Amazon River Cruise vs Congo River Cruise

Amazon river cruise

Amazon River Cruise vs Congo River Cruise

Is it better to take a cruise on the Amazon River or on the Congo River? This question generates many discussions among travelers seeking adventure and exploring new horizons. Both rivers offer different experiences, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll look at the most important aspects of each of these rivers to help you make an informed decision on where to take your next cruise.

The Amazon River

The Amazon River is the largest river in the world in terms of flow and catchment area. It stretches over 6,400 kilometers across nine South American countries, from Colombia to Peru and Brazil. A cruise on the Amazon River is an unforgettable experience for nature lovers. You will be able to discover breathtaking landscapes, indigenous communities, as well as unique fauna and flora.

Benefits of an Amazon River Cruise


The main advantage of a cruise on the Amazon River is the variety of experiences offered. You will be able to observe a wide variety of plants and animals, some of which are found nowhere else on the planet. The river is also bordered by tropical forests, waterfalls and spectacular landscapes. Travelers can also visit indigenous communities and learn about their culture and way of life. Finally, a cruise on the Amazon River is often considered a unique experience, offering a complete immersion in nature.

The Amazon is known to be one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, home to a multitude of animal and plant species. The large fauna of the Amazon is particularly fascinating, with emblematic animals such as the jaguar, the tapir, the caiman and the anaconda.

What animals can be observed in the Amazon?


The jaguar is the largest feline in the Americas and one of the most fearsome predators in the Amazon. These large cats have spotted fur that allows them to camouflage themselves in the dense forest, and they can reach a length of over two meters. Jaguars feed primarily on prey like deer, monkeys, and capybaras, and have also been known to swim in rivers to catch fish.

The tapir is a herbivorous mammal that looks like a big pig with a trunk. These peaceful animals feed mainly on plants and fruits, and are often found near rivers and lakes in the region. Tapirs are important to the Amazon rainforest because they help disperse the seeds of the plants they eat, which helps maintain species diversity in the region.

The caiman is a predatory reptile that resembles a smaller crocodile. These animals are abundant in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon, where they hunt prey such as fish, frogs and birds. Caimans are also important to the ecosystem of the region, as they play a role in regulating the populations of certain species.

The anaconda is the largest snake in the world, reaching a length of over nine meters. These reptiles feed primarily on prey such as fish, birds, and mammals, and are often found near rivers and marshes in the region. Anacondas are fearsome predators that can choke their prey before eating it whole.

In addition to these emblematic animals, the Amazon is also home to a wide variety of other species of large fauna, such as monkeys, parrots, toucans and freshwater dolphins. Monkeys are particularly abundant in the area, with over 100 different species ranging from small tamarins to larger, noisier howler monkeys.


Disadvantages of an Amazon River Cruise

Although Amazon River cruises are an amazing experience, they can also have some downsides. The climate is very hot and humid, with abundant rains during certain periods of the year. Mosquitoes are also very present, which can make the trip uncomfortable. The more remote areas of the river can be difficult to access and accessible areas have become major tourist routes. Finally, the risks of tropical diseases are higher in this region.

The Congo River


The Congo River is the second largest river in Africa, after the Nile. It stretches over 4,700 kilometers across six Central African countries, from Uganda to the Atlantic Ocean. A cruise on the Congo River is an exciting adventure for wildlife and nature lovers. The river is bordered by tropical forests, rapids and spectacular waterfalls.

Benefits of a Congo River Cruise


One of the most obvious benefits of a Congo River cruise is the chance to experience a part of Africa that is still relatively unexplored by tourists. Cruises allow travelers to see beautiful and diverse landscapes, wild animals in their natural habitat, and meet local communities. The experienced guides who accompany the cruises can also provide valuable information about the culture, history and traditions of the region.

Another advantage of a Congo River cruise is the comfort and conveniences offered onboard the ships. Most cruises offer comfortable cabins, delicious meals and a variety of activities for passengers. The ships are equipped with all modern conveniences, such as air conditioning and internet access, which makes the journey more pleasant for travelers.

The great diversity of Congo's fauna


The Congo is a Central African country that is home to an incredibly diverse wildlife, ranging from large mammals to colorful birds to towering reptiles. The large fauna of the Congo is fascinating and offers a unique experience for wildlife enthusiasts.

Gorillas are arguably Congo’s most iconic animals. The country is home to around 60% of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, an endangered species. These large primates live in the mountains of eastern Congo and are protected by national parks such as Virunga National Park. Western lowland gorillas, another gorilla subspecies, also live in the dense forest of the Congo.

