Odzala National Park covers an incredible 13,600km2 (1.36 million hectares / 3.36 million acres) and represents an essential part of both the greater Congo Basin system and the groundbreaking TRIDOM Transfrontier Park which combines adjacent national parks in Gabon and Cameroon, as well as Congo. Famed for its biodiversity, Odzala is also renowned as one of the last refuges of the African forest elephant (listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN). Forest elephants are threatened by poaching for ivory, and by habitat loss due to deforestation. Odzala is also famed for its primate populations; in particular, the critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla: a very significant population of these great apes survives in unspoiled natural habitat, alongside ten other diurnal primate species. Odzala also boasts iconic West Central African fauna such as forest buffalo and bongo as well as dozens of little-known mammal species, from water chevrotain to palm civets. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ODZALA EXPERIENCE

Explore a thriving rainforest ecosystem

Track and view habituated Western Lowland Gorilla groups

Walk along dappled paths through the forest

Wade through clear forest streams

Kayaking along pristine rivers

Watch for wildlife coming down to drink at a forest bai (marshy clearings rich in minerals, a magnet for animals and birds) 

THE NGAGA GORILLA RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Ngaga Camp is the home of top gorilla researchers Dr Magda Bermejo and German Illera, they are the first people to successfully habituate Western Lowland Gorillas and are the World authorities on this species. They have focused their research on this species in northern Congo for the past 17 years. Without this research there would be no habituated gorillas – and no guest experience.  

 

There are over 20 groups of gorillas in the 30km2 (11.5 sq. mi) Ndzehi Forest area surrounding Ngaga Camp. Two of these groups have been habituated and can be viewed by guests. The movements of both groups are dictated by the seasonal availability of different forest fruits and other forage such as marantaceae leaves and stems. There are also a number of unhabituated gorilla groups but these tend to be skittish and are not often seen. 

In contrast to Mountain Gorillas which rest in open clearings, Western Lowland Gorillas rest up in thick vegetation – noise from (unseen) humans would disturb them so they have to be observed while feeding and active. This makes Western Lowland Gorilla viewing potentially more challenging, but it also affords guests the chance to see more unique behaviour like playing and tree climbing.

THE NGAGA GORILLA GROUPS

NEPTUNO GROUP ~ 16 INDIVIDUALS

Silverback: Neptuno, an enormous and sometimes intimidating male

Home range centred on Ngaga Camp 

THE RAINFOREST & WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE

RAINFOREST WILDLIFE

  • Forest elephant

  • Forest buffalo

  • Western sitatunga

  • Monkey species such as Guereza colobus, putty-nosed,

  • moustached, de Brazza’s and grey-cheeked and agile

  • mangabey

  • Red river hog

  • Spotted hyaena

  • Harnessed bushbuck

  • Slender-snouted and African dwarf crocodile (both harmless species) 

 

  Special sightings:

  • Lowland bongo, Giant forest hog, Serval

  • Water Chevrotain 

ACTIVITIES AT LANGO & MBOKO CAMP

Many activities at Lango and Mboko are a combination of walking and boating. This is to give you access to the most productive and beautiful areas of Odzala’s forest savannah mosaic habitat, and the best possible wildlife viewing once there.

Many activities at Lango and Mboko are a combination of walking and boating. This is to give you access to the most productive and beautiful areas of Odzala’s forest savannah mosaic habitat, and the best possible wildlife viewing once there.

ACTIVITIES AT LANGO & MBOKO CAMP

  • Spot wildlife from the Camp: Forest Buffalo and Harnessed Bushbuck are regular visitors to the bai

  • Exploring the bai (or saline) itself, and associated swampy open areas, the Lekoli River and surrounding savannah and forest area

  • Walk (and wade) the (Lango) bai and savannah – the best way to study the forest, from fungi to forest elephants

  • Adventure trails allow access to the main areas, and involve walking through wet and sometimes muddy areas

  • Adventure trails along the edges of forested areas give insights into the arboreal world

  • Boat the Lekoli River – by aluminium boats, motorised traditional pirogues and even kayaks

  • Spot dwarf crocodiles, forest ducks and kingfishers – and maybe even a hippo

  • Listening to and identifying forest sounds – a chorus of monkeys, frogs, birds and insects.

