Republic of the Congo (ROC) lies on the equator in the western part of central Africa, and is bordered to the east by Gabon, to the west by Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and to the south by Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR) and the coastal exclave of Cabina (Angola). Currently, Journeys by Design designs safaris to Brazzaville and Odzala National Park.
It possesses a short Atlantic coastline, the coastal plain falling within the drainage basin of the Kouilou-Niari River. Inland, the country comprises a plateau that is split between two main drainage basins in the north and the south. It is separated from neighbouring DRC by the Congo River (south) and Ubangi River (north). The southwest part of ROC is a coastal plain falling within the drainage basin of the Kouilou-Niari River.
ROC has a tropical climate with hot temperatures, heavy rainfall, and high humidity. The overall average day temperature in the country is 24oC (75oF) and nights range from between 16oC (61oF) and 21oC (70oF). Given that the Equator runs directly through Republic of the Congo, the whole country has a fairly consistent climate in each region, but with some variation as to when the different seasons occur. In some areas, ROC has two seasons – a wet and dry season – whilst in others and for the most part, ROC has four seasons – a long wet and dry season and a short wet and dry season – though the dry seasons aren’t necessarily without rain, given the tropical rainforest climate.
The rainiest month is October, with approximately 250mm of rainfall, while the driest months are June to August. March and April are when the hottest temperatures are reached, with highs of 31oC (88oF). The longest wet season is from October to December, in which 155mm of rainfall occurs per month and temperatures are around 23oC (73oF). The short wet season occurs from March to April with temperatures of 25oC (77oF) and 130mm rainfall. The long dry season, which is also the coolest time of year, is from May to September, in which 105mm on average falls per month and has a mean temperature of 21oC (70oF). The short dry season is from January to February, when 105mm falls per month and has temperatures of 24oC(75oF).
Do note that there is little difference across the country as to the timings of the different seasons. The onset and end of seasons will differ only slightly across the country, the main difference being that they are more pronounced in the central areas of the country, and in places where there is rainforest.
Best time of year to travel
Although the question as to best time of year can vary depending on preferences, the coolest and driest months are between May and September and therefore arguably the most pleasant. This is also when there is best visibility and animals tend to spend more time at the few remaining waterholes during the dry season. January and February also exhibit a short dry season.