Forest elephants are another important species of Congo’s large fauna. These smaller elephants than their African savannah cousins are mainly found in the dense forest of central Africa, including areas of the Congo. Forest elephants are of significant ecological importance as they help maintain the ecosystem by dispersing the seeds of the trees they consume.

The chimpanzee is also present in the country. These great apes are closely related to humans and are known for their intelligence and complex social behavior. Chimpanzees are protected by nature reserves such as the Lomako-Yokokala Wildlife Reserve.

The lion is also present in some areas of Congo, although their population is in decline. Lions are iconic savannah predators, but they can also be found in Congo’s open forests.

Crocodiles and pythons are examples of Congo’s large fauna that are not necessarily popular among visitors, but are part of the ecosystem. Crocodiles are aquatic predators known for their strength and aggressiveness, while pythons are non-venomous snakes that can grow to impressive lengths.

Birds are also an important part of Congo’s fauna, with over 1,000 species recorded in the country. Congo peacocks, also known as Afro peacocks, are an example of fascinating birds that can be found in the region. These colorful birds have brilliant feathers and spectacular courtship dances.

Disadvantages of Traveling to Congo

However, there are also downsides to consider before going on a Congo River cruise. Congo River cruises can be quite expensive due to the remoteness of the region and high operating costs. Travelers should be prepared to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime experience and plan for additional costs for activities, excursions, and gratuities.
Finally, it is important to take into account the weather conditions before leaving for a cruise on the Congo River. The region experiences both rainy and dry seasons, which can affect river water levels and ship navigability. Travelers should also be prepared for high temperatures and humidity throughout their trip.

A cruise in the Congo: an undeniably unique experience.

A cruise on the Congo River is certainly one of the most mysterious trips offered today. It is a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking to discover a little-explored part of Africa. It is the experience of a life in a virgin nature, populated by wild animals while traveling in great comfort. To find out more, discover the safari cruise in the Congo by Expéditions Ducret.


Safari Congo

What to see on a Congo safari ?

The Republic of Congo is a fascinating African destination for safari enthusiasts.

A very safe and very wild country, which for a long time remained far from the tourist routes, it is now opening up in part thanks to the travel possibilities offered by Ducret Expeditions, the first Congolese tour operator to offer safari cruises on the Congo and Sangha rivers in the heart of rainforest.

What animals to observe during a Congo safari cruise ?

Lowland gorillas: The Nouabalé Ndoki National Park, located in the north of the Republic of Congo, is one of the few places in the world where lowland gorillas can be observed in their natural habitat. The lowland gorilla is an endangered species.

Hippopotamuses: Hippopotamuses are fascinating animals to observe during a safari. They spend most of their time in water and are known for their aggressive behavior towards humans. The Congo River is one of the best places to observe these giant animals. Visitors can take boat safaris to get up close to hippos in their natural habitat.

Forest elephants: Nouabalé Ndoki National Park is a paradise for forest elephants. Visitors can watch these majestic animals move in herds through the dense, humid forest. Local guides will share their knowledge of elephant behavior and conservation efforts to protect these endangered animals.

Birds: The Congo is an amazing place for birdwatching. The country is home to over 1000 species of birds, some of which are endemic to the region. Visitors can observe a variety of birds such as hornbills, parrots, eagles, ibises, flamingos and many more.


Nouabalé Ndoki National Park: a safari away from the crowds

Nouabalé Ndoki National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Central Africa, located in northern Congo. With an area of more than 4,000 km², the park is home to a great diversity of animal and plant species. The park is considered one of the most remarkable places in the world for the study of great apes, in particular the western lowland gorillas.

The park was established in 1993 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. The park is divided into three main areas: the Kouyou basin, the Sangha basin, and the transition zone. Each area is home to a variety of unique animal and plant species. It is a wonderful place to go on a safari away from the crowds in a very preserved territory.

It is home to many primates, including western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, mandrills and colobus monkeys. Western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species, with an estimated population of less than 5,000 individuals. The park is therefore of great importance for the conservation of this species.

The Nouabalé Ndoki gorillas have been studied for over 25 years. Researchers have studied their social behavior, reproduction, diet and habitat. The information collected has led to a better understanding of the biology and ecology of this critically endangered species.

Nouabalé Ndoki is also home to a wide variety of birds including parrots, hornbills, eagles and vultures that can be seen on Congo Safari. The park’s wetlands are also an important habitat for many species of fish and reptiles, including crocodiles.

The park is also known for its spectacular landscapes, with a wide variety of forest types including transitional forest, lowland forest, and montane forest. Visitors can also observe many species of plants, including orchids and lianas.

It offers eco-tourism opportunities for visitors looking to explore nature while preserving the environment. Congo Safaris are guided and visitors can observe gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants and other species in their natural habitat.

