When is the Best Time to Travel to the Republic of the Congo?
The Republic of Congo is in western Central Africa, and like many countries that straddle the Equator, it has two seasons, a wet season, and a dry season. In the northern part of the country, the dry season runs from November through March while the wet season runs from April through October. In the southern part of the country, the opposite occurs with the wet season running from November through March and the dry season running from April through October.
- Dry Season: We recommend visiting the Republic of the Congo during the dry season. So if you’re planning on visiting the northern part of the country, the optimal months to visit are December and January. If you’re planning on visiting the southern part of the country, June and July are very pleasant.
- Wet Season: Hot and humid best describes the climate during the rainy season. Roads can be inaccessible, so we don’t advise traveling during the wet season if it can be avoided.
Year round, temperatures range from 65°F to 87°F, and it’s especially humid during the wet season. As with many tropical places, cloud cover is common, but you can expect the sun to shine for at least a third of the day.
What to Pack for Your Trip to the Republic of the Congo
Less is often more when you’re packing for an adventure vacation in Africa that involves moving from camp to camp. However, here are a few essentials that you’ll want to make sure are in your bag.
1. Sun Protection
Due to the Republic of the Congo’s proximity to the Equator, you’ll be exposed to more sun radiation than normal. So we recommend packing SPF 30 or higher—especially if you’re more susceptible to sunburn. It’s also a great idea to bring a hat with a brim. Not only will it shade your face, but it will also come in handy if the humidity causes any bad hair days!
2. Headlamp and/or Flashlight
If you’re traveling in the Republic of the Congo, there’s a great chance that you’ll be spending a night or two at a camp or rustic lodge. Most accommodations in the rural parts run on generators and you can’t expect light to be as abundant as it is here in the U.S. In light of this (pun intended), we recommend packing a headlamp and or a small flashlight (don’t forget batteries)!
3. Long Sleeves and Pants
While being cold isn’t a common problem in the Republic of the Congo, you’ll definitely want at least one pair of long pants and a long-sleeved shirt (in addition to a light jacket!). Choose light colors, but not white, and aim for moisture-wicking fabrics. These items will protect your skin from the sun and any bugs that you may encounter. Plus they’ll come in handy on those early mornings and in the evenings.
Travel Tips for the Republic of the Congo
If you’re booked on our Gorilla Tracking in the Congo Tour, you’re in great hands when it comes to having the most amazing experience in the Republic of the Congo. That’s because our expert guides are in-the-know when it comes to this unique country and they have a wealth of knowledge. If you don’t have the luxury of traveling with them, below are a few pointers that we’re happy to pass on!
1. Listen When the Lights Go Out
If you’re in the rainforest, nighttime is a great chance to catch the sounds of the diurnal animals going to bed and the nocturnal animals waking up. If you have the chance, arrange for a guided night walk. You’ll see (and hear) some incredible, and elusive, species that you’d never be able to spot in the daylight!
2. Keep an Eye Out for the Mokele-Mbembe
The Republic of the Congo is most famous for its lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants (yes, forest elephants)! But don’t forget to keep an eye out for the legendary Mokele-Mbembe—the dinosaur that is rumored to live in the swamps along the Congo River. There have been no confirmed sightings; however, wouldn’t it be amazing if you caught the first on your camera?
3. Post Office Paintings
Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, is a fantastic place to find African artwork—especially paintings. One of the best places to browse, and buy, paintings by local artists is in front of the post office. Head there in the early afternoon for the best selection!