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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the minimum age for taking part in the Congo cruise ?
The cruise is accessible from the age of 15, the minimum age required for tracking gorillas.
What's the weather like in Congo ?
The climate is equatorial in the center and north, which means it's hot and humid. The Congo has an average temperature of 26°C, with little thermal variation, fluctuating from 2°C to 5°C. In the Sangha region, during the cruising months, rainfall is regular.
What type of clothing and equipment is recommended ?
For a safari cruise in Central Africa, we recommend bringing lightweight, breathable clothing that can withstand hiking and that can cover parts of the body likely to be exposed during treks and excursions. We recommend long-sleeved, quick-drying shirts and long, quick-drying pants (ideally in nature's colors), closed, lightweight, quick-drying walking shoes or old sports shoes, a light fleece or sweater for cooler evenings and for morning or river activities, a light raincoat, sun hat, swimsuit, casual wear and comfortable shoes for relaxing on board. You can also bring a pair of binoculars, a torch or flashlight and a minimum 200mm camera. We provide rubber boots and ponchos on board.
Are there lots of insects, mosquitoes and spiders ?

The Congo Basin is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including insects. Biting insects can be vectors of infectious diseases. It is therefore essential to keep your vaccinations up to date before departure, and to apply individual and collective precautionary measures on site to protect yourself from possible bites : mosquito repellent, mosquito nets, covering clothing, etc. Malaria is present in the Congo. We advise you to protect yourself against malaria at the end of the day by wearing long, loose-fitting clothing and using insect repellent (insect repellent containing DEET is recommended in the Congo Basin). We advise you to consult your general practitioner before departure.

What's the best time of year to visit the Congo ?

The climate is equatorial in the areas we pass through on our cruise. The Sangha territory is watered all year round. So every month is a good time to travel to the Congo. The driest period is from June to August, and the wettest from September to November.

What is the time zone in Congo Brazzaville ?

The time zone for Congo Brazzaville is UTC+1. This is the same time zone as in Europe.

What are the additional costs ?
Airline tickets, visas and administrative formalities prior to the trip are at the discretion and expense of the traveler. The same applies to your consumption outside the boat : food, drinks, tips, cabs, souvenirs, etc.
What happens on arrival in Congo ?
When you disembark at Brazzaville's Maya-Maya international airport, you will first undergo a health check to verify the validity of your vaccination certificate. Then you'll have to go through immigration, where you'll present your passport and visa. Finally, you'll collect your luggage. A member of our team will be on hand to welcome you.

ON THE BOAT - Service

What services are included in the cruise price ?
All services detailed in the Safari cruise itinerary are included, as are all meals. A bar is available on board. Please not that there is an additional charge for bar service.
Does the catering service include menus suitable for vegetarians or vegans, and pay attention to food intolerances and allergies ?
Our catering service promises a culinary experience blending the subtleties of African and European flavors with local produce and fine wine. The menu has been developed with a French chef, awarded a Michelin star in 2021. If you have a special diet, our team will do its best to accommodate it. However, if you suffer from a particular allergy, be sure to let our crew know a few weeks before the cruise, as menus are prepared in advance. It is also possible to find traces of nuts in some of our dishes.
Are there any activities on board ? What are they ?

Our ship offers several relaxation areas. In addition, during our safari cruises, you can attend a variety of lectures given by our guides. Excursions include a wide range of activities.

Can I smoke or vaporize on board ?

Yes, the ship is equipped with outdoor smoking areas.

Does the boat have a Wi-Fi connection ?

Network and Internet coverage varies greatly from region to region in Congo Brazzaville. Given the remoteness and isolation of our safari cruise route, coverage is even more limited. You can only access mobile networks in areas covered by the telecom operators' network. That is, for the first 3-4 days of the trip and the last 3-4. The boat is equipped with a router. If absolutely necessary, it is possible to connect via satellite phone at an additional cost. We will inform you of the charges in advance of your communications, which you can pay on board.

Are there any additional expenses during the cruise (restaurant, bar, etc.) ?

Alcohol during meals is included in the cruise price up to a certain limit. A bar is available to cruise passengers, where alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are sold. However, these are not included in the cost of the trip, and are therefore at the passenger's expense.