Nouabalé Ndoki National Park also offers research opportunities for scientists interested in the biology and ecology of gorillas and other species. Researchers can work with local rangers to collect data and conduct studies on the park’s biodiversity.

Nouabalé Ndoki in Congo is an important conservation location for western lowland gorillas and other critically endangered species. The park is an example of how nature conservation can be combined with ecological tourism and scientific research. Visitors can see rare species.

What to see during a Congo safari in Nouabalé Ndoki National Park?

It is inhabited by a wide variety of animal species, some of which are threatened with extinction. Among the animals that can be seen in the park are lowland gorillas, forest elephants, chimpanzees, leopards, pangolins, crocodiles, monkeys and rare birds.

The best way to explore the park is on a guided safari. The safaris are organized by experienced guides who are familiar with the fauna and flora of the park, and who can provide interesting information on the different animal and plant species.

Boat safaris are particularly popular, as they offer great views of the rainforest and allow visitors to see animals from a different vantage point. Crocodiles and hippos are often seen in the rivers and swamps, and monkeys and birds can be seen in the trees along the banks. Find our Safari itinerary here.

Walking safaris are also very popular, as they offer a more immersive experience of the rainforest. Guides can lead visitors through hidden trails in the forest, where they can observe animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants. Walking safaris require good physical condition and visitors should follow safety guidelines to avoid dangerous encounters with wild animals.

The Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park is an essential destination for nature and adventure lovers. Guided game drives offer a unique experience to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, and the park’s conservation efforts ensure that these species will be preserved for future generations. Visitors should, however, be aware of potential dangers and follow safety guidelines to fully enjoy their experience in the park.

Western lowland gorillas: an astonishing encounter during a Congo safari

Lowland gorillas are a species of primate that lives in central Africa, in dense and humid forests. They are considered one of the most impressive and powerful great apes on the planet, with amazing muscular strength.

Lowland gorillas can weigh up to 200 kilos and stand up to 1.8 meters in height. They have very long arms and powerful hands, with prehensile fingers that allow them to climb trees with surprising ease. Their fur is thick and dense, black or gray in color.

These gorillas are primarily herbivorous, feeding on leaves, stems, fruits, and berries. They spend most of their time foraging, traveling great distances each day to find sufficient food sources.

Lowland gorillas are divided into two subspecies: eastern gorillas and western gorillas. Eastern gorillas are the most widespread, with an estimated population of around 5,000 individuals. Western gorillas, on the other hand, are critically endangered, with an estimated population of less than 5,000 individuals.

Lowland gorillas are very social animals, living in family groups led by a dominant male called the “silverback”. Groups can have up to 30 members, including females, young, and subordinate males. The groups move together in the forest, feeding and resting together.

Communication in lowland gorillas is very important, with a variety of sounds and gestures used to communicate information. Gorillas can growl, roar, scream and cough to communicate with other members of their group.

Lowland gorillas are threatened by hunting and loss of their natural habitat. Conservation efforts have been put in place to protect these gorillas, notably through the creation of nature reserves and raising public awareness of their precarious situation.

During Ducret Expeditions safari cruises in the Congo, it is possible to observe habituated gorillas which are followed by scientists. At less than ten meters, we can really realize the strength of these animals

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Ethnie du congo croisière

The ethnic groups of the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of Congo is a country in Central Africa with an estimated population of around 5 million. The country is populated by several different ethnic groups, each with their own cultural and linguistic traditions.

The Bantu

The Bantu are the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Congo, making up around 50% of the population. They are native to Central Africa and have migrated to the region over the past centuries. The Bantu are divided into several sub-groups including the Kongo, Teke, Mbochi, Kouyou, Mboshi and Bembe.

The Kongos

The Kongo are a sub-group of the Bantu and originate from the northwest of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their rich artistic culture, including woodcarving and traditional music. The Kikongo language is spoken by the Kongo.

The Teke

The Teke are a sub-group of the Bantu and originate from the center of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their blacksmithing, woodcarving and traditional music. The Teke speak the Teke language.

The Mbochi

The Mbochi are a subgroup of the Bantu and originate from the center of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their agriculture and their work on the land. The Mbochi language is spoken by the Mbochi people.

The Kouyou

The Kouyou are a sub-group of the Bantu and originate from the north of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their blacksmithing and traditional music. The Kouyou language is spoken by the Kouyou.

The Mboshi

The Mboshi are a subgroup of the Bantus and originate from the center of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their art, woodcarving and traditional music. The Mboshi language is spoken by the Mboshi.

