Odzala-Kokoua National Park offers the ultimate rainforest safari. Located in Congo, it's a bit more off the beaten track than other popular safari and gorilla trekking destinations. With different accommodation options for all kinds of travellers, from groups to solo adventurers, this is ideal if you want to combine classic safari and gorilla trekking experiences. It's time to channel your inner Jane or Tarzan...
Although most visitors come to Odzala to see the gorillas, the Congo Basin, one of the last remaining intact rainforests on the planet, is another big drawcard. A whopping 500 million acres in size, it's bigger than the Alaska state and the world's second-largest tropical forest. Other than the mountain gorilla it's known for, other endangered wildlife like forest elephant, bonobo and chimpanzee call it home. There are also over 400 mammal species, 1000 birds, and 700 fish species.
This wild setting is a playground for adventure. Depending on which lodge you choose to stay at, Odzala offers plenty of daily guided activities, including gorilla trekking hikes, boating, wading, waterfall hikes, kayaking, forest and bai walking, local village tours, guided night walks and much more.
The accommodation options in the Ndzehi Concession include the treehouse-style Ngaga Camp, Lango Camp overlooking the bai, and Mboko Camp with river views. Of course, the ideal trip will consist of more than one (if not all) of these!
Simply being in this remarkable setting of lush rainforest, flowing rivers, and patches of savannah is enough to bring peace to even the weariest travellers, but it has a much bigger purpose. By staying at one of the Camps, you help support their conscious philosophy and protect the wild spaces and gorillas that call this slice of paradise home. Focusing on low-impact tourism is the ideal journey for a conscious traveller wanting an immersive rainforest experience.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about Odzala.
Odzala-Kokoua National Park is located in the Congo Basin in the northwestern part of the Republic of Congo.
The best time to visit the Republic of Congo where Odzala-Kokoua National Park is located is during the long dry season between May and September. In the north where Odzala-Kokoua National Park is the short dry season is also good, which is between January and February.
There are plenty of activities on offer, but the most commonly requested is the gorilla trekking expedition. Please note that you do need a permit to go gorilla trekking. At some camps and depending on availablity, you can also meet up with gorilla researchers to find out more about these fascinating creatures and the research they do. Depending on the lodge you stay at, you can also go on forest walks, guided night walks, visit the local villages, river kayaking (Lango and Mboko Camps), and at Mboko Camp, massages can be arranged. We always suggest that you hop between the lodges to get a different perspective and experience!
It's easy! You can fly directly from the Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo to Odzala-Kokoua National Park. It's roughly a two-hour flight from the Maya Maya Airport to the Mboko Airstrip in the park. These flights only occur twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, but if you need to fly in on another day of the week, private charter flights can be arranged to accommodate you. Upon arrival at the Mboko airstrip, you will be transferred to your chosen lodge in an open safari vehicle.
Children must be 16 years or older to stay at the lodges in Odzala-Kokoua National Park.