ON THE BOAT - Logistic

What is the maximum volume of baggage I can bring ?

The maximum weight of baggage is limited to 20kg per person, which corresponds to the weight limit on domestic flights. That's why we ask you to report excess baggage in advance. Please use soft bags to facilitate transport and storage during the cruise.

Can I wash my laundry on board ?

Yes, our ship is equipped with a laundry service for a fee.

Are we taken care of on arrival at the airport, or do we have to make our own way to the boat ?

When you arrive at the airport, a member of our team will be on hand to welcome you and take you to the boat.

What language is spoken in Congo ? In what languages is the cruise conducted ? Is there an interpreter with us ?

French is the official language of Congo Brazzaville, but there are two recognized national languages : Lingala and Kituba. The expedition is conducted in English, French or German, with interpreters and guides accompanying you throughout the cruise.

What souvenirs can you buy in Congo Brazzaville ?

At the Plateau market in Brazzaville, you can buy local handicrafts in wood, raffia and metal.

For antique statuettes, travelers are required to pay duties on the purchase of antiques or traditional objects. Proof that these duties have been paid is systematically required on departure. The purchase of ivory is prohibited.

What are the typical Congolese dishes ?

Among the best-known traditional Congolese dishes are Saka-saka (or pondu) ; Mossaka (Moambe-style chicken) ; Madesu (bean dish) ; Fumbwa; Groundnut chicken ; Liboké ; Moukalou ; Makayabu.

Do I need to learn a few basic phrases in the local languages ?

You are free to learn a few basic phrases or words in the local languages, but interpreters and guides are on hand.

Here's a link to Lingala : 

ON THE BOAT - Cruise

Are there any stopovers during the cruise, and for how long ?

Stopovers are scheduled every day during the safari cruise in Central Africa, and vary in length from a few hours to a full day.

Do we sail at night or are we moored ?

It may happen that the boat sails at night during the expedition.

Are the engines noisy ?

The boat is powered by two new-generation 380 HP Caterpillar engines, reducing noise and fuel consumption.

For which level are the excursions planned ?

The boat has three motorboats for excursions. The group can be divided into smaller groups according to each person's level.

ON THE BOAT - Cabins

What are the suites like ?

Passengers are accommodated in 14 cabins on three decks. Ranging from 18 to 35 m², room sizes vary according to price. Cabin views and layout also vary according to the suite's location on the ship. Each cabin has windows to the outside, and a seating area on the gateway.

What about the water ? Is it safe to drink or shower on board ?

The boat has a water filtering station used for the boat's water needs. Drinking water is available from water fountains throughout the boat. Plastic bottles are not issued on board. We invite passengers to use reusable containers for excursions.

Are the cabins equipped in the same way ? How are they allocated ?

Suites are not equipped in the same way, depending on their location. Moreover, each suite has a different layout, depending on the price.

Do each cabin have its own private bathroom ?

Yes, each cabin has its own private bathroom. All bathrooms are equipped in the same way.

What plug sockets do the cabins have ?

The cabins are equipped with 220V European plugs.

Is the boat equipped with air conditioning ?

Yes, for maximum comfort, the ship is equipped with air conditioners and fans.

Is the boat equipped with mosquito nets ?

Yes, to avoid discomfort caused by insects, our boat is equipped with mosquito nets.


Is the excursion program flexible, or do I have to strictly follow it ?

The program of our safari cruise in Central Africa includes daily disembarkations, various activities (trekking, kayaking) and community activities. Both the itinerary and the program may be subject to slight changes depending on the weather. You will be accompanied by naturalist guides throughout the trip. Our small-group expeditions enable us to offer you a personalized and flexible experience. We try to adapt our activities as closely as possible to our passengers' expectations. Our guides try to find activities that suit everyone.

If I don't want to take part in some of the activities on the expedition program, is there anything else I can do ? Can I do them on my own ?

If you don't want to or can't take part in any of the excursions, you can take advantage of the relaxation areas provided on the ship.

However, when hiking, you should never stray far from the group, especially in the forest.

Do I need to be in good physical condition for shore excursions, and are some more difficult than others ?

You need to be in great shape, to be able to move around easily, to switch from boat to light craft, and to walk properly. But it's not physical. In the forest, the temperature is around 28°C, and the atmosphere is humid.

