Brazzaville overview

The 20th century page of Brazzaville’s history closed with a city brutalized by colonialism, plundered by politicians and destroyed in terrifying civil wars. It is however interesting how the city picked up its 21st century on a high note. It is so different now such that many visitors claim that Brazzaville is the most pleasant city in Central Africa. The Brazzaville we used to know is gone, what we have today is a classic central African city with streets which convey a sense of peace with most evidence of last century wars washed away by the city’s charm.

Brazzaville is located 350km from the mouth of the River Congo on the Northern end. Overlooking the city across the river on the southern bank is Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic republic of Congo.

Unlike some other capital cities, Brazzaville is low-key and unassuming. It was established in 1880 and named after Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza. Brazza is an Italian-French explorer who signed a treaty of protection with the local leader Makoko of the Teke, the said treaty brought the territory under French Empire and the French soon developed the city to rival Belgian-then-controlled Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).

An estimated 1.9 million people live in Brazzaville as of 2015. A majority of this population are (Roman-Catholic) Christians, while followers of other faiths, mainly Animism and Islam a well as other traditional religious, complete the figure.

The interesting thing about this city is its people’s character; Brazzaville is home to people who inspire hope through their courage, their determination, their enduring optimism, and their sense of fun.

Brazzaville is located south of the equator and experiences relatively consistent temperatures throughout the course of the year. The city features a tropical wet and dry climate that runs from October–May and June—September respectively.

This city is the capital and largest city in the Republic of Congo, providing financial and administrative live wire for the country.

must see in Brazzaville

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The 1997 civil war dealt some terrible blows to Brazzaville, but thankfully several attractions survived the onslaught and are well-worth seeing. Basilique Sainte Anne is the Catholic Archdiocese of the city and was visited by Pope John Paul II in the ‘90s. The national museum, Musée National du Congo is a custodian of the history of the city and country. A ‘Must See’ is Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Mémorial, the man whom the city is named after. Other attractions include the famous L’école de Peinture de Poto Poto, La Cathédrale Sacré-Cœur, La Palais du Peuple, and the market Marché Total.

Food and Drinks in Brazzaville

In the central African region, Congolese cuisine is one of the most diverse combining poultry, bush meat, seafood and a mixture of vegetables. Manioc, a type of cassava plant is a staple. Rice is popular, and so is bread. The national dish is known as Saka saka or Pondu. Made of ground cassava leaves, smoked fish, peanut butter, and palm oil; saka saka is enjoyed eaten with plantain, kwanga, or fufu and bush meat. Both kwanga and fufu are derived from cassava. Mossaka or Moambe Chicken is basically roast chicken cooked in a thick sauce made from palm nut juice, while Moukalou is fish broth mixed with peanut butter and coconut juice. Catfish (Maboké) stew is also popular and eaten with fufu, kwanga or plantain. There is what is commonly referred to as Nganda restaurants which is more like a midpoint between a bar and a restaurant. This local eating joints provides entertainment and does not discriminate along social strata. If you are skeptical about the local delicacies, there are a couple of continental restaurants in Brazza where you can easily get intercontinental dishes. Beer is the drink of Brazza and most Congo, and they come in different brands. Palm wine is common too. For the choice wines and spirits, several bars, restaurants and pubs have them in stock. You will also get good drinks at the hotels.

Top 3 things to do in Brazzaville

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