The Odzala-Kokoua discovery in Congo
Explore the world’s second largest rainforest… Odzala Kokoua National Park is thick with lush green flora, vast savannah to the south and wide, meandering rivers cross crossing the park.
- Odzala Kokoua National Park
- 8 days/7 nights
Highlights of the Odzala-Kokoua discovery
Deep in the rainforest of Republic of Congo we find one of the last refuges of the critically endangered western lowland gorilla. So this is an opportunity to track and view these great apes. It’s also a rare chance to explore this remote, thriving and most of all, largly unspoiled ecosystem.
- Explore a thriving rainforest ecosystem and meet people from traditional forest communities
- We track and view habituated western gorilla groups
- walk along dappled paths through the forest, wade through clear streams
- watch for wildlife coming down to drink at a forest bai (marshy clearings rich in minerals, a magnet for animals and birds)
- be adventurous – you’ll be amongst the very few to experience such a unique, remote and undeveloped rainforest wilderness
- in additiona you’ll discover a rich mosaic of habitats and incredible biodiversity
Best time to go to the Odzala National Park
The temperature is fairly even throughout the year, sitting at around 30C on average.
- December to February – driest time in the north
- April to October – driest time in the south
This safari is run on set date departures as we leave Brazzaville on a Saturday. Note that dates do change through the year depending on season, also availability in the camps. Variations of this safari are available on private departures. We recommend that this trip be planned and booked at least a few months in advance. So as to keep costs and lost time during transit in check.
Unfortunately we don’t recommend this trip for first-timers to Africa. (Read this article if you’re planning your first African safari)
(Photo credits courtesy Tim Henshall)
Arrive at Maya-Maya International Airport where you're met for private transfer to Radisson Blu M’bamou Palace Hotel.
Breakfast. Road transfer to Ngaga Camp (this will take most of the day.) Relax on the fire deck before dinner.
The main activity at the camp is tracking habituated groups of western lowland gorillas - and a true Congo highlight.
As well as gorilla tracking, Ngaga offers a host of additional unique activities: Night walks in search of nocturnal primates. Discover forest birds. Cultural visit to nearby Ombo village.
Road transfer to Mboko Camp. Activities are a combination of driving/walking/boating. Access most beautiful areas of the Concession and best possible wildlife viewing.
Explore the Bai and Lekoli River. Spot Forest buffalo, Harnessed Bushback. Visit the Lango Camp area. Spot dwarf crocodiles, forest ducks and kingfishers – and maybe even a hippo
Road transfer to Brazzaville returning to the Radisson, your base for the final two nights allowing time for town excursions if you wish (additional extra).
Depart for the Entebbe International Airport to connect to your onward flights.
Tips and notes
From US$4,545 per person.
US$500 return road transfers
US$600 Radisson Hotel
Gorilla permit US$320 per person 1st visit
- Ground transportation (M’boko airstrip to Lango Camp and return; Lango Camp to Ngaga Camp and return); accommodation as per itinerary; 3 nights Lango Camp, 3 nights Ngaga Camp, all meals, all local drinks, laundry.
- Radisson Blu – dinner and breakfast
- Lango Camp – guided walking/game drives/boat cruises/motorised pirogue trips/park and forest visits, kayaks.
- Ngaga Camp – daily tracking of habituated gorilla groups/guided forest walks
- Mboko Camp – Guided forest walks. Kayak excursion along the Lekoli River. Adventure walks.
- International air travel to/from Brazzaville
- items of a personal nature, tips
- Visa fees
- accommodation and excursions in Brazzaville where this is required
- departure tax of US$ 30 from Brazzaville; travel and medical insurance.
About the camps:
- Intimate, sensitively constructed camps which leave as light a footprint as possible and blend into this remote forest environment. Lango Camp nestled in mature forest on the outskirts of Lango Bai with access to the savannah and Ngaga Camp in the heart of a marantaceae forest.
- Each camp has 6 forest dweller inspired tree houses 3-4m above the ground with wraparound walkways allowing full appreciation of the forest canopy.
- Track wildlife residents including western lowland gorilla, guereza colobus, bongo, moustached monkey, elephant, buffalo, sitatunga.
Visiting Odzala Discovery Camps you will not only be helping pioneer Odzala as a destination, but helping develop a new business sector in Congo and diversifying the economy away from petrochemicals. Odzala-Kokoua National Park – one of Africa’s oldest national parks, founded in 1935. The park covers some 1 360 000 hectares (3 360 633 acres) it’s renowned as the richest forest block in central Africa for primate species.
Ecotourism contributes to global awareness, local sustainable development and protection of rainforest pioneering not only the destination but also the actual activities and camp surrounds.
Around Lango Bai:
- March to May and September to November – green season with frequent bouts of rain. Clear blue skies with sunshine penetrating into the forests.
- Great time to see elephants, year round primates such as grey cheeked mangabey, putty nosed monkey and colobus. Rarer sightings of bongo, sitantunga and red river hog. At night you could see galagos and palm civet.
- December to February and June to August – drier, air can be hazy and water levels lower.
- Good time to see gorillas feeding in the trees
Brazzaville offers a contrast to its more chaotic neighbour, Kinshasa, which lies on the opposite bank of the mighty Congo River, and has a very relaxed, safe feel – which makes it the perfect city to explore.
How to get there
The safari starts and ends in Brazzaville Maya Maya Airport. Brazzaville is the capital of Congo, which is easily accessed by numerous airlines, notably Air France via Paris, Inter Air via Johannesburg and Kenya Airways via Nairobi, thus making the destination easily accessible from Europe and also combinable with Southern or East African safaris.
The cost of all flights is excluded from the price. Your Zambezi consultant can advise you on the correct flights to book, or book them on your behalf at additional cost.
Wildlife residents including western lowland gorilla, guereza colobus, bongo, moustached monkey, elephant, buffalo, sitatunga. Excellent for birding and chimpanzees.
Odzala is a colourful paradise with over 100 different mammal species… western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and red-tailed monkeys. Forest buffalo, sitatunga and species of duiker and herds of forest elephant. Look up and you’ll discover a few of the 400 bird species that have made this incredible spot their home.
Expeditionary and off-beat in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park. Suitable for adventurers, photographers, birders, specialists and seasoned travellers only.
“Africa’s Eden” became very difficult as a proper safari destination a few years ago…best for intrepid travellers…done on a few set date trips each year.
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Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Congo Basin has Africa’s highest density of Western Lowland Gorillas and central Africa’s highest density of Chimpanzees.Read More