I had the opportunity to travel thanks to holiday season in China. During the spring festival, or in other works the Chinese New Year, schools close for a pretty long time. YES! I figured it was a good time to do some traveling. First stop: Belgium. It was time to my visit family and get my visa for the Republic of Congo fixed. Read about journey to Belgium here.
So…the Republic of Congo!
There are some geographical things you have to know about the country. There are two Congo’s: The Democratic Republic of Congo (capital: Kinshasa) and the Republic of Congo (Capital: Brazzaville). The two countries are separated by the Congo River. It’s listed as the second largest river in the world. GEOGRAPHY 101. Just making clear once again, I traveled to Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo.
Once landed I got through immigration smoothly. Just the usual check. I was so ready to just run through immigration, grab my luggage and see Chase at the other side of the airport. But of course, something had to go wrong. My luggage got lost. And above that… no-one at the airport knew how to handle the situation. Screw that! That’s the second time in a row I lost my luggage, different airline though.
Luckily I had the advantage that Chases job provides airport expeditor for visitors. He figured everything out and I had my luggage again the next morning. My luggage must have taken off the plane when we had a stop at Point-Noire. Yep, pretty annoying. My flight started in Brussels to Casablanca to Brazzaville with making a one-hour stop at Point-noir.
How to spend your time in Brazzaville
Here is a list of things to do in Brazzaville.
- Walk along the Congolese River
Just recently they build a big, impressive bridge near the Congolese river that lights up at night. It’s always a good idea to visit during the night.
- Bike through the city
One morning we got some bicycles and biked through the city. From the center to the suburbs. It was pretty nice to make that ride in the morning. The temperature was still low and there was no traffic to spot. We planned a jump in the pool to cool down afterward. AWE-SOME.
- Spend Thursday nights at Bodega
The place to be on Thursday nights is definitely at ‘Bodega’. Congolese live bands will perform and you get to watch some really cool dances on the dance floor. Grab a beer. Or two.
Here is a link to a video on my Instragram page.
- The Burger Truck
If you would travel to or through Brazzaville make sure to try the Burger Truck. Just like the name says… it’s a truck and it has burgers. THE BEST BURGERS EVER! I’m not lying if I say that BEST BURGER I EVER HAD was in Brazzaville.
- La reine de l’ile Faignond
We took a day trip to a little island. That was really impressive. Had to drive all the way out of the city and walk through some forest. It’s totally different from the city life. Children playing in the water of the lake, people taking a bath in that same water, … After waiting for about 20 minutes our boat finally arrived. It was made out of a tree and was pretty scary! Once we got to the island we got to see beautiful nature, see some animals and got bbq food. It’s worth it
Be sure to discuss the prices before you say yes to food… we got ripped off.
Tips & tricks
Here are some extra tips:
Before traveling to Africa make sure you get an appointment with your doctor to talk about vaccinations and maybe other medication such as malaria pills. Also, make sure to plan everything on time. From my experience, it wasn’t so convenient to get a travel visa for my destination. Make sure to do enough research.
If you’re a girl, dress appropriately. Man and women are not equal there. I got catcalled at every day, even while wearing decent clothes. Luckily, Chase was with me so no one would actually approach me.
Learn a bit of French. Just a little bit. You should be able to ask for the bill, to ask for the price, etc. It’s hard to find someone that speaks English.
Wear long pants and long sleeves: mosquitoesssss everywhere!