No Trip matches your search criteira
Now is a great time to visit the Congo. Congo is one of the cheapest place in Africa to have a truly incredible and unspoiled journey, and by far the cheapest place to see the large African wildlife including, importantly, wild mountain gorillas.
Also, the more important aspect of your journey to consider is the weather in the equatorial jungle, where the roads are worst in the rain of course.
The weather patter in the Republic of Congo consists of:
The (southern) long wet season is roughly from October to January
The (southern) short dry season is roughly from February to March
The (southern) short wet season is roughly from March to June.
The (southern) long dry season is roughly from June to October.
The (northern) tropical wet season is roughly from June to January.
The (northern) tropical dry season is roughly from February to June
Brazzaville was named after the Italian navigator in the French Navy who “discovered” the Congo River and set up a French “embassy” to grant freedom to African slaves. Today it’s the quieter of the two river towns offering a plethora of nightlife and dining, friendly locals, and none of the problems with police intimidation that Kinshasa does, not to mention it is much safer to walk around even at night as a foreigner.
Taxis from the airport to anywhere in Brazzaville cost $4 (2000 CFA) and taxis around the city anywhere cost $2 (1000 CFA) Among the Congolese, many are afraid to take river rides because they believe the spirits of the dead reside and haunt the river. For the ones who make their living from it, however, the river is their home and distribution network, a nature-made distribution system of thousands of kilometers in total of navigable waterways and tributaries. The boatmen give rides ranging from 5,000 CFA down the river ($10) to $200 and up for a longer journey within the scope of the day. Port Autonome in Brazzaville is a dirty, squirming mass of humanity carrying strange and smelly cargo back and forth, while the boat launches in Kinshasa extend for easily a mile of different “ticket offices” and operators, belying the city’s sprawling population of 13 million plus.
From Brazzaville cars, trucks, trains, and local domestic airlines go to Point Noire (Pointe Noire) and North all the way to Ouesso and as far as Central African Republic and Gabon or Cameroon. Owando, Oyo (the nicest place to stop,) and Ollombo are easy stopovers on the way north. They are all free-standing if not charming villages with surrounding forests and traditional homes and lodging can be found here for around 40,000-60,000 CFA a night ($80-$120). Oyo and Owando are on tributaries of the Congo River and can arrange for a small price boat trips down the fingers of the Congo, deep in forest and away from the hustle and bustle of the main boatway. Etoumbi is about a further day’s drive on from these towns, and is a great springboard for visits to spectacular Odzalla National Park. Entrance fees are 25,000 CFA ($50) and you can see lots and lots of different large and small African animals here and countless birds.
Odzala National Park
In the north-west of the Republic Congo Brazzaville is the Odzala National Park. This park is one of the oldest in Africa, recognized by the government in 1935.
The park is under the combined management of Sabine Plattner African Charities (SACP) and the Congo Conservation Company (CCC). The park spans approximately 13 500 square kilometers and encompasses the all-important Congo Basin.
This is the sedimentary drainage basin of the great Congo River, one of the largest rivers in Africa, second only to the Nile. The rainforest of the Congo Basin is said to be one of the earth’s two lungs, a counterpart to the Amazon Rainforest. The forest acts as a massive carbon sink, storing carbon dioxide in its vegetation and soil. It is thus an absolutely vital part of the earth’s survival. As well as being a source of life and growth, the Congo Basin is home to a wide range of wildlife. It boasts approximately 100 mammal species (including 11 different primate species), 700 fish species and 1000 bird species. Many of the animals found in the Basin are endangered, such as the African forest elephants and the bongo antelope.
Especially important is the area’s population of the precious western lowland gorillas, which are being further monitored thanks to recently established research facilities in the park. The SACP and the CCC are working to preserve the area, which has long been threatened by forestry and mining industries, and well as poaching and climate change.