Straddling the equator, Congo has a narrow coastal strip on the Atlantic Ocean and has borders with Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon. This little-known former French colony did not experience the conflict of its neighbor the DRC and tourism here is just beginning and there is a feel of exploration and discovery as one travels into its interior.
Most of the population is centered in urban centres of the capital city of Brazzaville and the major port of Pointe-Noire; the rest of the country is sparsely populated and largely pristine. French is the official language. And English is spoken in some hotels and tourist areas
The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports
Equatorial forest covers much of Congo and form part of the larger Congo Basin, a region spanning six countries. However, deforestation is a problem, mainly from industrial logging. The rainforests in the country’s north lie in the heart of the Congo Basin, which comprises the world’s second largest expanse of tropical rainforest. Rivers such as the Sangha and the mighty Congo provide a way to journey through dense forests and access the remote national parks such as Odzala-Kokoua, Nouabale-Ndoki and Conkouati-Douli. It is in these areas that endemic wildlife flourishes and traditional Pygmy cultures still persist.
The ecology is varied with large numbers of birds, plant species, fish and mammals. Fairly large numbers of western lowland gorillas are alive and well in the remote northern forests – other wildlife includes forest elephants, forest buffalo, bongo, duikers, bush pig and chimpanzees.
The development of ecotourist camps in Odzala-Kokoua by the Wilderness Collection will contribute to the conservation of critical elements of central African biodiversity. We concur with their belief that Congo – with its low population, pristine ecosystem, spectacular biodiversity and stable democracy – is the best country in which to achieve this.
While there are no set departure itineraries currently for this country, Tailor-made Safaris are available. An example itinerary is given.