As of June 2018, there are no direct flights to Brazzaville from any airport in the United Kingdom. Air France has three flights per week to Brazzaville, as there is a significant number of French-speaking Congolese living in France. There are two preferred routes to Brazzaville: Air France takes the passenger from London to Brazzaville via Paris or the passenger takes a flight of an African based airline like Royal Air Maroc or Ethiopian Air. In the latter case, the stopover would be in Africa. Ethiopian Airline tickets are usually the cheapest.
The cheapest time to visit Brazzaville is in the months of November and December. The replenishing rains pour over the city and the surrounding area. Most tourists flee Brazzaville before the rains but if you are on a budget, this is the best time to visit the city. The rains are not intense or continuous, which means that the accommodations would be cheap and you would still be able to get around and absorb the Brazzaville city vibes.
Maya-Maya International Airport (BZV) serves the city of Brazzaville. The airport is right in the heart of the city and is not 5 kilometres away from the city centre. This makes the hotels and other facilities quiet accessible to the traveller and getting around the city becomes cheap and less cumbersome.
British Citizens are required to apply for a visa to enter the Republic of Congo. Please take note that there are two countries called ‘the Congo’. Brazzaville is in the Republic of Congo, the other country is the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire. Please make sure you are applying for the visa from the correct embassy in London. Visa for one-month costs around £120.
The best time to visit Brazzaville is from June to October. This is the best time to visit the city because the heat of the summer has yet to arrive and the cool breeze still greets the visitors early in the morning. During this period the city remains cool and dry. The rest of the year is pretty much rainy and humid. You can soak up a lot of sunshine and experience the Brazzaville with all its Central African charm when the weather is beautiful, especially in the months of July and August.
The city of Brazzaville is named after the Italian-French traveller Pietro Paolo Savorgnan di Brazzà to honour his efforts in protecting African culture from the crushing might of colonialism. He was able to convince the local king to place his kingdom under French protection, as the European armies were colonizing most of West and central Africa through sheer brutal force. A mausoleum was constructed in memory of de Brazza, at Brazzaville
- The Sacred Heart Cathedral was constructed in 1892. It is the oldest cathedral in central Africa. The cathedral is the symbol of Catholic Christianity in the African continent. The outer face of the cathedral has statues of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, guarding the main entrance. The architecture of the building is an elegant mix of European and African building styles.
- The Basilica of St. Anne of Congo Brazzaville is a Protestant Church that was built for the new converts coming from Poto Poto to settle near the capital city. The Basilica was constructed in 1907, although it was never fully completed until 1986. The church celebrates the many cultures of the region in its architecture. The arch over the entrance is shaped like a Congolese spear, the buttresses inside the Basilica resemble the seashells of Chadian Sahara and incorporates the colourful patterns from all over central Africa.
The Golden Tam-Tam is the Congolese version of the Grammy’s in Brazzaville. Each year the festival and award show celebrates the culture and music coming from the different parts of the Congo-Brazzaville. The Feux de Brazza festival is an effort to keep the musical traditions of Africa alive and active within the communities of Brazzaville. The Panfrican Music Festival celebrated in July each year, also known as FESPAM, is the most important cultural festival in Brazzaville.
Brazzaville is a relatively urban and a developed city of the Republic of Congo. The city has seen testing times of a civil war in 1997, the remnants of which still can be seen in the rural areas of the city. The transportation infrastructure is still intact but requires some maintenance. People can hire a taxi and move through the city to visit the many attractions of Brazzaville. Kinshasa, which is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo is right across the Congo River and can be visited by taking a ferry, provided that the traveller has the visa and proper documentation.
There are few five-star hotels in Brazzaville, but recent foreign investment, especially from migrants from the Middle East, has introduced many Lebanese restaurants and hotels to the city.
- Ledger Plaza Maya Maya
- Pefaco Hotel Maya Maya
- Grand Hotel Kinshasa
- Pullman Kinshasa
- Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo