Republic of Congo

I was in Congo Brazzaville between the 04 July 2019 and the 15 July 2019. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing

For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link

All prices are in francs  except when the charge was in USD.

When I was there the oficial exchange rate was as follows:

1 GBP = 728.34 XAF
1 USD = 584.89 XAF
1 EUR = 655.96 XAF

I applied for an the visa in the Congo Embassy in Luanda. It is located in the Zimbo Tower coordinates – 8.817099,13.23811.

The process was pretty painless payment was 100 USD payable in USD.

I presented copies of
Proof of accommodation
Yellow fever
Letter explaining why I didn’t have air ticket

In addition a filled in application form and 1x passport photo

Getting in the country
Getting into the country was quick and painless

I drew money out of ATMs but it was hard to find some that worked. I have included the coordinates of the ones in Pointe Noire and Dolisie that worked for me. The one in Pointe Noire only accepted Visa cards. The one in Dolisie accepted Visa and Mastercard. In general look for the Société Generale ATMs as they tend to work.

Pointe Noire it was la Société Generale, French Bank. The ATM was located at – 4.799794,11.843161 It is marked in

Dolisie it was the Credit du Congo in the main Market. The ATM was located at – 4.206005,12.67706 It is marked in

The Central African Franc is also the currency of Gabon and Cameroon

Congo SIM card
I got MTN in Pointe Noire and paid 1000 XAG for the activated  SIM, approx 800 XAF FOR 175 Mb. They had to enter one code for the Internet to work and I got that done at the MTN office located at – 4.8001

When I arrived a Dolisie I was told MTN would not work from here to Gabon so purchased an Airtel SIM.

Food and drink
Other than in towns where there are supermarkets, the shops in the villages have limited stock.

You will find bread in most biggish villages and in some markets with fruit and vegetable stalls. Bread price seems to be fixed between around 100

Soft drinks cost somewhere between 500 and 600.

Food in restaurants is Ok and portions big. A meal in a restaurant will cost around 5000.

On the Road
I cycled on a mix of  tarred and dirt roads and found them to be generally OK. The dirt roads I took was busy with huge wood lorries that covered me with dust. Getting off the road when you see them and having a buff to cover your mouth is a good idea.

Personal Safety
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.

Always check your government’s travel advice for Republic of Congo before making your decision.

As a solo older female I never felt unsafe during my time in the Republic of Congo even in remote places. I found people to be welcoming and friendly. Everyone responds to your greetings no one ever asked me for money or anything.

Pointe Noir – Brasserie de la mer – Free camping – Showers and toilet available. Camping on the beach. 24 hour security. Pascal the owner was really acomodating. Eat in the restaurant both nights although he didn’t ask.

Bondi – Chief’s compound – Camping on the baranda. Nice friendly chief and family. Latrine on the grounds although he told me there wasn’t one. Generator from 8 and plug in the baranda.

Les Saras – Catholic Church -The auberge in the town seemed close so came to the church. They gave me a room with bathroom and a couple of buckets of water to have a ‘shower’. Beautiful views over the village and the forest. Generator around 7 and plug in the room.

Mvouti – Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres – Very peaceful. I camped in the baranda of the school. Running water for shower. No electricity in this building. A generator feeds the sisters home

Dolisie – Guesthouse La Gite du Voyager Simple Guesthouse with cold water shower and electricity. 5000 for a double room.

Milá Mila – Forestry Control They gave me water for a bucket shower and let me use their gaz cooker. Put the tent inside the building. Shops with the basics in the village.

Mabudou – Chef du village – I set the tent in his compound – Very friendly but they have no water in the village. Although they gave me water for a wash I had to buy a couple of bottles for cooking. Nice conversations with the chief.

Nyanga – Hotel du Fleuve Nyanga 5000 electricity and a jerry an of water. Thousands of mosquitos indoors so tent on bed job. The bed wasn’t very comfortable. I had asked at the church after the village to camp there and they were OK but there was no water and I was desperate to wash my cloths so decided to face the mosquitos. I wouldn’t go there again. Cheap local reaturant near the sub prefecture – beautifully cooked buck for 700.

Ngongo Border – Camping at the Border post – No running water or electricity but river just over the barrier to wash and collect water for cooking. Shop across the border sells the essentials