
• 50ml perfume for personal use

Health

Congo health precautions are essential for a healthy and enjoyable travel experience. Healthcare and medical facilities are not always up to standard in Congo - especially in rural areas, so it is a good idea to try and avoid getting sick in the first place. Generally however, if you follow a few simple tips you will not have anything to worry about.

Innoculations

The following Congo inoculations are required:
• Yellow Fever
• Hepatitis A & B
• Typhoid
• Polio
• Rabies

Languages

Congo languages include the following:
• French (official language)
• Kituba (national and trade language)
• Lingala
• Kikongo

Malaria

Congo malaria medication includes the following:
• Mefloquine (Lariam)
• Doxycycline
• Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)

Money

Congo money and banking information includes the following:
• Banks are open Monday to Friday from 06h30 to 13h00
• Counters usually close at 11h30
• Credit cards may be accepted at major hotels but hardly anywhere else
• Travellers checks in Euros or Pounds may be accepted at some places
• Cash is usually preferred, and US Dollars are widely accepted

People

Congo people include the following groups:
• Bakongo 48%
• Sangha 20%
• Teke 17%
• M'Bochi 12%
• Other 3%

Phrase

Congo local phrases in French include the following:
• Do you speak English? - Parlez-vous Anglais?
• I don't understand - Je ne comprends pas
• Hello - Bonjour
• Goodbye - Au revoir
• Thank you - Merci

Plants

Congo plant life is rich and diverse, with beautiful lush tropical rainforests making up 70% of the country, which are filled with rare and exotic plants. Savanna grasslands can also be found, as well as key flooded forest and mangrove areas which play a vital role in the Congo's ecology. Agricultural crops are also prevalent, with palms, wood, coffee and cocoa just some of the crops grown in the country.

Population

A 2005 UN estimate puts the population in Congo at 3,999,000.

Religion

Congo religion groups include the following:
• Christian 50%
• Traditional religions 48%
• Islam 2%

Safety Tips

Congo safety tips include the following:
• The Pool region, including the Brazzaville-Pointe Noire road and railway, are unsafe for travel
• The Ubangi river in the Likouala region near the DRC border is also unsafe
• Avoid walking around alone, and avoid walking anywhere after dark
• Avoid large crowds that may turn into protests which could become violent
• Keep valuables out of sight and safe in a moneybag under your clothes

Transport

Congo local transport options include the following:
• Taxi
• Car
• Water

Travel Books

Congo recommended travel books include the following:
• Bradt Travel Guide: Congo by Sean Rorison
• Lonely Planet Central Africa by Lonely Planet
• No Mercy: A Journey Into the Heart of the Congo by Redmond O'Hanlon

Visa Requirements

Congo visa requirements include the following:
• Passport which is valid for six months at least
• ID or green card
• 2 Visa Application Forms
• 2 Passport photographs
• Copy of airline tickets or itinerary

What To Buy

What to buy for Angola safaris:
• Good quality luggage, such as a large backpack, and moneybag
• Extra socks if you are hiking or walking long distances
• Congo travel guide and French phrase book
• Bottled water
• First aid kit with basic medical supplies

What To Pack

What to pack for Congo safaris:
• Sunglasses, sunscreen and a sunhat
• Comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes as well as sandals for indoor use
• Lightweight long sleeve cotton clothing, rain jacket, warm clothing
• Camera, binoculars and spare batteries and film
• Torch, sleeping bag and camping mattress if you are overlanding

When To Go

When to go to Congo:
• The best time visit the south and Brazzaville area is from May to September
• December to February are the best times to visit the further north areas
• The weather is generally consistent, with an equatorial climate
• The rainy season runs from October to May in the south, and April to October in the north
• The south is generally drier, especially around mid-year

Wildlife

Congo wildlife is rich and diverse, with a large number of endangered species to be found in the varied habitats. Overall, 10% of Congo's wildlife population are endangered species, with logging and poaching the biggest threats to wildlife in the country and surrounding Congo Basin. Precious ecosystems are under threat of extinction, and habitat loss forces wildlife into restricted areas which also affects their numbers.

 

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Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

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Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

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Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

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