Area: 342,000 km ²
Climate: Tropical; rainy season is March to June and dry season is June to October; persistent high temperatures and humidity
Population: 4,012,809 (est. July 2009)
Languages: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (linua franca trade languages), many local languages and d
Government Type: RepublicNational Holiday: August 15 GDP: $15.6 billion (est. 2008)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $ 4,000 (est. 2008)
Information for Foreign Students in CongoGetting There Maya-Maya Airport in Brazzaville is linked by flights to by Air France, Douala in Cameroon, Addis Ababa and Kinshasa by Ethiopian Airlines, Nairobi and Casablanca.
Obtaining a Visa Visas are not available on arrival, and showing up without one can cause many things you will want to avoid at all costs (fines, passport confiscation, etc.) For citizens of Central Africa: To enter Congo Brazzaville, a valid passport is required.
For other nationals: An entry visa and a repatriation deposit/return ticket are required.
Accommodation Accommodation: 25 000 CFA per month per student
Restaurant: 1 000 F CFA per meal; 500 CFA per breakfast
Congo Site: www.congo-site.com It's easy to stumble into a brothel, if you don't know any better, so be careful!
Money The Central African CFA Franc is the official local currency. The U.S. dollar is not widely accepted. Currently, the exchange rate is 530 CFA to the U.S. dollar, but fluctuates daily. All business is conducted in cash. Small change is very scarce and hard to come by. Do not accept torn or taped banknotes.
You can talk to your loved ones using any of the three mobile operators MTN, CelTel (now Zain), or Warid. The local call rate are relatively cheap and cost you around 20 to 30 FCFA /min.
Travelers must submit:
- A certificate against smallpox less than 3 years old except for babies under 6 months of age.
- A certificate against fever (yellow fever) made more than 10 days and less than 10 years ago, except for babies under 6 months of age.
- A certificate of vaccination against cholera valid for 6 months.
Population estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected. In any case use your common sense: DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX. The likelihood of getting malaria is very high if effective preventative medication is not taken. The malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum can be very serious. Medical attention should be sought if any symptoms are shown. Medical care is substandard throughout the country. Hospitals lack modern equipment, necessary medical supplies and medications, and well-trained physicians, nurses and support staff. Netcare Clinic: Address: B.P. 2422, Brazzaville, Congo Tel: 547 0911 (Main Line) OR 679 6711 This facility was initially opened in 2002. It is a franchise from South Africa. It is clean, has facilities for 3 private rooms, an ambulance, a one bed emergency room, basic radiography, pharmacy and a laboratory with microscopy, haematology, and basic chemists.
In Brazzaville, petty street crime targeting foreigners is rare. However, muggings and pick pocketing do happen frequently near the ports in Pointe Noire and Brazzaville, and sometimes in the Congolese neighborhoods surrounding Brazzaville's City Center. Criminal elements are known to target middle-class and affluent residences without 24-hour guards. Police resources are limited and response to emergency calls is slow. In the case of theft and robbery, legal recourse is limited and therefore, it is highly recommended to leave all valuable items at home. There have been some demonstrations against the re-election of President Sassou in July 2009. Some foreign reporters were assaulted by riot police and had their equipment destroyed. It is generally safe to walk the streets, but stay well away from demonstrations.
Ridiculously cheap shared taxis and minibuses run on an ad hoc basis between towns and villages, crammed with Congolese villagers taking all sorts of livestock for sale in Brazzaville. In Brazzaville, taxis are green. 700 CFA generally gets you around a neighborhood. This goes up to 1000 CFA at night. Drivers are generally fair with prices, and haggling is not required before getting in