Flights & getting there
Brazzaville is the biggest transport hub in Congo, and is an easy place to reach domestically by bus, plane and train.
There are multiple daily flights between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, as well as regular flights to Ouesso (CFA60,000, one hour, Monday and Wednesday) and Impfondo (CFA75,000, one hour, Monday and Friday) in northern Congo. Buy tickets at Maya-Maya Airport.
Connections between Brazzaville and Kinshasa (DRC) across the Congo River run from Brazzaville's port, a chaotic and unpleasant place from where multiple canots rapides (speedboats) zip across the water in around 10 minutes, after at least two hours of formalities on each side. The crossing itself costs CFA11,000 per person, but you'll need to spend at least CFA20,000 per person in total, including various fees and downright bribes demanded of you by immigration staff, customs officers and others. It's a good idea to engage one of the protocol guys who hang around outside the ticket office to supervise your passage – bring plenty of small bills and a good supply of patience. Boats run approximately hourly between 7am and 3pm Mon-Sat, and between 8am and midday on Sunday.
There are various bus stations in Brazza, some more official than others, and none particularly comfortable or well organised. The most reliable and comfortable buses are run by Océan du Nord, who have two main depots in the north of the city. For Ouesso (CFA20,000, 14 hours, Mon-Sat at 7am), Makoua (CFA10,000-12,000, 9 hours, Mon-Sat at 7am) and Etoumbi (CFA13,000, 11 hours, 7am Tue, Thu, Sat) head to Agence Océan du Nord on Ave Marien Ngouabi.
If you're heading to Pointe-Noire (CFA15,000, 10 hours) by bus, use the Agence Océan du Nord Mikalou depot. Buses leave daily except Sunday, hourly from 6am to 9am.
Tickets for all destinations can sell out, so buying a day or two in advance is not a bad idea, though not always necessary.
All other buses, trucks, and shared and private taxis to the north leave from Gare Routière Lycée Thomas Sankara further north on the Route Nationale 2. For transport to points west of Brazzaville, like Kinkala and Boko, go to Marché Boureau to pick up minibuses.
The Gazelle runs between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire (seat/sleeper CFA22,500/26,000) three times a week in each direction. It leaves Brazzaville's train station at 5.40pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and officially arrives in Pointe-Noire at 8am the next morning, though delays are very frequent. The return trip from Pointe-Noire departs at 10am Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The service is neither particularly comfortable nor fast, and flying or taking a bus is generally a better option.