1. Odzala National Park, 2. Basilica of Saint Anna, 3. Congo River Rapids, 4. Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Memorial, 5. Poto-Poto Market, 6. Loufoulakari Waterfalls, 7. The Sacred Heart Cathedral, 8. M’Bamou Island, 9. Lésio-Louna Natural Gorilla Reserve, 10. Marche Plateau Ville. Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo's lively capital city, is located in the heart of Africa. This small Sub-Saharan city is brimming with distinctive historical architecture, hidden gems, and a plethora of trendy African markets and art galleries that will inspire even the most jaded traveler. Learn more about the top 10 Best Places to Visit in Brazzaville that you should not miss.
- Odzala National Park
- Basilica of Saint Anna
- Congo River Rapids
- Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Memorial
- Poto-Poto Market
- Loufoulakari Waterfalls
- The Sacred Heart Cathedral
- M’Bamou Island
- Lésio-Louna Natural Gorilla Reserve
- Marche Plateau Ville
Odzala National Park
Odzala National Park is a national park in the Republic of Congo that has been a protected area since 1935. After being designated as a biosphere reserve in 1977, it was elevated to the rank of national park in 2001, and it is currently home to over 100 animal and primate species. The park covers around 13.500 square kilometers and is mostly made up of rainforest spread out over hills and glades, with some savanna thrown in for good measure.
The park is breathtakingly gorgeous, with deep rainforest teeming with plant diversity, mammals, colorful insects, butterflies, and unusual birds. For the fortunate few who can afford it, there is a luxury camp in the heart of the camp, and you may go gorilla tracking in Odzala. It is also feasible to join the camp from the south and stay in midrange lodging as a less expensive option to the existing luxury camp.
Google rating: 4.8/5.0
Address: Parc National d’Odzala-Kokoua, Brazzaville, Congo
Phone number: +242 01984 667420
Official site: https://www.africanparks.org/the-parks/odzala-kokoua
Basilica of Saint Anna
The Basilique Sainte Anne is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in Brazzaville. The Basilica is located on the corner of the Avenue de L’Indépendance and the Avenue de la Paix, some 400 meters from the city’s main station. The Basilica owns a stadium and a small park near the structure. The pointed arches and green roof of the structure are its most notable features. It is one of the city’s most important Catholic shrines.
The structure combines modernist architecture, classic Gothic design, and Congolese iconography to create a place of worship for the city’s worshipers. The building is light and has a cave-like aspect, which adds to the impact of the skylight. It is an important venue of worship for Brazzaville and the Republic of Congo’s Catholics. Every year, The Basilique, which is one of the city’s most famous and frequented attractions, observes extremely crowded vistas.
Google rating: 4.3/5.0
Address: Brazzaville, Congo
Phone number: +39 347 558 8451
Official site: https://sanctuairesainteanne.org/en
Congo River Rapids
If you are captivated by nature and enjoy discovering stunning landscapes, consider taking a boat ride along the Congo River Rapids. The Congo River Rapids, historically known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa, trailing only the Nile, and the world’s second-largest river by discharge volume, trailing only the Amazon. This is an ideal place for people who like adventure activities.
Congo River Rapids, located northeast of the city, is now the center of several water activities. With the sound of the water, the Congo River, where you may walk, play sports, and have a picnic, will transport you to other places. Taking a boat ride has been a popular activity for many people visiting Brazzaville; this activity is not only enjoyable but also therapeutic and calming, especially when performed toward sunset. You will not only get a stunning sunset vista, but you will also get a great perspective of the neighboring country Congo Kinshasa.
Address: northeast Brazzaville, Congo
Phone number: N/A
Official site: N/A
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Memorial
When it was built in 2006, this memorial to Brazzaville’s namesake caused quite a stir. De Brazza, an Italian-born Frenchman who persuaded the local king to place his kingdom under French protection, therefore becoming the Congo a French colony, is controversial. Some consider De Brazza to be a humanist, pacifist, and abolitionist who advocated for the abolition of slavery and the mistreatment of Africans. Others claim he was a colonizer like the rest of them and even a rapist.
De Brazza’s remains was initially interred in Paris before being relocated to Algeria. However, in 2006, a memorial and mausoleum were built for him in Brazzaville, and his remains were transported here. Initially, most residents avoided the spot, saying that it was a center of black magic and a masonic temple (De Brazza was a freemason). However, the issue appears to have subsided, and locals now flock to the gardens to take selfies. The entrance is free, however, the guard at the gate will ask for your ID and retain it until you exit.
Phone number: +242 05 532 8740
Consider the more intimate Poto-Poto market if Marché Total is too overwhelming for you. In the West African neighborhood of Poto-Poto, you’ll discover immigrants from Mali, Senegal, and other nations in Africa. The majority of West Africans are Muslims, despite the fact that most Congolese claim to be Christians. The majority of the women will be donning head scarves, and the males will be sporting long flowing robes and skull caps. Mosquée Sounna, the largest mosque in the nation, is surrounded by market stalls on all sides.
