Last updated: 3 Sep 2018

Congo, Republic of

About

The Republic of Congo is made up of a rich landscape of falls, swamps and rapids, with the northern country distinguished by huge tracts of virgin forest and an abundance of wildlife. The forest is also home to several indigenous tribes who have maintained their traditional way of life. The narrow sandy coastal plain is broken by lagoons, behind which rise the Mayombe Mountains. The capital, Brazzaville, has a host of fascinating sights to see and places to explore, and local musicians enliven the atmosphere at night.

Sights include the beautiful Basilique Sainte Anne, the colourful suburb of Poto Poto, the Temple Mosque, the markets at Oluendze and Moungali, the National Museum, the Municipal Gardens Some good fishing is available at Lac Bleu.

Visit the Valley of Butterflies. Venture onto the Congo Rapids. Waterskiing on the Congo and Kouillou rivers is a popular sporting activity in peacetime.Find a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside at the Loufoulakari Falls (held to be the most impressive falls in the region) and the Trou de Dieu.
Capital:  Brazzaville (BZV)
Currency:  Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Language:  French. Some local languages are also spoken: Lingala, Munukutuba and Kikongo. English is not widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA:  + 242
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2018: 

Jan 1; Apr 1, 2; May 1, 10, 21; Jun 10 Aug 15; Nov 1; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to Go: June - September
Best for: Rare Wildlife
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs with two round pins are used
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage.
Customs: Dress should be on the conservative side and mini-skirts and shorts should not be worn in public. Respect to religious customs should also be shown during the month of Ramadan.
Local Offences / Laws: It is forbidden to photograph government buildings, military installations and banks.
Travel Tips / Warnings: There are limited ATM’s that accept foreign cards, and it is primarily a cash economy.  A few hotels accept credit card, but there is limited use in Congo.  Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Congo by visitors over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 1 box of cigars or tobacco (women are permitted to import cigarettes only).
• 1 bottle of spirits and 1 bottle of wine.
• A reasonable quantity of perfume in opened bottles. If importing expensive items such as watches and cameras, it is advisable to present the receipt.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of Republic of Congo
960 Arcadia Street, Arcadia
PO Box 40427 Arcadia, Pretoria 0007
Tel:+21 (0)12 3425507/8
Fax:+21 (0)12 342-5510
Submissions: Mon-Fri 0900-1200
Collections: Mon-Fri 1400-1530
Email: pretoria@embassyofcongo.co.za
Web: www.embassyofcongo.co.za

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SA Representative

SA Embassy, 82 Avenue Marachal Lyautey,
Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
Tel: +242 81 0849 / +242 660 0211
Fax: +27 (0) 866 762 553 / +27 (0) 865 722 926
Email: mananal@dirco.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever 
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk