You will be required to fill out an arrivals form and present your yellow fever vaccination certificate and visa at the Congolese border. In general the process is straight forward, but this can vary enormously – shakedowns are not uncommon, but can usually be overcome by politeness and patience as long as your paperwork is in order.

Customs Regulations

All luggage is scanned on arrival in Congo, though otherwise customs are not particularly thorough and no listing of valuables is necessary. There are no unusual restrictions on the import or export of goods.

Visas

All visitors to Congo need a visa, and you need to obtain one before travelling, either from home or a neighbouring country. This is a relatively straightforward process – you'll simply need to make a hotel reservation in Congo and ask the hotel to confirm the booking in writing. Some embassies also require a return air ticket – returning from another country in Africa should also be no problem. A one-month tourist visa averages around US$100.

Visas for Onward Travel

Angola Visas are only issued to residents of Congo. Travellers will need to post their passport back home and obtain a visa there. Transit visas are equally problematic.

Cameroon Three-month, single-entry tourist visas cost CFA76,000, and require two photos, a photocopy of your passport and a hotel reservation. Processing takes 48 hours. Transit visas are the same price.

Central African Republic One-month, single-entry visas require two photos, a photocopy of your passport, hotel reservation or a letter of invitation, and cost CFA30,000. Processing takes 72 hours.

Democratic Republic of Congo The DRC has a strict policy of only issuing visas to travellers in their country of residence.

Gabon Visas valid for a month cost CFA35,000. Bring a hotel reservation, a photocopy of your passport and two photos. Processing takes one day.