  • Look out for hyaena, aardvark, and serval on savannah game drives by day and night

  • Cultural visits to Mbomo village (en route to / from Ngaga) to experience forest village life 

BIRDS

Perhaps the richest forest block in west-central Africa for birds;

  • Nearly 450 species of birds have been recorded in Odzala

  • Over 300 breeding species

  • Important families:

    • Broadbills, trogons, malkoha, greenbuls and turacos

  • Look out for:

    • Green pigeons

    • African grey parrots at Lango bai – seasonal 

 

  Special sightings:

  • Black-casqued wattled hornbill

  • Plumed guineafowl

  • Hartlaub’s duck

  • Cassin’s malimbe

  • Bare-cheeked trogon

  • Black bee-eater

  • Blue-throated roller

  • Spot-breasted ibis

  • Congo serpent eagle 

  • Forbe’s plover

  • Chocolate-backed kingfisher

  • Hairybreasted barbet

  • Spotted greenbul

  • Firecrested alethe

  • Buff-throated apalis

  • Chestnut wattle- eye, and many more... 

OTHER ACTIVITIES AT NGAGA CAMP

  • Forest walks to discover the myriad of colourful creatures that call the forest home including bird & insect life

  • Night Walks in search of nocturnal primates and other shy forest species

  • Cultural visits to nearby Ombo village to learn more about sustainable forest lifestyles 

  • RAINFOREST WILDLIFE VIEWNG INCLUDES:

    • ​Putty-nosed and crowned monkey

    • Central chimpanzee (more often heard than seen)

    • Central potto and Demidoff’s galago

    • Duiker species

    • Rodents such as squirrels, giant pouched rat, porcupine

    • Tree Hyrax (dassie) (vocalisations at night) 

MBOKO CAMP

Mboko Camp is the newest and largest Camp in Odzala, situated in an area of lush meadow-like savannah, frequented by forest buffalo, forest elephant and spotted hyaena. The cabins are nestled along the Lekoli River in amongst the lush green forest which provides a feeling of privacy.

 

Mboko gives a sense of the scale of Odzala while also allowing you to focus on some of the smaller details: flowers and butterflies (depending on the season), which can be seen in profusion. Mboko Camp, offers visitors breath-taking views of the interface between the tropical rainforest and grassland savannah where hundreds of towering termite mounds help create an otherworldly experience. There is spectacular star-gazing from camp, before falling asleep to the sounds of life-giving water flowing to meet the Congo River. Forest Buffalo and Elephant are common visitors to Mboko Camp. 

LANGO CAMP

Lango Camp is an eco-camp celebrating the exploratory experience of discovering the abundant life of the African rainforest. It is operated as a satellite of Mboko Camp, in order to maintain a minimal human footprint in this ecologically sensitive wildlife habitat. 

PEOPLE OF ODZALA

  • Cultural visits to our neighbouring communities are part of the Odzala Experience, 

  • Nearby Ombo or Mbomo villages, where guests can learn more about how people make the most of all that Nature provides in such a remote location

  • Mbomo is a large village at the entrance to Odzala-Kokoua National Park:

    • Vibrant markets and street life, SPAC's Sandza Mobimba  (Full Moon) Community Centre and schools

    • Please note that bushmeat is a traditional part of people’s diet here so more sensitive guests should be aware that they may see wildlife products on sale

    • People here prefer not to be photographed as a rule

  • Ombo is a much smaller village, closer to Ngaga Camp:

    • People here maintain a very traditional lifestyle, with the forest supplying most of their needs 

VIEW OUR AVAILABLE TRIPS BELOW

6 DAYS - ODZALA ADVENTURE

Brazzaville, Odzala Kokoua National Park - Ngaga & Mboko

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