Odzala-Kokoua National Park - Lowland Gorillas
The Republic of Congo, a surprising central African Gem
May 16-22 2013
Escorted by: Cindi LaRaia
Join Africa Discovery's Cindi LaRaia to this amazing new destination, breaking ground in the rainforest of Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo's remote north-west is one of Africa's oldest national parks. We will spend 3nts in each camp to get the full Odzala experience.
It is the Western Lowland Gorilla that occurs in Odzala and is found here at the highest densities so far recorded for the species. In the area of Ngaga Camp, Western Lowland Gorillas live in groups ranging in size from 10 to 25 individuals (average 16-17 animals), usually with one silverback, 5-7 adult females and a collection of subadults, babies and sometimes subordinate males.
While many of our guests will no doubt be attracted principally by the opportunity to observe Western Lowland Gorillas, this giant ape that shares more than 97% of its DNA with humans is not the only inhabitant of the forest and its bais. Below are short descriptions of the other 11 primate species that can be seen here.
This is one of the more visible primate species in Odzala and is seen in the M'boko and Lango areas, as well as along the Lenkeni and Lekoli Rivers. It is also a regular visitor to the forest bais, including three that we visit on a regular basis.
Another fairly visible species that is regularly seen in the forests around M'boko especially in the early morning.
Although difficult to observe for long periods of time, this colourful species is fairly regularly seen in mature forest.
Agile Mangabey, De Brazza's Monkey, Allen's Swamp Monkey, Crowned Monkey and Putty-Nosed Monkey are all regularly seen in their preferred habitats and visitors to Odzala should see a number of these species during their trip. Western Chimpanzee are regularly heard in the M'boko and Lango areas as well as along the Lekoli River but are not habituated and are seldom seen except during rare appearances at two of the bais that most trips to Odzala visit.
Odzala Image Gallery
The Odzala experience is undertaken from two intimate, sensitively constructed camps that leave as light a footprint as possible and blend into this remote forest environment: Lango Camp, on the edge of the savannah and with access to the Lekoli and Mambili Rivers, and Ngaga Camp in the heart of a marantaceae forest.
Each camp consists of six creatively designed guest rooms, taking inspiration from the designs of the local B'Aka Pygmy groups. Natural locally sourced materials are used extensively in the construction of the camps: sustainably harvested hardwoods, bamboo and raffia palm matting. In the case of Ngaga Camp, each of the guest rooms is raised 3-4m above the ground with a wraparound walkway allowing full appreciation of the forest canopy. The same use of natural materials is a feature of large comfortable hides at the bais where guests spend time waiting for and watching forest wildlife.
Odzala's camps are situated in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the remote north of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) - in the heart of the Congo Basin, the world's second largest expanse of tropical rainforest. Aside from a host of forest biodiversity, it holds Africa's densest population of western lowland gorillas and significant populations of forest elephant. It is also renowned as the richest forest block in central Africa for primates, with eleven diurnal species recorded and more than 100 mammal species - of which around 50 are classified as medium- or large-sized.
Activities range from gorilla tracking (habituated groups), pirogue rides along lush river systems, game drives in the savannah, night drives, walks along lush forest streams and salines, and of course time spent at the productive forest bais.
ODZALA-KOKOUA Reportback By Dave Luck (pdf file)
For more information
1-800-886-7321 • phone: (415) 444-5100 • fax: (415) 444-5560
Discovery Group Trips Available