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Basic information

  • Area: 263.9 km2 (101.9 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +242
  • Currency: Central African CFA franc (XAF)
  • Population (EST): 1,827,000
  • Official language: French, Kituba, Lingala
  • Time Zone: WAT (UTC+1)

10 Reasons to Visit Brazzaville

1. Diverse Buildings

Brazzaville is the capital city of the Republic of Congo, and features some of the best architecture in the country. Situated on the west side of the Malebo Pool of the Congo river, the city is host to such sites as the beautiful Basilique Sainte Anne, the colourful Poto Poto district, and the Temple Mosque. The markets Oluendze and Moundgali are quite popular, as well as the National Museum, Municipal Gardens, and the Charles de Gualle house that was built when Brazzaville was the capital of Free France.

2. Congo Rapids

Amusement parks around the world feature the popular Congo River Rapids Ride, which takes guests along a white water course, dousing them with water, but most people don’t visit the real Congo River in their lifetime. The rapids are one of the highlights of any visit to Brazzaville, and they offer waterskiing and rafting. It’s on the outskirts of the city where the Congo gets a little rough. The main rapids are well out in the middle of the river, and they’re impressive to view even from a distance.

3. Nature

Brazzaville is home to some of the most stunning nature sites in all of the Congo. People from all corners of the earth come for the pleasant climate, untamed jungles, and lush forests which are home to many different species of wildlife. There are also some native tribal groups out in the forests who have managed to maintain their ethnic traditions. A short journey to Pointe Noire will reward you with many things to do on the water, such as fishing.

4. Sports

Sports enthusiasts love Brazzaville because it offers a number of opportunities for mountain biking through the jungle trails, surfing on the beaches of Pointe Noire, rafting down the rapids, hand-gliding, and of course, fishing. Lac Bleu is a very popular destination for those who like to fish, and it offers a tranquil atmosphere where you can spend a day on the waters and enjoy the beautiful shores.

5. Linzolo

This was the first church built in the Congo, and it was constructed in 1882 by a French priest. It’s located just a short journey away in Linzolo, which is a mere 19 miles from the capital. In this little city, you’ll also find the World Health Organization and a very good market for shopping. Linzolo is just one of the many charming towns outside of Brazzaville that offers many interesting things to see and do.

6. Loufoulakari Falls

The Falls are a marvel to behold, as they provide a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. These are by far the most impressive falls in the region. Aside from the Loufoulakari, be sure to check out the Trou de Dieu as well. You’re definitely going to want to bring your camera to the falls, as it’s a photo opportunity you can’t get nowhere else.

7. M’Bé

This historic village is the capital of King Makoko, who is the sovereign of the Batéké people. Located just 93 miles from Brazzaville, visiting M’Be is definitely worth the trip, as the whole region is covered with rivers and small lakes, including Lac Bleu. You’ll find picturesque scenery here, as well as the famous Valley of the Butterflies. The local culture of this village is something that is worth experiencing, for the warm hospitality of the people, fine shopping, and dining opportunities.

8. Play golf

Play golf at the Cité du Djoué, and you'll understand why people flock to Brazzaville. Golf is very popular in this part of Africa, and this particular course offers you 18 holes and some stunning scenery along the way. Popular among traveling golfers and businessmen, the course is very high in quality and just challenging enough to make you want to practice your golf game.

9. Pointe-Noire

Pointe Noire is the main town on the coast of the Republic of Congo, and it features a lively evening market that travelers flock to. There are a number of great beaches here, and since Point Noire is just a short journey from Brazzaville, it is well worth the visit. Outside of Pointe Noire you’ll find some other great villages such as Diosso and Loango. Be sure to visit the Gorges of Diosso where you’ll find spectacular cliffs that were formed by the erosion of the wind and water.

10. Valley of Butterflies

No trip to Congo is complete without visiting the Valley of Butterflies. If you’re a butterfly enthusiast, then this is not to be missed. There are tons of varieties of butterfly here, and it also offers a nice hiking opportunity, allowing you to climb the little trail to the Monastery above. You’ll find a little cafe at the top where you can refresh yourself with fresh orange juice and homemade doughnuts that are drizzled in local honey. The park is beautifully maintained and open to visitors year round.

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