Pointe-Noire

Travel Guide Africa Republic of Congo Pointe-Noire

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Introduction

Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo, after capital of Brazzaville, and an autonomous department since 2004. It is situated on a headland between Pointe-Noire Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Pointe-Noire is the main commercial centre of the country and has a population of about 800,000, expanding to well over 1 million when the entire metropolitan area is taken into account.

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Sights and Activities

  • Diosso Gorge. Just outside Pointe Noire, there's the spectacular Diosso gorges. One can negotiate a taxi for the day to go there and forth. Local village boys have barred the route to the lookout point and ask about 2,000 XAF pp for entrance.
  • Mazra Club, Songolo. Seaside in the district of Songolo there is the Mazra Club, a beach club near a stretch of mangrove. The mangrove ecosystem, the seaside location and the different private "paillottes" make this a comfortable place to hang out. Local beer or "jus" costs you 1,000 XAF. Be sure to ask the cab driver if he knows the place, because it's rather hard to find.
  • Conkouati-Douli National Park. A five hour drive (in the dry season) North of Pointe Noire, near the Gabonese border is the vast and relatively scarcely visited national park of Conkouati-Douli. Elephants, gorillas and chimpanzees can be seen here. Be sure to strenuously ask your guide to do a tour of the Ngongo river as late as possible and to go down the river with the engine turned off to see elephants and gorillas.

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Weather

Pointe-Noire has a tropical climate with temperatures mostly between 20 °C and 25 °C at night and 25 °C to 30 °C during the day. June to September is the slightly cooler time and also the driest as there is virtually no rainfall at all, as opposed to 200mm or more per month from November till March.

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Getting There

By Plane

Pointe Noire is served by local carriers and international airlines such as Air France. The airport is not far from the town or beach hotels. A taxi will cost about CFA2,000 to the town.

By Train

The train is at the moment only running part of the way to Brazzaville, near Brazzaville the tracks where destroyed in 2017. The old colonial, and "Bavarian-inspired" railway terminus, Gare de Pointe-Noire, is located at the southern end of Avenue Carles de Gaulle.

By Car

Roads inside the town are in good condition. However, outside of the town they may be impassible to anything less than a 4 wheel drive vehicle. It is very safe to travel around with a taxi. Taxis in PNR are shared so if you are in a hurry tell him to take you straight where you want to go, and pay around 700-1000 XAF. If you take other people from the road you pay ~ 150-350 XAF, depending on the length. If you use a taxi more than 1 hour you will have to pay 3,000 XAF for that hour. Do not go outside of PNR without a known driver and a 4WD.

By Bus

Buses from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire (the road is very good in general), are leaving around 6:30am (Ocean du Nord and some other companies) and take 9.5 hours, 7,000 XAF,

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Getting Around

Shared taxis are reasonable and frequent. Most journeys around town will cost no more than CFA1000. It is OK to walk around the main parts of town.

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Eat

  • Citronnelle, Opposite Atlantic Palace Hotel. Typical French patisserie, which has some excellent patisseries, cakes and fresh orange juice
  • La Cite, Taxi will take you there. Typical Bakery that also serves Swarm, Sandwiches and Kebab, good prices, Swarm is around XAF 2000, try the Chocolate Bread (Pain de Chocloat) ~ 500 XAF.
  • Kactus, Charles de Gaulle crossing (Across from Congo Credit Bank), ☎ +242 22 294 5025, +242 05 564 5025. 10-22. Home delivery and also sit-in restaurant. Very good pizza and Hamburger. The fish burger (as of 03/14/2012) is particularly good with a thick chunk of fresh grilled fish topped with cheese, tomato slice and lettuce. Ordering at home will cost you extra 2000XAF for shipment, they work very fast in about 20 minutes you have it at your door.
  • Le Derrick, Port Side Beach. 11:30-15:00 / 19:00-22:00. Best place in town for eating, prices are very good about 5500XAF will give you the daily menu, It is mostly for Oil Industry People, but anyone can eat there. However, it does get crowded during meal times hence come early. Certainly a recommended place as of 03/14/2012.
  • Gaspar. Very good fish and chicken on a stick, French type on the sidewalk restaurant, very fresh and tasty food. Do not go to bathroom since it is dirty, chicken is clean.
  • Cercle Naval (ClubNautique) (near Artisan Market), ☎ +242 05 557 9998. noon-3:00pm, 6:00pm-10:30pm. Restaurant co-located with the Pointe Noire Yacht Club. Covered terrace overlooking the water. Most of the patrons are expatriates. Large selection of pizzas, also meat and fish dishes. Nice atmosphere. 7-9,000 CFA.

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Sleep

Hotel Palm Beach Congo, On the beach, ☎ +242 05 713 3333. Reasonably good hotel with pool. Right next to the beach. Rooms in the old block start at CFA80,000. nearly double that in the new block. WiFi is available in some areas - CFA2,000 per hour. CFA80,000.

  • Hotel Twiga, Ave Dr Jacques Bouity (Cote Sauvage beachfront), ☎ +242 6584747, +242 6574848. Beachfront hotel with popular bar-restaurant on ground-level with direct access to the beach. More formal restaurant on upper level. Large choice of pizza and pasta dishes as well as various fish and meat dishes. Extra charge for side dishes,such as vegetables (string beans), fried plantains or rice. Hotel rooms are comfortable, roughly equivalent to a two or three-star hotel in Europe. Free WI-FI internet access for hotel guests. Listening to the waves crashing on the beach is a real pleasure. It is also fun to watch the surfers from the beachfront terrace.
  • The SUECO guesthouse (formerly Swedish mission) is very reasonable, 10,000 CFA (2018) for a room with shared bathroom. There is a small reasonable restaurant as well, 2,000 CFA for a french breakfast. But no wifi. Ave Moé Telli between Ave Fayette Tchitembo and Ave Mpanzou close to the Casino supermarket.

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Work

There are a few junior mining companies setting up close to pointe noire with touching base with including Cominco Resources and Equatorial Resources. If you have the appropriate working visa these companies are worth touching base with.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Contributors

as well as UliS (4%)

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This is version 8. Last edited at 12:29 on May 7, 18 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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