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Congo Odzala Safari

10 days from £7595pp plus international flights.

This is a real adventure into the wild! It gives you the rare chance to spend time in the Congo rainforest, the second largest in the world, with its varied habitats and rich wildlife. While the charismatic western lowland gorilla is the undoubted star, the mysterious 'bais' with their mineral-rich waters attract forest buffalos, elephants, sitatunga and flocks of parrots plus many other species. 
Are you a wildlife and nature lover? Then what are you waiting for?

Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo is a remote and vast tract of the globally-important Congo Basin rainforest. With the largest concentration of western lowland gorillas in Africa, a high density of forest elephants, plus chimpanzees (rarely seen) and other primates, predators such as spotted hyenas and serval, in fact over 100 mammal species, and a rich birdlife, this is a hugely special forest reserve.

One of the key features of Odzala are the bais (or salines).  These are like swampy tree-less grassy islands in an ocean of forest. They attract the wildlife who come to drink, eat grass, and ingest the minerals and salts found here. Forest elephants particularly love these forest oases.

Your time in Odzala will be divided between three camps in different areas, each with its own specialities. At Ngaga Camp you'll concentrate on tracking the western lowland gorilla, led by a professional guide and local tracker. You have two chances to trek, though a third is possible (at extra cost), and should you wish longer here you can discuss a slightly different itinerary with us.  From Ngaga you can also visit Ombo village to find out something of the lie of the people who live in this vast forest.  At Mboko Camp, the largest 12-room camp set along the Lekoli River, you go for walks in the forest, as well as boating trips. The activities at Lango Camp are similar to those at Mboko - you'll be able to take leisurely pirogue rides on the river, drive into the savannah and go for walks by the bai. Some of these activities can involved wading through streams and bais, and patiently waiting to see the forest wildlife. 

We've left you valuable time to relax, too. You'll have your own en-suite room with a broad veranda, ideal for quiet downtime. All three camps have lovely, high-ceilinged lounges where you can sit back among the cushions, sip a chilled drink and chat to other guests. Each has a large viewing deck centred round a fire, the place to unwind at the end day, enjoying the company of your new friends and gazing at the star-filled African sky.

Congo Wildlife

We make every effort to get you to see as much wildlife as possible, though we cannot guarantee any sighting (including the gorillas). 

Western lowland gorillas - there are 2 habituated groups. 

Other primates - crowned monkey, moustached monkey, black and white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, putty-nosed mangabey.

Other mammals - forest duikers, forest buffalo, harnessed bushbuck, forest elephant, spotted hyena, bongo, red river hog, western sitatunga.

Birds - African grey parrot, green pigeon, great blue turaco, blue-casqued wattled hornbill. 

Reptile - slender-snouted crocodile and African dwarf crocodiles (both seen quite rarely)



Is this adventure for you?
You should be aware that this is a really remote area and a full-on rainforest experience.  If you don't like bugs, like your camps to be run with perfection, and can't cope with getting wet and dirty, Odzala is not for you.  
If, on the other hand, you want to see a really remote part of Africa, you have a flexible attitude and can take things as they come, can enjoy the challenges that nature throws at you, and can deal with bugs of all kinds, don't hesitate!  This is a supremely special wildlife and wilderness experience that a tiny number of people each year will be fortunate enough to experience.
A trip is guaranteed with 2 people, and maximum of 10 can travel. Two gorilla treks are included, though a third is possible at extra cost. If you prefer to have your camps in the following order - 3 nights Ngaga, 2 nights Lango and 2 nights Mboko - this is also possible. This itinerary shown is suggestion of how the week would work, but it might not be exactly as described. 
Enjoy the view from Radisson Blu MBamou Palace Hotel


Your flight lands at Maya Maya international airport in Brazzaville, where a representative is waiting to welcome you to Congo and drive you the short distance to the Radisson Blu M'Bamou Palace Hotel. Nothing has been arranged for the rest of the day, so your time is your own to relax after your journey and enjoy the facilities of the hotel, which include an outdoor pool, a gym and 3 restaurants. Sitting on the terrace or in the gardens you can take in views of downtown Brazzaville, the Congo River and Kinshasha on the other bank, as you look forward to the safari in the days to come. Dinner on own account.

Ngaga Camp deck and fire


Enjoy an early breakfast before being transferred to the airport for the flight to Mboko airstrip, which takes about 2 hours. You are met on arrival and driven the 3 hours through savannah and forest to your home for the next 3 nights, Ngaga Camp, arriving in time for a late lunch. Later, you can join a guide on a walk in the forest, learning about the plants and wildlife, returning to camp for sundowner drinks round the campfire. You are joined by gorilla researchers who give you information about the local gorilla groups and explain details of the tomorrow's trek. Afterwards dinner is a served, a full 3 course meal. It's been a full day and you should sleep well tonight. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  

