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Located in Central Africa, the Republic of Congo’s small population mainly live in a handful of cities in the south-west. This means that vast areas of the jungle-covered country have no human population and are exceptional havens for wildlife. The country has the largest area of primary rainforest in the whole of Africa. The Republic of Congo is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Angolan enclave of Cabinda and the similarly named Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As a tourist destination, the Republic of Congo is probably best suited for those who embrace truly adventurous travel. With a limited tourist infrastructure outside the cities, and in many places, very little infrastructure of any kind, travel here is not for the faint-hearted. Getting around involves the use of light aircraft, 4WD vehicles (travelling on what passes for a road) and jungle river journeys by pirogue.
On the flip-side, the local people you meet along the way are genuinely unaccustomed to foreign visitors and are often fascinated by the presence of people who are so different from themselves. This can lead to some memorable and truly authentic encounters as you learn about each other’s cultures. You will also gain excellent bragging rights back home for having visited such remote and little-visited areas; a rare commodity indeed these days.Read more
The privileged few who embark on a journey into the dense Congo rainforest will be rewarded with some unique and amazing wildlife encounters. The Republic of Congo is home to the only habituated group of western lowland gorillas on the planet. To be in the company of these primates is a truly exceptional experience. There are also healthy populations of forest elephant; smaller than their savannah-dwelling cousins and having more downward-pointing tusks and more rounded ears, they have evolved to suit their jungle home. Forest elephants are an important part of the ecosystem; they have an almost symbiotic relationship with some species of fruit tree, being the only method by which their seeds are dispersed to new areas. The young tree seedlings are given a good start in life buried in fertile elephant dung. Difficult to spot under the tree canopy, forest elephants are most easily seen in forest clearings known as ‘bais’ where they sometimes congregate in large numbers.
The Congo rainforest is also home to over 300 species of bird and 1,000 plant and tree species, including rare mahogany. The forest also has a strong population of chimpanzees, some of whom have never set eyes on a human being. There are also bongo (a large species of antelope), crocodile, forest leopard, golden cat and both black and white colobus monkeys.
With such natural treasures, the Republic of Congo is a must-visit destination for dedicated wildlife enthusiasts who are looking for a pioneering and rewarding journey that is without compare.
Places of interest in Congo
Set on the banks of the Congo River, Brazzaville is the Republic of Congo’s capital city. To avoid confusion...
Established in 1993, the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park covers over 4000 square kilometres of primary rainforest, swamp...
At nearly 3,000 miles, the Congo River is the second longest river in Africa (after the Nile) and the eighth...