The Republic of the Congo is a West African country which is also known as the Congo or Congo-Brazzaville. The Congo is not to be confused with its larger neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congo is on the Equator and has a short stretch of coastline on the Atlantic, but few tourists visit due to the Congo’s recent history of civil war.

Congo’s capital, Brazzaville, is on the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Brazzaville is a lively city and contains several markets and a wide selection of bars and nightclubs. Other attractions in Brazzaville are Livingstone Falls, the National Museum of Congo, the Temple Mosque and Basilique Saint Anne.

Congo’s second city, Pointe Noire, is a port city in the south of the country and features clean beaches fringed with palm trees. Pointe Noire has beach hotels including the Twiga Hotel and the Palm Beach Hotel.

Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, near Ouesso, is in the north of the country. The park is home to forest elephants, lowland gorillas and other protected species. The capital of Niari province, Loubomo, is located on the edge of the coastal rainforest and is a commercial centre with an exciting nightlife. The Kouillou and Congo rivers are popular destinations for waterskiing.

Along with Pointe Noire, Congo’s other major cities feature a selection of hotels, although the best ones are probably in Pointe Noire as it receives more tourists. Nouabale-Ndoki National Park has basic camps, including those at Mbeli Bai and Bomassa. A local delicacy in Congo-Brazzaville is roasted guinea pig washed down with palm wine.

The Republic of the Congo’s principal airport is Maya Maya Airport. It offers flights to Paris with Air France. It also has services to African and domestic destinations. Along with its roads, many of Congo’s regional airport runways are unpaved. Congo-Brazzaville does have a railway network but it is not always 100 percent reliable.