This tiny former French Colony, Republic of Congo, should not be confused with its much larger and unstable neighbour across the mighty Congo River, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Republic of Congo is now often referred to as Congo-Brazzaville to make this point clear. Republic of Congo is slightly smaller than Montana with a population of four million people, of which 70% live in the south-west in the urban centres of Brazzaville (the capital) and Pointe-Noire (the major port); the rest of the country is sparsely populated and largely pristine.
The economy is mainly based on oil and support services and has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports; tourism here is in its infancy but the rainforests in the country's north lie in the heart of the Congo Basin which comprises the world's second largest expanse of tropical rainforest. Rivers such as the Sangha, Mambili and the mighty Congo drain this basin and provide a means of exploration through dense forests and access to remote national parks such as Odzala-Kokoua, Nouabale-Ndoki and Conkouati-Douli. It is in these areas that endemic wildlife flourishes and traditional Pygmy cultures persist and offers one of the most incredible experiences on the continent; the chance to track the Western Lowland Gorilla.
Odzala-Kokoua National Park in north-western Congo is a vast green wilderness covering almost 14,00 square kilometres of pristine rainforest and is an integral part of both the Congo Basin and the...More >
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