Overland Congo Travel
West Africa > Congo
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Congo
- 2 Entering Congo with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Congo
- 4 Gas price in Congo and Diesel price in Congo
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Congo
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Congo
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
The Republic of Congo is a beautiful country that is more developed than most people assume. Pointe Noire and Brazzaville are bustling, modern cities. The jungle to the North offers amazing wildlife viewing opportunities.
Entering Congo with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: April 2017
Travel Visa for Congo
The travel visa for Rep. Congo is easy to get, with virtually everyone who travels South getting it in Lomé, Togo. A one months visa costs CFA60,000.00 XOF and will be issued by the friendly embassy staff while you wait.
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
(no copies are required)
Process at border
- Get yourself stamped in at Immigration.
- Go to Douane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out a Passavant, valid for one month.
- If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.
Cost of entry
Entry with a Carnet de Passage is free, the passavant costs CFA10,000.00 XOF
Permitted length of stay
With a Passavant it is one month.
Extension of stay
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
- Get your Carnet de Passage stamped out if you have one.
All should be free, do not pay for this.
Driving in Congo
Recommended books for Overlanding in Congo
Travel insurance for Congo
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance does not seem to be required, Police never seem to ask for it for people just transiting through, though you might want to have something to show anyone looking for a bribe.
Cost of vehicle insurance
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Unknown within Congo
Anything from your home country will be accepted.
Driving side of road
RHD vehicles are allowed without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher.
General Road quality
Congo has a mix of excellent tarmac and horribly potholed roads. The North/South highway is excellent pavement for the entire length of the country. The major new freeway from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire is excellent 4 lane highway the entire way. Dirt roads are often pot holed and muddy.
Limited road signs, some do exist but not always obvious. Those that do exist are not always good quality.
The new freeway in Congo has toll booths, though they were not open at the time of my visit.
Bribery in Congo
Bribery is common, you should expect officers at checkpoints to either directly ask for money or a gift. Maybe they will invent a story about why you must pay. Be polite, and don’t pay
See the bribery tips page for general advice.
There are many checkpoints and random stops where Police, Military and Customs will check all your paperwork. Don't pay. Stay friendly and polite. Never use your mobile phone or camera at check points.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas price in Congo and Diesel price in Congo
Last updated: April 2017
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||FCFA595.00 XAF per Liter|
|Diesel||FCFA475.00 XAF per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
All towns have stations, though Congo is famous for shortages. There is only one refinery that is sometimes turned off, leading to massive shortages, especially in Brazzaville.
Fill up whenever possible.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Likely not good - both have dirt and/or water, diesel is likely extremely high sulphur content.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is not recommended out of towns and cities due to poor lighting, poor road conditions and increased police checks after 6pm in the evening. There can also be armed robbery on the roads in remote places and some even place bogus road blocks. Also watch out for cars without lights, animals, people and everything else you can imagine on the roads.
Vehicles can be parked on the streets and usually are safe. At night try to park in compounds or other known safe zones
Special driving considerations
Road blocks for police which can be twigs or trees also used for vehicles that are broken down. Drivers don't always drive smoothly and can pull out it is usual to horn before and whilst overtaking. Likewise when approaching a junction to alert people of your present. Pedestrians jaywalk so again use the horn and drive with care. Animals such as cows and goats can be in the road. Watch for people and children. People tend to dress in dark clothing and lighting may be poor so watch out at night.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Congo - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Congo
Camping is not common in Congo, though it can be done in the right places.
Wildcamping is possible, though it's difficult to get away from people. See places in iOverlander for the few that exist.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
It's not recommended to drink tap water - filter it or buy bottles.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Congo
GPS Maps of Congo
- Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
- Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Congo
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Special Overland Travel interests
- There are quite a few great spots listed in iOverlander - check there.
- Hippocampe in Brazzaville is a long-time famous Overlander hangout on the West Coast.
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Congo
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.