The Bembe

The Bembe are a sub-group of the Bantu and originate from the south-west of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their iron work and traditional music. The Bembe language is spoken by the Bembe.

The Bantu of the Republic of Congo: A rich culture inherited from ancestors

The Bantu are an ethnic group originating from Central Africa, present in several countries of the region, including the Republic of Congo. Their culture, deeply rooted in ancestral traditions, is remarkable for its richness and diversity.

The Bantus of the Republic of Congo are one of the largest ethnic groups in the country. They represent almost 48% of the Congolese population and are spread throughout the country. The Bantu have a rich and diverse culture that is shaped by their history, traditions and natural environment.

Origins and history of the ethnic groups

The Bantu originated in the Nigeria-Cameroon region, from where they migrated to central and southern Africa around 2000 years ago. Successive migrations led to the formation of different tribes and sub-groups, each with their own customs, languages and traditions.

The Bantu people of the Republic of Congo have faced many challenges throughout their history, including European colonization, civil war, and poverty. Despite this, the Bantu have been able to preserve their culture and traditions, which are reflected in their language, music, dance, crafts and cuisine.

Bantu society is based on community values, where solidarity and mutual aid are very important. The family is also at the center of social life, with a patriarchal organization. The Bantu also have great esteem for the elders, who are considered sages and holders of the collective memory.

Culture and traditions of the ethnic groups of Congo

Bantu culture is rich and diverse, with unique traditional dances, music, art and customs. The Bantu also practice traditional religious beliefs, which are often associated with nature and ancestors.

Bantu cuisine is based on staple foods such as cassava, maize, rice, and vegetables, as well as meat, fish, and fruits. Traditional dishes include fufu, a dish made from cassava or plantain, served with a soup or sauce.

Family is very important to the Bantu, with a strong family unit and an emphasis on ancestors. Marriages are often arranged and funerals are important events, with traditional ceremonies involving family and community.


Bantu music and dance

Bantu music and dance are very varied, with great emphasis on rhythms and melodies. Traditional instruments include guitar, tam-tam, balafon, xylophone, drum and horn. Bantu dances are often collective celebrations, which accompany important social events such as weddings, funerals or religious ceremonies.

Bantu craftsmanship

Bantu craftsmanship is rich and diversified, with know-how transmitted from generation to generation. The Bantu are famous for their woodcarving, which often depicts human or animal figures, as well as for their pottery and weaving. They also produce decorative items such as wicker baskets and beaded jewelry

Modern challenges of ethnic groups of Congo

Despite their rich culture and history, the Bantu people of the Republic of Congo face many modern challenges, such as poverty, limited access to education and health care. However, the Bantu continue to adapt and resist these challenges, preserving their culture and traditions while seeking to improve their quality of life.

Indigenous peoples (pygmies)

The Pygmies called indigenous peoples are a minority ethnic group in the Republic of Congo, representing about 1% of the population. They are considered the original inhabitants of the region and have a unique and distinct culture. The Pygmies are divided into several subgroups, including the Aka, the Baka and the Twa. In this article, we will focus on the indigenous peoples of the Republic of Congo.

The Aka are a sub-group of Pygmies originating from the equatorial forest of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their traditional music, including their polyphonic singing. The Aka language is spoken by the Aka.

The Baka are a subgroup of the Pygmies or indigenous peoples and originate from the equatorial forest of the Republic of Congo. They are known for their knowledge of the forest and their traditional way of life in harmony with nature.

The Pygmies of the Republic of Congo are mainly hunter-gatherers. They use hunting and gathering techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. They also have a deep knowledge of the plants and animals of the forest, which they use for food, healing and making tools.

Social relations in pygmy communities

The Pygmies of the Republic of Congo live in close-knit communities, where cooperation and solidarity are essential values. Decisions are made collectively and conflicts are resolved through discussion and mediation. Dance and music play an important role in their social life, with songs and dances telling the story of their people.

Pygmies and modernity

However, the traditional way of life of the Pygmies is threatened by the modernization and expansion of agriculture and forestry. In addition, access to education, health care or even the possibility of obtaining papers is often limited, which aggravates their marginalization. The Pygmies of the Republic of Congo face many challenges. Conservation initiatives have been put in place to protect their way of life and their environment, but these efforts need to be strengthened and supported by more comprehensive government policy. Pygmies must also have access to education, health and other social services to ensure their well-being and survival as a people.

Meet the ethnic groups of Congo on safari cruises

The safari cruise is a unique way to go where no one can go and meet the people who live there. As we land in the villages on the banks of the Congo and Sangha rivers, we will meet the many ethnic groups of the Congo, all of whom have cultural singularities that are still well preserved. Join our expeditions now!