With a population of around 715,000, Pointe-Noire is the Republic of the Congo’s second largest city, behind its capital, Brazzaville. It lies on the headland that juts between the Atlantic Ocean and Pointe-Noire Bay. The city was once part of an important French colony and still has something of a French atmosphere. There are still many French expats living in Pointe-Noire and a number of French tourists, too. Many tourists come to explore the natural wonders of Diosso Gorge and the Conkouati-Douli National Park. Pointe-Noire is dominated by its port and as such is known as “The Port City”. Further out to sea, there are some of the largest oil fields in the world and the presence of that oil has been the main reason for the city’s development since the reserves were discovered in 1980. Expats living in Pointe-Noire can connect with each other at InterNations. This vibrant online expat community is the perfect place to meet other global minds and find out some insider information about the city.
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Pointe-Noire is served by Agostinho Neto Airport, which is close to the city center and is one of the country’s busiest airports, used by international carriers such as Air France. The city is the terminus for the Congo-Ocean railway and has three railway stations, with connections to Brazzaville and throughout the region. The roads in Pointe-Noire are good but less dependable outside the city, where a 4x4 is recommended. Taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap, so any expatriate moving to Pointe-Noire shouldn’t have any trouble getting around. Pointe-Noire is a city of contrasts, with stunning nature reserves and heavy industry both on its doorstep. To make sense of it all, reaching out to other expats in Pointe-Noire at InterNations is a great help. On the forums and discussion groups you can find out information on the city from those in the know, or simply use the chance to network and socialize with fellow global minds.
The offshore oil industry is undoubtedly the most important factor in the economy of Pointe-Noire. Since 1980, much of this has been controlled by Elf Aquitaine and there has been a corresponding influx of expatriates into Pointe-Noire. The port also has a considerable fishing industry and there is a sizeable tourist economy in the city. InterNations is a good place to keep abreast of developments and make new business contacts. Here, you can connect with other internationally focused expatriates working in Pointe-Noire and perhaps uncover some new business opportunities. The online community is supplemented by a content section, featuring lots of articles on all things related to expatriation.