What level of trekking is recommended ? How long do they last on average ?

Excursions often last 2 to 3 hours in small boats. In Nouabalé Ndoki Park, excursions can last up to 5 consecutive hours when we go gorilla watching or elephant watching in the Baïs.

In which hotel will we be staying for the safari cruises : the great descent of the Congo and Sangha rivers, from Ouesso to Brazzaville ?

You'll be staying at the Radisson Blu hotel on the banks of the Congo River.

What are the scheduled stopovers ? Are there any changes to the program before departure ? Do all cruises follow the same schedule ?

Depending on the itinerary you choose and the number of days, safari cruises in Central Africa do not follow the same program.

Itineraries may be subject to change due to weather conditions, low water levels, administrative constraints or access restrictions imposed by the state or national parks. Consequently, sailing times and excursions may be modified at the captain's discretion. Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to travel plans. If necessary, an alternative itinerary will be proposed after consultation between the ship's captain and the company's management.

What is a typical forest excursion like ?

Excursions into the forest are conducted in small groups, to ensure maximum discretion. We leave the boat aboard the 3 boats, which drop us off on the shore. Each group is accompanied by a guide and is made up of 8 to 9 people. Forest excursions generally last 2 hours, but it is possible to adapt the routes and durations with our guides according to individual preferences and physical abilities.

Will we be able to meet the Pygmies or indigenous people during the trip ?

Yes, during the trip, we propose community activities to discover the richness and knowledge of the lake peoples, including the indigenous populations. In particular, we work with two villages with whom we have set up sustainable activities that directly benefit them. We are particularly committed to the development of tourism that respects the environment and local populations, and enables the maintenance of cultures, the uniqueness of peoples and the preservation of nature. Tourism is an effective alternative to the bushmeat trade.

What level do you recommend for kayaking ? Are beginners accepted ?

The kayaks are designed for 2 people and are very stable. It's accessible to beginners with a good sense of balance and not excessively overweight.

Is there a risk of seasickness during the cruise ?

No, the Sangha and Congo rivers are calm and the size of the boat guarantees great stability, so there's very little chance of you experiencing symptoms of seasickness during the safari cruise in Central Africa.

How deep is the river, will we be able to swim in it, and do we need to know how to swim ?

There is a high river flow, so swimming is not recommended. However, in the calmer tributaries, bathing is possible for those who wish to do so. We strongly recommend that you know how to swim.

Do I need another visa for 15-night or 6-night cruises ?

If you are taking part in a safari cruise that includes Bonobo tracking in the Democratic Republic of Congo, you will need a multiple-entry visa to enter Congo Brazzaville. In addition, you'll need a visa to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For 15-day cruises, including an excursion to the Dzanga-Sangha Park in the Central African Republic and the Lobéké Park in Cameroon, you won't need any additional visas. We'll take care of obtaining passes for you.

Is it dangerous to travel to the DRC to track Bonobos ?

Travelling to the western part of the DRC is not dangerous, as the unstable zones are far away. It's not risky to go to the Central African Republic and Cameroon, as we stay within the Sangha tri-national site for which we have entry passes, and these regions are a long way from troubled areas.

How much time do we spend in the DRC on 15- or 6-night cruises ?

We spend one day in the DRC, arriving early in the morning and returning to the ship in the late afternoon.


What are the essentials for a safari cruise in the Congo Basin ?

To set off on a safari cruise in Central Africa, you need a passport, a valid visa, health and repatriation insurance and a Yellow fever vaccination certificate. You need suitable equipment (clothing and protective gear). Proof of vaccination against Polio, Measles and Covid 19 are mandatory for tracking gorillas in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. A COVID-19 rapid test is carried out at the entrance to Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Only a negative result allows gorilla tracking.

Which mobile network should I use in Congo Brazzaville ?

Due to the isolation of the Sangha region, telephone and internet coverage is very limited. The two main operators in Congo are MTN and Airtel, and you can buy a phone chip when you arrive in Brazzaville, but you should bear in mind that telecommunications networks do not cover the whole territory, especially in the remote regions of the Sangha. In case of emergency, our ship is equipped with satellite devices that will enable you to reach your home or office, for a fee.

