When planning a trip to Africa, you will want to explore some of the best tourist attractions in Congo. To get you started, some guidelines on international travel will serve as good preparation to ensure that you have what you need for traveling overseas.
When reading about Congo, you will most likely encounter information on two separate countries. That's because, of course, there are two nations located in Africa which border each other with the word Congo in both of their names.
Congo, officially known as the Republic of Congo, is located on the western coastline of central Africa. Its five major cities are Gamboma, Owando, Quesso, Pointe-Noire, and Brazzaville. Brazzaville is the oldest city and the capital.
To the west of Congo lies Gabon and to the east is The Democratic Republic of the Congo which was formerly the country of Zaire.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the western-central part of Africa. Surrounding it are the countries of the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, and Zambia.
The capital of The Democratic Republic of the Congo is Kinshasa, which borders The Republic of Congo'scapital city.
Location and Climate
Congo has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity, particularly around the equator. Half of the country lies north or the equator and half of it lies to the south.
The rainy season is from October to May with the month of December being fairly dry. The dry season is June to October. The northern part of the country has an equatorial rainforest with an average yearly rainfall of 1100 millimeters. Temperatures are between 21°C and 27°C.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo also lies on the Equator. Two-thirds of the nation is below the equator. So, there is plenty of heat and humidity. South of the equator, the rainy season lasts from October to May, and north of the equator, it is from April to November.
Which Tourist Attractions in Congo Are for You
- The Republic of Congo is made up of a rich landscape with waterfalls, swamps, virgin forest, and a great variety of wildlife. The coastal plain is dotted with lagoons. Behind these are the Mayombe Mountains.
- The Democratic Republic also has a tropical rainforest to the west. Mountains are in the west as well, the highest are in the eastern region. Plateaus form into savannas in the south, and in the northern regions there are grasslands around the river basin.
Some of the tourists attractions in Congo include:
- Visiting the rainforests and seeing the unique wildlife in both nations
- Enjoying the city life in each of the capitals
- Visiting historical sites
- In Brazzaville, visit the Brazzaville Basilica, the Marketplace, The Congo River Rapids, and the Lefini Faunal Reserve.
- For those with lots of time, take a ride down the Congo River on a twenty-one day tour. One cruise boat makes a voyage of 1750 kilometers down the Congo River from the capital of Kisangani to the eastern city of Kinshasa in The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Just minutes from the center of Brazzaville is Le Meridien Brazzaville, a five-star hotel. For $80 you can enjoy a night of luxury here. One of the hotel's restaurants serves French and African dishes. Each Sunday a Jazz Lunch is offered by the hotels swimming pool.
- For $90 a night you can stay at the Orchids Safari Club Hotel on the banks of Lake Kivu. This hotel has some of the best gorilla watching in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Binoculars are needed for gorilla-tracking; the flash of a camera is not allowed.
Travel Within the Countries
Congo Airlines has routes service from Brazzaville to Pointe-Noire. A train also runs through the capital city. If you have time, a steamer or barge on the Congo and Ubangi Rivers is a scenic way to travel within The Republic of Congo.The Democratic Republic of the Congo also has a train line and domestic flights to take you from the capital to other cities within the country.
What to Pack
Make sure to take care of any visas or documents needed to enter the countries before leaving home. You will also want to bring:
- Insect Repellent
- Comfortable cotton clothing
- Good walking shoes
- Your camera and lots of film
After reading up on some helpful travel tips, you may want more information to guide you as you make plans for viewing the tourist attractions in Congo. Visits to the websites listed below may answer many of your questions. Recent events of political unrest among the nationals in The Democratic Republic of the Congo is cause for alert. Due to this unrest, travel to and within the DRC may present security issues, and caution needs to be taken.