Swimming in Kintele

If you drive north out of Brazzaville on the N2, through Mpila, the first town you reach is Kintele. It’s about a 30 minute drive on a nice highway from downtown Brazzaville. Kintele is the site of the large soccer stadium and sports complex built for the 2015 All Africa Games. There is an aquatic center and tennis center, and other buildings for other sports like handball. The aquatic center is open for public use, for a nominal fee (about $10). The fee is nominal to me, but incredibly expensive for the average Congolese person, so it’s hardly used. It’s a beautiful center! There are nice changing rooms, bathrooms, the giant Olympic-sized pool, and a diving pool with boards of various heights. There didn’t appear to be any keys for the lockers in the changing room, but a nice lady appeared with a handful of keys for us to use. The showers were all quite clean. The pool itself was clean and clearly well maintained. I didn’t see any fourus, which is always a good thing, and mosquitoes were at a minimum.

We have a pool at our house, and we use it regularly. There is also a nice pool at the tennis club, where we go at least twice a week for tennis and swimming. The Kintele pool, though, is a nice treat, simply for the size, and sometimes it’s nice to get out of town, even just a little bit. The drive out of town is pretty easy, and traffic is light because taxis are not allowed on the highway that goes to the sports complex. Taxis make up about 75% of the cars on the road in Brazzaville. They also account for about 75% of my headaches, as the drivers are often unpredictable, driving very fast to overtake you in a dangerous way, or driving very slowly, looking for passengers to pick up. Given the number of taxi drivers I see drinking beers at the local bars in the afternoons, also, I assume many of the taxi drivers on the road are drunk. Anyways, a taxi-free drive to Kintele is a nice way to spend the morning.

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