10 Reasons to Get Lost in Brazzaville, Congo

Children swimming at a beach
Children swimming at a beach | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip
Photo of Victoire Douniama
19 July 2018

The Republic of Congo is a nation filled with unique cultures and customs, most of which aren’t familiar to many people. If you’re looking to plan a unique trip away, you might want to consider visiting the Republic of Congo. Here are 10 reasons to get lost in Congo’s captivating capital, Brazzaville.

You can get your clothes tailor-made

Congo is a country of fashion lovers – this is a place where people love to express their style. If you’re a fashion fanatic and would like to design your very own clothes, getting lost in Congo might be a good decision for you. In Congo all neighbourhoods have at least a dozen tailor shops. Whether you want clothes made in African prints or just a generic fabric, you can trust the tailors in Brazzaville to help you design your own unique outfit. Hiring a tailor is very affordable – fabrics in Congo are equally very affordable and accessible, varying from different colours and textiles. You also get to decide the deadline for your outfit to be made. Plus, it will fit you perfectly as, after all, it is custom-made.

A tailor in Brazzaville | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip

It’s summer all year long

In Congo, gone are the days when you need to wear extra layers of clothes. The sun is here and it’s here to stay. Congo is located right on the equator, so it’s no wonder that this small central African country is full of tropical weather. In Congo there are only two seasons: hot and dry. The weather is always perfect for getting a good tan at the beach, or boat riding across the famous Congo river, or taking a bike ride either solo or with friends. What more could you want from the perfect vacation destination?

Children relaxing at the beach in pointe noire | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip

Learning to dance Ndombolo here is an experience

Ndombolo is a famous African dance from Congo, performed on the stage of famous Congolese musicians such as Koffi olomide, Papa Wemba or Fally Ipupa. If you don’t already know this heart-pumping dance then you might enjoy getting your groove on in one of the local pubs or shebeens in Brazzaville. Dancing is not only a good form of exercise, but it is also a great way to release stress. So, grab your dancing shoes and head to one of the local pubs to enjoy a refreshing beer, dance your heart out, and make friends with party lovers like yourself.

You can get your nails done anywhere

Don’t go to the spa, let the spa come to you. There’s no need to pay expensive amounts just to get a foot massage or get your nails done. In Brazzaville there are a number of street manicure specialists that offer to do people’s nails on the spot or at home, and they also offer foot massages. This is relaxing, therapeutic and extremely affordable unlike the price you would pay for a more formal spa treatment.

The Sapeurs’ fashion sense is off the scale

If you’re a fashion fanatic or you’re just simply fascinated by different cultures, then you might be interested in meeting Congolese Sapeurs. This fashion cult originates from the Republic of Congo. In fact, Sapeurs are known to be among the most stylish groups in African fashion culture. Coming to Brazzaville might be the perfect occasion to watch Sapeurs turn the streets of Brazzaville into a spectacular street fashion show. It is literally like watching the New York fashion week, African style.

A Sapeur mother and child in Brazzaville | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip

The local food is delicious

Apart from the heart-pumping dance moves and fashion frenzy cultures, Brazzaville is also the perfect place to fill your stomach with delicious local delicacies, such as grilled fish and fried plantains with a side of chilli, or a taste of local African donuts also known as ‘mikate‘ in Lingala. Whatever choice you make, local Congolese food in Brazzaville will leave you craving for more.

You can enjoy views of breathtaking nature

Congo is well known for its beautiful natural resources, gigantic rainforest and exotic beaches. If you’re a nature lover or adventure seeker, you will be thrilled to visit all the breathtaking and exotic landscapes and beaches such as the Diosso Gorge or Pointe Indienne – picture-perfect for those who love to create visual memories.

A lake in Pointe Noire | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip

The handmade souvenirs are unique

Brazzaville is filled with local handmade goods such as shoes, bags, sculptures and paintings that are perfect as a souvenir of true Congolese talent and culture. Tourists coming to Congo can purchase local paintings at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Poto Poto – one of Brazzaville’s most famous art schools, where many students sell their paintings – or purchase African-inspired bags and shoes at Poto Poto market.

Handmade liana basket | Victoire Douniama / © Culture Trip

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