See western lowland gorillas


You're woken early to take full advantage of the day ahead. After coffee and a light breakfast you set out at around 6am with your guide and local tracker in search of your assigned group. The location varies from day to day and so the duration of the trek may be anything from 2 hours to most of the day. Once you've caught up with the gorillas you have up to an hour to watch as they feed, interact and play amongst themselves. The precise amount of time spent with the gorillas will depend on local conditions and time spent tracking. You return to camp for lunch and a rest. This afternoon we can enjoy river sundowners. Dinner is back at Ngaga Camp. Full board

Watch birds as you walk through the forest


This morning you have another opportunity to go in search of lowland gorillas. The local tracker uses his skills to locate the group, starting from where they slept the night before, and then you again share precious moments with these fascinating creatures. It's a wholly absorbing experience and the hour will pass all too quickly. You head back to camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon you follow your guide along a forest trail looking for primates, mammals and birds. You are back in camp in time to sip pre-dinner drinks on the deck before the evening meal. We'd recommend a night walk this evening too if you're up for it. Full board

Relax by Ngaga Stream


Today you have a relaxed start to the morning, or you can choose to have either another gorilla trek (not included in the price, but permits are for sale in advance of your arrival or in camp subject to availability). Later that morning we drive you to the next camp, Mboko, via Ombo village to see something of local life. The journey is about 3 hours and we have lunch at Mboko. The afternoon's activity is a river cruise on the Lekoli River. Sit back and enjoy the views. With luck you should spot some of the resident wildlife such as forest elephant, buffalo and, with luck, the shy sitatunga. There are certain to be plenty of monkeys, too. We'll have sundowners before returning to camp.  Full board.

Boat trip on the Lekoli River near Mboko Camp


During breakfast at Mboko Camp you should keep your eyes open for Ferdie, a forest buffalo and frequent visitor to the camp. Then it's time to take to the water in a kayak. Your route is along the Lekoli River and ends at Lango Bai where there are often animals to be seen including monkeys, frogs, birds and insects. This is a lovely way to explore, paddling at your own pace, pausing to watch wildlife, and immersing yourself in nature. At the bai you can get out and explore on foot, before heading to Lango Camp for lunch. Fully refreshed, you set out on a late afternoon walk in the rainforest, following one of the many trails created by the forest elephants. Back in camp you join other guests by the campfire for drinks, and then enjoy a 3 course dinner. Full board.

Kayaking at Lango Bai


Today we'll enjoy an adventure walk before returning for lunch at Lango Camp. This afternoon we might choose a forest walk or a bai walk, or perhaps some birdwatching from the camp deck. This evening we'll have a camera trap presentation about what lies camouflaged in the forest around us. Full board

Fungo on the forest floor


After breakfast we'll take a guided walk to the bird hide to watch the Africa grey parrots in the bai. Later we'll take you on a game drive transfer back to Mboko Camp and we'll walk on raised wooden paths through a swamp. You arrive at Mboko where lunch is ready for you. The afternoon is yours to do as you wish. You are welcome to rest on the deck, watching for buffalo and bushbuck, or you can join your guide for a walk, or perhaps a river cruise. Gather round campfire later for drinks, and enjoy a delicious dinner, an opportunity to consider all you've seen and done over the past week. Full board 

Textiles in a Brazzaville market


You are woken for breakfast after which you have time to pack your bags in preparation for the jouney back to Brazzaville. This begins with a drive to the airstrip where you board the flight to the capital, and from there onwards to home. Breakfast.  

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £7595 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2019/2020 rates based on 2 people travelling from 1 Jan 2019 to 31 Mar 2020.


2 nights (one at the start and one at the end) at the Radisson Blu in Brazzaville on breakfast only basis, no drinks; 7 nights accommodation in Odzala (3 nights Ngaga, 2 nights Lango and 2 nights Mboko); meals as specified; all drinks apart from premium alcohol; all activities as per the itinerary including 2 gorilla tracking trips (a third may be possible at extra cost), forest walks, boat rides, kayaking, visit to Ombo village; return charter flights from Brazzville to M'boko airstrip; all transfers as per the itinerary; laundry in Odzala


International flights and taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified as included; drinks at the Radisson Blu; tips (we recommend US$250 per guest for a 7 night safari); items of a personal nature.

Getting there: 

This holiday starts and ends in Brazzaville. Return flights from the UK are priced at around £900-1100 per person, depending on season and availability. Air France via Paris and Kenya Airways via Nairobi are usually the best options for anyone flying from Europe. Please note that due to timings an overnight in Paris is sometimes required on the Air France routing.

Departure dates: 

For the rates quoted, the trip must begin on a Sunday or Wednesday, as the Brazzaville-Odzala scheduled flight goes on a Monday and a Thursday.

places you will see

places you will see

Odzala Kokoua National Park
Odzala Kokoua National Park
Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo’s remote north-west is one of Africa’s oldest national parks.

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facts and information

Time: Congo GMT +1 hour

Flight time: Flight time is approximately 8 hours. There are currently no direct flights from the UK.

Language: Congo: French, Lingala & Kituba.

Visas: Visas are required for British nationals and must be obtained in advance as they are not available on arrival.

Health: Yellow Fever vaccination is compulsory and must be obtained at least 10 days in advance of travel. Malaria prophylactics are essential for all regions and all year round. No other vaccinations are compulsory.


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