Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

The Republic of the Congo

  • Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 12:59 NZDT
  • Still current at: 25 January 2020

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Do not travel

Do not travel to Likouala department within 50 kilometres of the border with the Central African Republic due to the uncertain security situation, high levels of crime and the large presence of displaced people.

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the Pool department due to the threat of armed banditry and rebel activity.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in the Republic of the Congo due to violent crime and ongoing insecurity in some neighbouring countries.

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Violent Crime
Violent crime such as armed robbery and assault is an issue throughout the Republic of the Congo, particularly in rural areas. Street crime such as mugging and bag snatching also occurs, particularly in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. Foreigners may be specifically targeted due to their perceived wealth. We advise against travelling at night, alone or to isolated areasand recommend avoiding beaches in Pointe Noire.

New Zealanders should be aware that crime may be motivated by opportunity or the perceived affluence of the victim. It is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as mobile devices and jewellery.

Civil Unrest
Violent civil unrest and armed conflict between security forces and rebel forces has occurred in the Republic of the Congo in the past, however the political and security situation has improved in recent years.  The security situation is calm, but remains tense and could deteriorate quickly.

New Zealanders in the Republic of the Congo should avoid any demonstrations, political rallies and large public gatherings as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent.Exercise vigilance at all times, and monitor the media and other local sources for information about potential risks to your safety and security. Be cautious when travelling outside of cities and along border areas. 

Local travel
We advise against travel by rail throughout the Republic of the Congo and against travel by road in the Pool department, where armed criminal gangs operate and have robbed travellers in the past. We recommend that you travel by air between Brazzaville and Pointe Noire . Checkpoints are common throughout the country and individuals may target foreigners in order to extract bribes. At checkpoints, remain in your vehicle and produce requested documents through a raised window.

General Travel Advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in the Republic of the Congo, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited.

We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to the Republic of the Congo should consider.

Authorities may ask for proof of your identity, so carry a colour photocopy of your passport and visa for the Republic of the Congo and all times.

Photography of public buildings and military facilities is prohibited, and could result in detention. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

New Zealanders travelling or living in the Republic of the Congo should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in the Republic of the Congo are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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