Lighthouses of the Republic of the Congo

There are two central African nations named for the Congo River: the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both nations have been independent since 1960.

The Republic of the Congo, sometimes called Congo (Brazzaville), is the former French Congo. Located entirely north of the Congo River, it has only a short coastline, about 170 km (105 mi) in length. However, this coast includes the major port of Pointe Noire. To avoid the falls on the lower Congo, goods to and from all of central Africa are shipped by rail between Pointe Noire and Brazzaville, which is on the river above the falls.

Aids to navigation in the Republic of the Congo are maintained by the Pointe Noire port authority (Port Autonome de Pointe Noire).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

General Sources
Afrikanische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Postcards from the collection of Klaus Huelse.
Lighthouses in Africa
Postcards from the collection of Michel Forand.

Phare de Pointe Noire
Pointe Noire Light, Pointe Noire, 2005
photo by Andrew Arrindell, courtesy of Sharon Burford; used by permission

* Djeno
Date unknown (modern). Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 3 s on, 1 s off. This light is almost certainly mounted on a 38 m (125 ft) triangular skeletal communications tower. Many photos of the tower are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the Djeno oil terminal, about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Pointe Noire. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CON-001; Admiralty D4319; NGA 25484.
* Pointe Noire
1927. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse has an unusual design, as seen in Andrew Arrindell's photo above. Tower painted white, with two black horizontal bands; lantern painted black. 1-story keeper's house. Franz-Luitpold Kessler has a closeup photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. At highest magnification (click on the photo), the lighthouse can be seen in a 2011 photo of the harbor entrance, and it appears to have been repainted. Located at the southern end of the Baie de Pointe Noire, on the west side of the city, near the base of the peninsula sheltering the harbor. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CON-002; Admiralty D4311; NGA 25452.
* Pointe Noire Entrée (Feu Postérieur)
Date unknown (the building was completed in 1953). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two continuous red lights, displayed side by side. Lights mounted on the steeple of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Pointe Noire. A photo of the cathedral is available, and Google has a satellite view. This was the rear light of the harbor entrance range; the front light was at the west end of a detached breakwater protecting the harbor. Forand has a postcard view in which it appears that the lights are on the left side of the open portion at the top of the tower. The front light was deactivated sometime by 2010. Located at the southern end of the Baie de Pointe Noire, 1.4 km (0.9 mi) southeast of the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D4315.1; NGA 25464.
Pointe Indienne
1897. Inactive since at least the early 1930s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery. Pointe Indienne is a prominent cape about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Pointe Noire. Sailing directions for the African coast say that ruins of the lighthouse are visible on the point, and a Google satellite view shows what might be the tower. We need additional information from this site. Located at the tip of the point. Site status unknown, although the beach in this area seems to be accessible. ARLHS CON-003.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Gabon | South: Angola (Cabinda)

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Posted September 16, 2005. Checked and revised August 11, 2013. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.