The Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, is named after Italo-French explorer, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza. It is often mistaken for its infamous neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo because the two territories are both named after The Congo River that divides them. Congo-Brazzaville is a small, enchanting country located in the western coast of Central Africa. After recent efforts to distinguish itself as a quaint little hide-out, the country has proven itself as a true market value destination.
The country is covered in 70% rainforest which houses various indegenous tribes. It also features flora and fauna, plunging waterfalls, palm-fringed lagoons and lowland gorillas. From the rough and wild river rapids of the Djoue river, the thrill of which can send you barreling down to the Congo River with heart fluttering excitement, to the calm and relaxed canoeing on the M’Bamou Island, there is an adventure to suit every travellers’ needs.
Interacting with the locals is as engaging an experience as the country itself. While all countries differ from one another, what makes the people of Congo-Brazzaville unique is the culture of the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (which translates to “The Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People.”) These are men, or rather sapeurs (which loosely translates to dandies) that dress up in stylish, colourful suits strutting around town. The suits are more than just flashy eye-candy, they instead form an unmistakable identity and culture that is admired by many within the country.
Why travel to Congo-Brazzaville?
Congo-Brazzaville’s safaris have a mix of habitats that include 100 mammal species and 444 bird species. At the Odzala-Kokoua National Park you will find species such as forest elephants, bongos, forest buffaloes ,red river hogs, endangered western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees.This wide variety of game presents itself as an unmissable experience of the Republic of Congo.The Congolese are a friendly group of people. Once you set foot on their territory, you will feel a growing desire to submerge yourself within their culture. Traversing the towers of tantalizing cuisine is an easy way of involving yourself in the local culture rather than just being an observer, because you can tell a lot about a culture from the food they serve. The food alone is enough reason for you to clear your schedule, pack your bags and make your way down to the vibrant local markets of Congo-Brazzaville.
The Republic of Congo’s equatorial climate means the country experiences high humidity throughout the year. May to September is considered the best time to visit the country as it is the dry season, when your trip is unlikely to be interrupted by sudden rainfall.
Commitment to sustainable tourism
Visiting The Republic of Congo will contribute towards wildlife and forest conservation as well as the socio-economic empowerment of locals. Before, the oil-rich country could look towards oil to fund its budgets. The falling commodity prices have thus created a space for sustainable tourism to be a key actor in the country’s economic development. Since tourism is a relatively new industry in the Congo Basin, due to Congo-Brazzaville’s prior anonymity, this country’s national strategy looks to the future in hopes that sustainable tourism may open up pathways for the creation of middle-income jobs in rural and urban areas with a national tourism plan that involves environmental conservation, natural-habitat preservation and programs for land development and research. Above all, sustainable tourism will play a key role in cultivating sustainable development of the Congo-Brazzaville’s invaluable rain forests.