Brazzaville Congo Intercontinental Hotel
Kinshasa residents cheer as they welcome troops led by rebel leader Laurent Kabila at a military parade in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on October 16, 2016.
We flew from Johannesburg, South Africa, to London and Denver, flew to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), drove through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, drove to a small airfield and flew in a smaller plane to Entebbe, where we spent the night. From the hotel, we were in the old area of Entebbe airport, which is now the site of a massive United Nations operation to provide assistance and intervene in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo, or D-Congo. We flew back to the airport and went to another small plane and then back up to our hotel.
The property is on the banks of the Congo River, and for statistical geeks, it's the vast Victoria Lake. The Republic of Congo is in Central Africa, so we set off for our first trip to one of Africa's most popular tourist destinations, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Brazzaville is an important port on the Congo River, located in the south of the country, near the border with the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, and the city of Brazzava.
Guests have used a small side gate to get into the hotel since it closed after the first Covid 19 pandemic in March last year. The Nation was informed that the Green Hills Hotel in Nyeri is still closed, but plans to reopen in the middle of this year, according to a spokesman for the International Hotel Association of Brazzaville (IHA).
Management is clinging to the hope that the Covid 19 vaccine will soon be available in Kenya. Africa is Rezidor's most important growth market and wants to expand its network further together with existing and new partners. International travel restrictions would be eased if the global economy regained its feet, he said.
While many players were fighting for smaller markets just before the pandemic, the crisis has brought a leaner supply, according to the company.
If you are passing through from Johannesburg, South Africa, you can drive to the Protea Airport Transit Hotel (not to be confused with the "Protea Airport Hotel," which is located opposite the airport). The reason is that the airport has a hotel, so you don't have to worry about customs, immigration and long security queues. If you are in Nairobi, Kenya, or go to Bwindi, where there is a high probability that you are going to Rwanda, which is not quite ready for prime time. Or if you have gone to Kigali, Rwanda, where the guerrillas are financed and armed, you can return for a few days or weeks.
The upscale hotel with 178 rooms will be the first internationally recognized hotel in Brazzaville and the only one of its kind in the country.
On 25 June, Royal Air Maroc commenced operations from its Casablanca hub, followed by flights to and from Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Domestic flights were also resumed on 15 June, operations will resume on 24 June, while Air Cotes d'Ivorian will resume on 26 June.
Carlson Rezidor has also strengthened its portfolio in Africa by announcing the opening of its first hotel in Kenya, the BBL Hotel Sankara in Nairobi, Kenya. Driving from Sanksara to N Kenya, one quickly notices that the main entrance is closed, although the five-star hotel only reopened in September.
Knowing that this area of Congo was only recently opened to visitors, I was surprised when my team leader B said that we were only the 5th visitor group in the region. With pen in hand, we are joined by other outsiders who, for various reasons, want to be in the north-west of Congo. But our plight is nothing compared to the small group that went gorilla hunting that afternoon. I remember that in Africa you need a sense of humour and I am glad I did.
With minimal confusion we are greeted by a representative of Wilderness Safaris who takes us to the Michels Hotel in Brazzaville. The camp is located on the main road, which is considered the "main road" in Congo and neighbouring Gabon. We drive through the capital and into the heart of the country, a small town with about 2,000 inhabitants.
The only option we found was to fly overnight from Uganda to Rwanda and then fly nonstop to Congo the next morning. The decision to go to Nairobi was confirmed as a good one, as the US State Department has closed Rwanda's embassy. Rwanda is much nicer than I would have expected from a commuter jet, and we are flown through Uganda and Rwanda, night and night.