Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville

Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville

Use High Level of Caution

The Republic of the Congo is located in Africa with a coastline on the South Atlantic Ocean and sharing borders with Angola, Gabon, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic. The population is about 4.6 million people. The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and head of government. The current president was reelected in March 2002 with a large majority of the vote. However, all opponents either withdrew from the election or were barred from the country. In 2009, the president was elected to a 7-year term, and this time, the opposition boycotted the election.

This country, sometimes referred to as Congo-Brazzaville, gained independence from France in 1960. Although the Republic of Congo has been a main producer of oil, little of the wealth has reached the people, and about 70 percent of the population remains in poverty.

The country has been beleaguered by civil wars and conflicts. However, since about 2002, the Congo has been relatively stable economically and politically.

Lack of tourism infrastructure and a six-year civil conflict (1993-1999) has discouraged development of the tourist industry. The Congo is known for having about 80 percent of the world’s population of gorillas and wild chimpanzees. Travellers can also visit the Odzala National Park, Lefini Reserve, Lesio Louna Gorilla Reserve, and the Douli National Park where one can see fish that glow and photokinetic plants and insects.

Currency XAF: Central African CFA franc
Language French - Widely spoken are Lingala, Kikongo and Kituba
Capital Brazzaville
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Republic of the Congo through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Republic of the Congo.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Republic of the Congo, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk for yellow fever in this country. This country requires all persons greater than one year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination. It is recommended that all travellers 9 months of age and older have the yellow fever vaccination.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Republic of the Congo. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Republic of the Congo. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Republic of the Congo. Travellers to Republic of the Congo are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in Republic of the Congo and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis

Malaria

All areas of Republic of the Congo are at high risk for malaria.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 1)

African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) occurs in Republic of the Congo. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is a risk for yellow fever in this country. This country requires all persons greater than one year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination. It is recommended that all travellers 9 months of age and older have the yellow fever vaccination.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville

Emergency Numbers

112 See note below

Emergency services are non-existent in this country, except for Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire where services are extremely limited. Response time to emergency calls can take 45 minutes or longer.

Personal Safety

Crime levels are low in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft can occur anywhere. Always be alert to your surroundings and personal safety. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Your risk of being targeted increases in rural areas.

In some areas, road travel can be difficult due to poor condition of roads. Vehicles may be in poor repair. Drivers may not adhere to rules of the road. There have been reports of roadblocks for the purpose of collecting bribes.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid travel to the Pool region due to armed bandits and activities of rebels. Armed groups left over from the civil war, known as Ninjas, still operate in the southern Pool area, and war-related crime is a risk, including murder and rape of civilians.

Road travel in the Pool area requires a permit from the Congolese army.

Avoid travelling around the country at night.

Political Unrest

Always avoid any public gathering or protest since even peaceful demonstrations can quickly escalate into violence.

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