Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
If you've never played before, I highly recommend that you find a professional instructor, someone who really plays hand drums, more specifically Congas, and take a few lessons. The money spent will be well worth your time, even if you only take one or two lessons.
A professional teacher will help you establish good techniques and approach to the instrument. What you learn from the instructor will save you hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years of grief.
If you can't find a teacher locally, you might want to consider studying with me via video correspondence lessons. Contact me directly for more information.
There's a lot of information out on the Internet that you could glean from. One problem with this method is that you are just getting started, so you don't know how to filter good from bad information. Believe it or not, there's a LOT of bad info out there; just because it's online doesn't mean it's accurate.
Lastly, as far as practice advice, read some of my articles here at the Drummer Cafe. One such article that I highly recommend is The Fine Art of Practice
. This will help you establish a good practice routine as well as setting healthy goals for years of enjoyment playing the drums and percussion.