This market is a labyrinth of little lanes, just like Marché Total. A foam mattress, an avocado, tennis shoes, and more may all be found inside. Additionally, even though the Poto-Poto market is less chaotic than Marché Total, you still have to contend with the mud, which can be worse here than at Marché Total. In Bambara, a language extensively used in Mali, the word “poto-poto” really refers to “watery muck.”
Google rating: 4.1/5.0
Phone number: +242 06 600 0177
The Loufoulakari Waterfalls are another must-see attraction in the Congo Republic. The Loufoulakari Waterfalls rank 3rd in the list of best places to visit in Brazzaville. The Loufoulakari Falls are located in the Republic of the Congo, 80 kilometers southwest of Brazzaville, near the confluence of the Loufoulakari and Congo rivers. Despite being 80 kilometers from the center of Brazzaville, it is impossible to complete the tour without seeing the waterfalls.
Every year, this region, one of the most famous destinations in Brazzaville, welcomes visitors from all over the world. The Loufoulakari waterfalls, located at the junction of the Loufoulakari and Congo rivers, are without a doubt one of the most instagrammable spots to visit in Brazzaville, Congo. Here you can get a close look at Congo’s fauna. This environment will make you highly inspired to start your job after spending time in Brazzaville, especially if you are coming from a crowded city.
Google rating: 4.0/5.0
Address: south west of Brazzaville, Congo
The Sacred Heart Cathedral
The Sacred Heart Cathedral ranks 6th in the list of best places to visit in Brazzaville. The Sacred Heart Cathedral, often known as the Cathedral of Brazzaville, is a Catholic Church religious structure. It is located in the African country of the Republic of Congo, in the city of Brazzaville. The Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of the city’s most unique and majestic structures.
The church serves as the Bishop’s residence for the Archdiocese of Brazzaville and is the oldest cathedral in Central Africa. The structure was completed in 1892 and dedicated in 1894. In 1952 and 1993, the space was renovated. The main entrance faces east and is adorned with two enormous polychrome statues of St. Paul and St. Peter that date prior to 1914. It was visited by Charles de Gaulle in 1944 and by Pope John Paul II in 1980. In Brazzaville, you may also see this amazing structure. You do not have to pay a charge to enter.
Phone number: +242 036 202 6548.
Mbamu is an island in the Pool Malebo, a sizable lake created by the widening of the River Congo. The island is a part of the Republic of the Congo (Congo Brazzaville). Between Brazzaville and Kinshasa, this substantial island is located in the center of the Congo River. On the island, there are a few villages where residents lead calm lives that seem a world away from the bustle of the metropolis.
You can go to the port where the boats depart for Kinshasa if you want a little adventure. Despite being known as the Port Autonome de Brazzaville, everyone just tends to refer to this as the “beach.” For between 10,000 and 15,000 CFA round trip, you can hire a boatman by the name of Papa Denis to ferry you to Sinoa and back. You can also phone him to make advance arrangements for this. And don’t forget to carry your passport; port immigration officers will check it.
Official site: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Ile_Mbamou
Lésio-Louna Natural Gorilla Reserve
The Lésio-Louna Natural Reserve should be your first stop if you decide to travel to the Congo outside of Brazzaville. In order to finally release the western lowland gorillas back into the wild, this reserve serves as a rehabilitation facility for them. They continue to develop survival skills like foraging and climbing while living in relative freedom in their natural habitat. When poachers killed their parents, the majority of the gorillas became orphans at an early age.
Adult gorillas are eaten as bushmeat or traded for body parts in the Congo to be used in “black magic.” Rich people keep babies as exotic pets, but when they get too large, they abandon them. The Gorilla Protection Project, created by the John Aspinall Foundation, rescues these orphans and other gorillas from abusive situations.
It takes roughly 8 hours to go there and back due to the poor condition of the road to Lésio-Louna. This is a lot to fit into one day, so opt for an overnight vacation if you have the time and resources to do so. You’d have more time for extra activities like boat rides and hikes, and you’d also have a better chance of seeing gorillas. You’ll only get one chance to visit them if you decide to take a day trip, so try to avoid any misunderstandings.
Address: north of Brazzaville, Congo
Phone number: +61427412130
Marche Plateau Ville
Marche Plateau Ville is one of the best shopping districts in the city and should be visited by anyone who enjoys shopping. Brazzaville, a small, central, and tourist-friendly city, boasts a variety of popular marketplaces that are ideal for last-minute souvenir shopping. Marche Plateau Ville market is undoubtedly the best in the Republic of Congo’s capital, located in the ‘Centre Ville’. You should definitely stop by here if you want to buy yourself or your friends different types of jewelry, handcrafted bags, and souvenirs from Brazzaville, Congo.
This small market is ideal for locating some lovely traditional things. It is also well recognized for being the only market where you can learn about and purchase African art, such as the famed Teke masks. This market provides a fantastic assortment of souvenirs to fit everyone’s tastes, whether you’re seeking fashionable African-inspired furniture, sculptures, masks, jewelry, or purses.
Google rating: 3.8/5.0
Address: Av. du Génértal De Gaulle, Brazzaville, Congo
Phone number: +242 06 901 3063
Official site: https://www.africabizinfo.com/fr-CG/march%C3%A9-plateau-central-ville