Covering an area of almost 342 000 square kilometres, Republic of the Congo is slightly smaller than Montana. The population is a mere 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.
Straddling the equator, Congo has narrow coastal strip on the Atlantic Ocean. Its bordering countries include Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon. This little-known former French colony was spared the conflict of neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and not having shared neighbouring Gabon’s recent limelight, tourism to the Congo is at a fledgling stage with an aura of exploration and discovery enhancing every journey into its interior.
The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports.
While deforestation is a problem, 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.
Name: Republic of Congo
Population: 4 million
Coordinates: 22 00 S, 24 00 E
Area: 342 000 sq km
Environment and tourism:
Rainforests all over the world are under dramatically increasing threat – not just from local slash-and-burn agriculture and development, but far more significantly from industrial logging that exploits these natural resources for the developed world. Given the global impact of the loss of carbon sinks in these remote areas, such as the Congo Basin, it is critical that we raise awareness of these circumstances, especially in the influential developed economies of the world.
Our objectives are thus threefold: global awareness, local sustainable development and protection of biodiversity. We hope that by hosting globally caring guests in this wilderness wonderland that the knowledge they take back with them will inform the choices they make in day-to-day personal and business life.
French, Lingala and Kituba are the most common languages spoken, with French being the official language. English is spoken in some hotels and tourist areas.
The currency in Congo is the CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc (XAF).
Congo is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round.
The climate in the Congo is the same across the country, with slight variations between the northern and southern regions. In general, the year is divided into four seasons:
-a long rainy season from October to December
-a short dry season from January to February
-a short rainy season from March to April
-a long dry season from May to September
The north is equatorial, hot and humid, while in the south the climate is tropical and humid with slightly less rain from October to May and a dry period from June to September. The centre is distinguished by a sub-equatorial climate marked by a very pronounced dry season.
The majority of the population follows Christian beliefs, with Roman Catholic making up 50%, and 48% being of animist beliefs. A minority of the population are Protestant and Muslim.Read More