Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
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Latest updates: The Safety and security tab was updated - removal of information on elections.
Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Republic of Congo. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution because of crime and the ongoing insecurity in some neighbouring countries.
Pool Department, except Brazzaville - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the Pool Department, except Brazzaville, because of the military operations occasionally conducted against rebel militias in the region.
See Safety and security for more information.
Border area with the Central African Republic - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the area within 50 kilometres of the border with the Central African Republic because of the presence of criminal gangs and armed militias.
See Safety and security for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Pool Department (see advisory)
Security operations against rebel militias are sometimes carried out in certain regions of the Pool Department. 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 (see advisory)
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
Owing to ongoing insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), you should exercise extreme caution if you are travelling in the border area of northern Congo along the Ubangi River.
Overall security situation
The security situation is calm, but it remains tense and could deteriorate quickly. Be extremely vigilant, avoid demonstrations and gatherings, comply with the instructions of local authorities at checkpoints and monitor local media.
Criminals, sometimes armed, act especially at night. Street crimes such as muggings and purse snatchings occur, particularly in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
There have been a number of break-ins and burglaries at residences in Brazzaville and Pointe‑Noire. The homes of foreigners seem to be particularly targeted.
Avoid travelling by car or train between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, as there have been attacks on vehicles, incidents of harassment and intimidation, and arrests along the route. Instead, travel by air between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
Thieves are at work along Pointe-Noire’s beaches. Stay on the busy beaches and avoid beaches after dark.
Local police resources are limited, and response times to emergency calls are often very slow. In robbery cases, legal recourse is limited. Ensure that your personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times. Do not show signs of affluence, and do not venture out alone after dark.
Throughout the country, there are poorly marked roadblocks monitored by undisciplined, armed soldiers. Security forces may stop foreigners and attempt to extort money or goods from them. If you are stopped at a roadblock, remain in your vehicle and present your documents through the window.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Except for National Route 2 north of Brazzaville, which runs to the city of Oyo, most roads are dirt tracks. If you are travelling overland outside major cities, do so during the day, in a convoy of at least two four-wheel-drive vehicles.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited.
There are frequent power outages and fuel shortages.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the authorities of the Republic of Congo and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Congo to the United States for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit the Republic of Congo, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must also be in possession of a visa.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Polio : vaccine advice - July 5, 2017 00:00 EDT
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 provider 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.
There is a risk of polio in this country.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- 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 (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
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 provider.
- 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 provider 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 for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider 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, yellow fever and Zika.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
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.
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 provider.
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
Medical facilities are poor, particularly in rural areas. Medical supplies are limited.
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
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for the possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Taking photographs of public buildings and military facilities is prohibited. Do not photograph anyone without their permission.
Although the laws of the Republic of Congo do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to the Republic of Congo.
See Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians abroad for more information.
An International Driving Permit is required.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Republic of Congo. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Congolese citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Congolese passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the CFA franc (or XAF). The economy is primarily cash-based, but credit cards are accepted at a few hotels and restaurants in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The southern part of the country has a rainy season that extends from September to June. Some roads may become impassible during this period. Monitor regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
There is 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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