Bordered by a huge river to the east, Congo is often mistaken for its big brother, the Democratic Republic of Congo. This hasn’t helped its tourism business in recent years.
However, if you’re brave enough, you can try the smaller and less-known Congo. It has beautiful landscapes with undulating virgin rainforest, waterfalls, lagoons, river rapids, and swampy areas that look like they were made by nature. In these wild places, you’ll find a lot of interesting plants and animals, including rare primate species such as mountain gorillas and chimps.
There are only a few tourists in the country now, but the forest is also home to a number of indigenous tribes that have kept their way of life almost entirely separate from Western society.
Unlike the rest of the country, Brazzaville, the capital of Congo, is a very interesting city. Looking across the Congo River to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazzaville is the prettier and more appealing of the two cities. It has a thriving arts scene, good food, lively nightlife, interesting colonial history, and friendly locals, making it a great place to visit.
Republic of Congo: Since it became independent from France in 1960, the country has been plagued by bouts of civil war and ethnic conflict. The bloodiest came after disputed elections in 1993, when many of the warlords were motivated by the country’s huge offshore oil wealth, which they wanted to get their hands on.
This happened in 2003 when a peace deal was finally signed. Since then, the country has been slowly, but surely, rebuilding itself as an attractive, peaceful place that isn’t defined by a dark history.