Do I need to bring any cash with me, and if so, how much and in what currency ? Are there exchange offices on site ?

The official currency in Congo is the CFA franc. It has a fixed exchange rate with the euro (1 euro = 655 FCFA). The CFA franc is not convertible outside the territory of the FCFA zone, which groups 14 African countries that are members of the franc zone. You'll need to exchange your currency site at exchange offices or via ATMs, of which there are many in Brazzaville. Euros are sometimes accepted in larger cities such as Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.

Cash is the most widely used means of payment, so it's advisable to always carry some cash.

You can pay for your drinks on board in FCFA, euros or US dollars.

If you have more than one million CFA francs (1,500 euros) at your disposal when entering or leaving the country, you must declare it to customs. In the event of failure to declare sums, securities or valuables in excess of one million (1,000,000) CFA francs at customs, the fine is equal to 20% of the sums in question. If a non-resident traveller fails to present proof of exported currency, the fine is equal to 20% of the sums in question.

We advise you not to travel with more than 1,500 euros (or dollar equivalent) in cash, and to use your bank card to withdraw cash from ATMs if necessary.

What about tips ? What's the budget ?

Crew tips are intended to encourage and thank the crew. You should allow around €12 per day.

How do I obtain a visa ?

It is compulsory to obtain a visa before departure for Congo Brazzaville, except for diplomatic passports. No visa is issued on arrival in the country. Visas last between 15 and 91 days. Please check the validity of your passport.

The time required to obtain a visa may vary, so it is advisable to contact the Congolese embassy or the visa center in the country of departure for more precise information.

The letter of invitation required to apply for a visa can be supplied by us for a supplement of 60 euros.

Do I need travel insurance ? How much time should I allow before departure ?

Medical and repatriation (including body) insurance is compulsory to take part in a safari cruise. Insurance covering evacuation costs from the first few kilometers, by helicopter, plane or boat, is compulsory. Passengers must pay all medical bills incurred prior to departure: medical care, medication and any other medical facilities provided by the company to the passenger.

You will be asked to provide details of the insurance policy taken out.

We recommend that you purchase changeable tickets.


Is it advisable to bring sun protection or insect repellent ?

The sun, even when veiled, can be strong in the Congo. We recommend wearing a hat or sunscreen. To avoid stings, we recommend that you wear light-colored, loose-fitting, light clothing impregnated with textile insecticide.

What happens in the event of an emergency evacuation ?

The ship has radio communication with a separate battery, and a satellite telephone in case of an emergency. We are equipped with life jackets, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in each cabin, flares and signals, and a first-aid kit. The ship is evacuated via auxiliary light craft.

What happens in the event of an accident or health problem requiring special care ?

Initially, the patient will be cared for by the guide on board, trained in first aid. The decision to evacuate the patient will be taken after evaluation with our referral doctor based in Brazzaville. Our evacuation plan provides for evacuation by motorized canals, by road or by helicopter to the nearest regional hospital or to the Brazzaville hospital, depending on the severity of the condition.

Do I need to fill in a medical questionnaire to take part in this trip ?

No, but proof of vaccination will be required.

At customs in Congo Brazzaville, you'll need to provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate. This should have been done at least 10 days before the date of arrival. Vaccinations against Polio, Measles and Covid-19 are also compulsory for gorilla tracking in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. In addition, a rapid COVID-19 test is carried out at the entrance to the National Park, and only a negative result will enable gorillas to be tracked.

Please check with your general practitioner about any anti-malaria treatment you may be taking.

You can find the list of compulsory vaccinations here:

Is there a nurse or doctor on board ?

There is no nurse or doctor on board. However, our guides are trained in first aid, and we have a French referral doctor in Brazzaville whom we contact whenever necessary, and who will decide which treatments to implement. We also have a pharmacy on board.


Should you be afraid of being swindled ? How can you protect yourself ?

Brazzaville is a very safe city. It is advisable to avoid going out alone at night, to circulate cautiously and not to carry large sums of money or ostentatious signs of wealth in order to avoid robberies.

Should I be worried about taking valuables with me ?

There is a risk of petty and medium-scale crime. Assaults generally target property. To avoid these inconveniences, we advise you to avoid carrying large sums of money or any valuables.

The ship is equipped with safety devices and safes for your valuable personal belongings.

