Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada).
Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in the Republic of Congo because of crime and the ongoing insecurity in some neighbouring countries.
Pool Department, except Brazzaville - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to to the Pool Department, except Brazzaville, because Congolese authorities conduct occasional military operations against rebel militias in the region.
Safety and security
Congolese authorities occasionally carry out security operations against rebel militias in certain regions of Pool, a department in southeast Congo. Criminals often commit crimes and acts of banditry, especially kidnapping for ransom. Attacks on private and collective transportation vehicles are common, particularly on the roads linking Brazzaville–Kinkala–Mindouli and Mayama–Mindouli.
Border area with the Central African Republic
Criminal gangs and armed militias are rampant in the Central African Republic (CAR). The porous CAR-Congo border poses a risk to the Congolese side.
Border area with the Democratic Republic of Congo
Exercise extreme caution if you’re travelling in the border area of northern Congo along the Ubangi River, due to ongoing insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Overall security situation
The security situation is stable but remains tense and could deteriorate quickly. Exercise extreme vigilance. Avoid demonstrations and gatherings. Comply with the instructions of local authorities at checkpoints. Monitor local media.
Criminal activity occurs, especially at night. Criminals are sometimes armed. Street crimes such as muggings and purse snatchings occur, particularly in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
- Avoid displaying signs of affluence.
- Avoid travelling alone after dark.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
There have been a number of break-ins and burglaries at residences in Brazzaville and Pointe‑Noire. Thieves target the homes of foreigners.
Thieves are active along Pointe-Noire’s beaches.
- Confine your activities to busy beaches.
- Avoid visiting beaches after dark.
Local police resources are limited. Response times to emergency calls are often very slow. In robbery cases, legal recourse is limited.
Undisciplined, armed soldiers maintain poorly marked checkpoints and roadblocks throughout the country. Security forces may stop foreigners and attempt to extort money or goods. If Congolese authorities stop you at a roadblock, remain in your vehicle and present your documents through the window.
Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations.
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Road conditions and road safety are mostly poor throughout the country. Accidents causing fatalities are common. Drivers are extremely aggressive and often drive at excessive speeds. Most roads are poorly lit. Hazards include pedestrians, cyclists and animals.
Congo has several highways, including National Route 1 between Brazzaville and the southern port city of Pointe-Noire, and National Route 2 between Brazzaville and the northern town of Ouesso, on the border with Cameroon.
Avoid travelling by car between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire due to attacks on vehicles, incidents of harassment and intimidation, and arrests along the route. Instead, travel by air between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
Most rural roads are dirt tracks. Rural driving conditions may be hazardous during the rainy season.
If you’re travelling overland outside of major cities, do so during the day and in a convoy of at least two four-wheel-drive vehicles. Expect roadblocks and checkpoints. Bandits pose a threat.
Gas stations are scarce in rural areas. Professional roadside assistance is not available. Be sure to carry a cellular telephone, maps, spare tires, first aid kit and ample supplies of food, water and gas.
Be vigilant when travelling by taxi. Hire only government-authorized green and white taxis in Brazzaville and blue and white taxis in Pointe-Noire. Taxis are not metered. Negotiate your fare before departing.
Avoid travelling by bus because of overcrowding, poor vehicle maintenance and potential onboard theft.
Avoid travelling by rail because of frequent mechanical delays, onboard theft and incidents of harassment and intimidation by security forces.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Safe-travel guide for women
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited.
Power outages and fuel shortages occur frequently.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of the Republic of Congo. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Republic of Congo.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must obtain a visa.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo - February 21, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has identified this country as no longer poliovirus-infected but at high risk of an outbreak. Polio can be prevented by vaccination, which is part of the routine vaccines for children in Canada.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care professional the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Monkeypox is a risk in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness.
Monkeypox is mainly spread to humans through direct contact with:
- infected animals (mainly African rodents and non-human primates), by bite, scratch, or contact with their body fluids.
Human to human spread is not common but can occur through:
- direct contact with the skin lesions or scabs of an infected person or materials contaminated by their lesions (such as bedding and clothing)
- prolonged contact with a coughing or sneezing person with a rash due to monkeypox
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with potentially infected animals and people.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is inadequate, particularly in rural areas. Medical supplies are limited. You’ll likely need medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
It’s illegal to photograph government buildings, military installations, border areas and transportation infrastructure, including ports, train stations and airports. Avoid photographing anyone without their permission.
Arts and crafts are subject to an export tax. It’s illegal to export items of historical significance, such as wood pieces, sculptures and paintings. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail sentences.
Carry copies of all your travel documents, in case Congolese authorities seek verification of your identity at checkpoints or roadblocks. You may be detained by police if you’re unable to produce acceptable identification.
You must carry an International Driving Permit.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. If the police suspect you of drinking and driving, they could confiscate your driver’s licence on the spot. If you’re convicted, you can expect heavy fines.
More about the International Driving Permit
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Republic of Congo.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the Republic of Congo, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
The currency in the Republic of Congo is the CFA franc (XAF). The economy is primarily cash-based. A few hotels and restaurants in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire accept credit cards.
Congolese law doesn’t prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Homosexuality, however, is not socially tolerated. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to the Republic of Congo.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Natural disasters and climate
The southern part of Congo has a rainy season that extends from September to June. Some roads may become impassible during this period.
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- Follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
There’s no central number for emergency services. Report crimes to local police at 242 06 665-4804. Note that most police speak French but not English.
Research and carry contact information for local medical facilities.
There’s no resident Canadian government office in the Republic of Congo. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kinshasa - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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