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Getting There & Away

Pointe-Noire's brand new glass airport looks rather incongruous next to the muddy streets and makeshift houses that surround it. There are at least eight flights (CFA35,000 to CFA40,000, 45 mins) a day to Brazzaville with various airlines, as well as flights to Douala (Cameroon) and Paris.

The road from Brazza has now been upgraded and is good, though buses between the coast and capital (CFA15,000) still take around eight hours to do the journey. Océan du Nord, the best bus company, has six departures between 6.30am and 9am each day from its truly chaotic depot. Be there an hour before departure and buy your ticket the day before if possible.

The third option is the revamped railway to the capital. Smart Chinese-built trains (sleeper/first/second class CFA26,000/22,000/14,300) clatter to Brazza at 10am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Pointe-Noire's train station. The trip takes 14 hours, though delays are common.