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This pleasantly unassuming capital city and river port occupies the north bank of the Congo River, the second largest river in Africa after the Nile. In a former lifetime, it was the capital of French Equatorial Africa.

Brazzaville lies opposite Kinshasa, capital of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo – the sole example of two international capital cities that face each other across a river. The abundance of tropical foliage earned the city the label of ‘Brazza la verte’ or Green Brazza. 

Under French rule it developed as a largely European administrative and residential centre until the early 1960s, with outlying African suburbs. The city centre is still the seat of administration and commerce, while the river port is the inland terminus of the transport system that links it with Pointe-Noire on the Atlantic coast, some 394 kilometres to the west. From here you continue by rail or steamer to the upper reaches of the Congo River. The port facilities were enlarged after World War II, and nowadays virtually half of the shipping is in transit to or from the other countries of central Africa. 

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Key info

  • Where: Pool Region, Congo

Wildlife trips

This location is featured in the following itinerary:

Lowland Gorilla Encounter

Deep in the dense rainforest of Congo's Odzala-Kokoua National Park, track habituated lowland gorilla groups in a pristine wilderness barely ever touched by tourism, and enjoy the area's incredibly beautiful fauna and flora, with a kayaking trip down Lekoli River and walks on forest elephant trails.

  • When to go: May-Feb
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea