- For other places with the same name, see Pointe-Noire (disambiguation).
Pointe Noire is a city in Republic of the Congo.
Pointe Noire is the second city of the Republic of the Congo. It is also a major sea port and a tourist destination. The town has a very French feel to it, because of the colonial past and the still large number of French expatriates and tourists.
Pointe Noire Railway Station
Pointe Noire is served by local carriers and international airlines such as Air France, PrivatAir (Swiss substitute for Lufthansa and very nice all-business class flights,) and several local airlines like Equatorial Congo Airlines (ECA). The airport is not far from the town or beach hotels. A taxi will cost about CFA2000 to the town.
It is possible from Brazzaville 2-3 times a week. The train is very new as of 2013 and a great ride through the jungle. Best booked in advance or through a travel agency for Republic of Congo. The train ride is one of Africa's greatest.
Roads inside the town are in good condition.
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 3000 XAF for that hour.
Do not go outside of PNR without a known driver and a 4WD. A 4WD with gas for the day is about $300 and so using your own or booking through a travel agent helps cut costs considerably.
You can drive the road from Brazzaville to Point Noire in a day. The new road is worth driving on just to get a feel for the forest/grassland region of Congo. It is best to go with a reputable driver from a professional agency.
Taxis are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive. Most journeys around town will cost no more than CFA1000. It is OK to walk around the main parts of town.
Old Train off of the main street
- Diosso Gorge. Just outside Pointe Noire, there's the spectactular 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 2000 XAF pp for entrance. edit
- 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 1000 XAF. Be sure to ask the cab driver if he knows the place, because it's rather hard to find. edit
- 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. edit
- "Surfing. Pointe Noire has seen surfers slowly pilgrimage in "waves" to its surreal setting. edit
- Marine Fishing. Catch one of the mean demon-teeth fish or just enjoy a day out on the blue gazing at Congolese coastal life. edit
- Village visits. Tours in Pointe Noire can organize visits to timeless river villages where Congolese life continues as it has for eons under the backdrop of volcanic mountains and the world's second largest rainforest. edit
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.
Some hotels will accept payment in Euros or US Dollars. There are also a few money exchange offices. Changing Euros or dollars is easy. Very poor rates are given for British pounds.
Artisan village is located on the Port Side Beach (next to Le Derrik). Prices will differ for every customer. It is ok to take pictures and send local trustworthy people to buy in your place as they will get at least half of the price. Be careful when buying wood statues as they need to be fumigated for bugs.
- Citronnelle, Opposite Atlantic Palace Hotel. Typical French patisserie, which has some excellent patisseries, cakes and fresh orange juice edit
- 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 edit
- Kactus, Charles de Gaule crossing (Across from Congo Credit Bank), ☎ 945025 or 5645025. 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 edit
- 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. edit
- Gaspas. 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. edit
- l'arbalete, Avenue Denis NGOMA, Pointe-Noire, Congo-Brazzaville, ☎ +242 05 557 3826. Good french restaurant with friendly personal service. Interior is a bit outdated but that gets highly compensated by their food. Closed on Sundays. edit
Hotels in Pointe Noire are very expensive given the standard of accommodation. Also, not many accept credit cards.
- Palm Beach Hotel, On the beach, . 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 - CFA2000 per hour. CFA80000. edit
- Hotel Twiga, Ave Dr Jacques Bouity (Cote Sauvage beachfront), ☎ 6584747 / 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. edit
Unlike many African cities, it is quite safe to walk in the main parts of the city and the beach area. There are relatively few beggars.
Credit cards are not accepted in many places - only the very best hotels. Internationally linked ATM's are also not too common. Credit du Congo have a few branches with machines that will accept foreign cards.
There are several FM radio stations (all French language), including RFI on 93.2MHz.
Not many people in the town speak English.