Image by Stuart Butler / Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine

Republic of Congo

A land of steamy jungles hiding half the world's lowland gorillas, masses of forest elephants, and hooting, swinging troops of chimpanzees, the Republic of Congo is on the cusp of becoming one of the finest ecotourism destinations in Africa.

Boasting three excellent and little-visited national parks where everything from luxurious safaris to bush camping is possible, the main attraction to this alluring slice of West Africa is the unbridled natural beauty. However, Congo-Brazzaville (as it's often called to distinguish it from the Democratic Republic of Congo, south of the Congo River) also enjoys a pleasantly laid-back capital city in Brazzaville, some decent beaches on its Atlantic coastline.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Republic of Congo.