The company assumes no responsibility for personal effects lost or stolen during the voyage.

Are there any areas to avoid due to political conflicts or security problems in Congo Brazzaville ?

The Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, is very safe, with minor incidents of petty crime but very rarely problems of a violent nature. This is not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the other side of the Congo River.

In the same way, the eastern and northern border regions of Congo Brazzaville may appear in red on some Foreign Ministry websites, due to the instability of the neighboring Central African Republic. During the cruise, we operate in very wild and very safe areas.

From the moment you enter the territory of Congo Brazzaville, you are subject to local legislation. If you break the law, even without knowing it, you can be arrested, expelled or imprisoned. Congolese society and religious practices are fairly open, and social control is not strict. However, a respectful attitude towards customs and religious practices is expected. Disrespect can lead to strong reactions.

Is it risky to wander around alone during stopovers, or is it more advisable to stay within the framework organized by the cruise ?

All safari cruises are accompanied, for the safety of all. Congolese nature is a wilderness where animals reign supreme. So any disembarkation or exploration outside the boat will be under the supervision of our guides, in order to follow safety rules and disturb the environment as little as possible.

Is it risky to navigate on the Congo River, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo ?

No, it's not risky to navigate on a river bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. On the part of the Congo River we navigate on the Congo Brazzaville side. The western part of the DRC does not represent a danger, and the Congo River is wide (sometimes up to 10km), which minimizes the risks.

What are the rules governing photography and filming ?

From the moment you enter the country, you are subject to the laws of Congo Brazzaville.  It is illegal to take photos of government buildings, military installations, key infrastructure and sensitive sites such as ports, railway stations and airports, bridges, roads, checkpoints, official buildings and along border areas. You could be detained or arrested, fined and have your equipment confiscated. Do not take photos of people without their permission.


What is the impact of such a cruise on the fauna and flora ?

Our safari cruises in Central Africa promote a type of tourism that is responsible and respectful of the environment: zero waste and eco-friendly. We work actively with local communities to make a positive impact. The small group size of our cruises also helps to minimize environmental impact and disruption.

How serious is poaching in the Republic of Congo ?

Poaching remains a threat to animals in Central Africa, particularly elephants. The Congolese authorities are actively combating this phenomenon of wildlife crime and illegal trafficking with good results.

What animals will I see on the cruise ?

Our safari cruise in Central Africa takes place in an unspoiled wilderness where animals roam freely. The flora is varied, so you're likely to see lowland gorillas, forest elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos (on cruises with a stopover in the DRC at Tshumbiri), hippos, bongos, bush pigs, buffaloes, blue duikers, sitatungas, panthers and many other animals that make up the flora of the Congo Basin region, including Nile crocodiles, goliath tiger fish, pangolins and birds of over 350 different species.


What happens if I cancel ?

Total cancellation by the customer will incur the following charges:

- 10% of the total price if the cancellation occurs between the date of signature of the contract and 120 days before departure.

- 40% of the total price if cancellation occurs between 119 and 61 days before departure.

- 100% of the total price if cancellation occurs less than 60 days before departure.

What happens if you cancel ? Will I be reimbursed ?

In the event of unforeseen circumstances preventing the safari cruise from continuing, the company reserves the right to cancel the trip, with a pro rata refund per unused cruise night or by offering a credit for a future trip.

The company reserves the right to cancel the trip if occupancy falls below a certain number of cabins. Passengers with confirmed reservations will be given 30 days' notice.  An alternative departure date will be offered, subject to availability. However, if this date is not acceptable to the passenger, any deposit paid for the cancelled cruise will be refunded.

The company reserves the right to change an allocated cabin without notice, and in the event of the passenger being downgraded to a cheaper cabin, the difference in cost between the cabins will be refunded to the passenger or his agents.

What are the terms of payment ?

The customer must pay 30% of the tour price when signing the contract. The balance must be paid at least 60 days before the departure date.

When will I receive confirmation of my booking ?

The payment of 30% of the cruise price takes the place of confirmation.

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Croisière safari fleuve Congo - Gorille
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Safari Cruise into Congo Basin

A journey to the heart of equatorial Africa, in the last wild forests of the Sangha...

12 nights - From 6 100 €