Western lowland gorilla tracking – Odzala national park is a home to the Western lowland gorillas in the republic of Congo located within the central Africa holding the most wildlife and primates.
Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Congo is one of Africa’s oldest national parks; designated in 1935 it received Biosphere Reserve status in 1977. Covering an expansive 13,500 km2 area, Odzala lies in the heart of the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon. The Congo Basin spans more than two million square kilometres across six countries and accounts for 18% of the world’s remaining rainforest. Humans have occupied the area for over 50,000 years, yet it is still one of the most biologically diverse and species rich areas on the planet and the basin deliver clean water, food and shelter to more than 75 million people.
Western lowland gorilla tracking – In 2010, African Parks entered into a 25-year-long agreement with the Republic of the Congo’s Ministry of Forest Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment to protect this globally significant park. Odzala’s expansive landscape, remoteness and dense habitat are all factors that contribute towards the challenges of managing this landscape. Around 12,000 people live in the periphery of the park, and survive off the natural resources the area provides. Because of limited opportunities in the region, bush meat poaching remains a major threat, where 14,500 snares and more than 50 tonnes of bush meat were seized in 2019. This is a major concern for the park’s wildlife, especially Odzala’s western lowland gorillas of which a significant portion of the remaining global population are found in the park.
Odzala’s future sits precariously on the urgent need to unlock the park’s value to communities who live in and around the park and are the main stakeholders, and whose actions will determine if this park persists long into the future. This is why our work focuses on a multi-pronged strategy of trying to protect the park from poaching with an enhanced eco-guard team and other law enforcement techniques, while rolling out several community projects from compensating for human-wildlife conflict, to investing in sustainable livelihoods with farming projects and capacity building activities. Changing human behaviour takes time, but Odzala’s future rests on our interventions, and ensuring that communities benefit from, and therefore truly value the parks existence.
.1. Explore the world’s second largest rain forest. An opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of the Congo Basin rainforest –a biological hotspot of global importance and the world’s second biggest rainforest, surpassed only by the Amazon.
There are few flights to the Republic of Congo, although all flights will take to Brazzaville and take ground transportation to Odzala national Park. The Flights are: 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. Connecting to the park can be done using local flights that can be booked by the officials of Odzala National Park Congo.
Wet season (March – May and September – November) Congo lies on the equator, which means that temperatures vary very little year round. There are two rainy seasons, and two drier seasons
Dry season (December – February and June – September)
Limited rainfall can make the air relatively hazy, but humidity levels are lower than they are during the wet seasons. The bountiful ripe fruits mean that gorillas often feed in the trees, allowing for easier sightings and interesting opportunities to observe behaviour and interactions.
.Guests at the camps experience the ultimate safari adventure and are able to explore the towering forests, crystal-clear streams and expansive open savannah of the region while tracking western lowland gorillas through pristine rainforest, enjoying grasslands and waterways, and sighting unique birds and wildlife through Discovery journeys combining stays between the camps.
A beautiful six-roomed camp nestled along the edge of a dense gallery forest overlooking the productive Lango Baï; this site is within access to the Lekoli River and the surrounding forests.
A research centre and camp offering of six bungalows, Ngaga rests in a glade within the primary forest above the Ngaga Stream. Spend time with some of the habituated groups of western lowland gorillas in the area.
The largest of the camps, Mboko is the adventure camp and has twelve guest rooms on the edge of the savannah extending along the forested banks of the Likeni River.