Tailor-Made Holiday

Congo - Western Lowland Gorilla Trekking in Odzala

Track primates admidst the Forests, Rivers and Bais of Congo

11 days

from £8,495pp (excluding flights)

Explore the wildlife riches hidden deep within the dense forests of the Odzala National Park. Track lowland gorillas and encounter forest elephants in a jungle wilderness that hides in the far north of Congo.

  • Have the unique opportunity to view the western lowland gorilla and forest elephants
  • Explore on foot, by boat and in a 4x4 – making the most of this hard-to-reach environment
  • Stay in beautiful camps that blend wonderfully into their forested surrounds
  • Contribute directly to the conservation of the Odzala National Park and meet wildlife researchers

Venture deep within the beautiful Odzala National Park and discover the phenomenal diversity of plant and animal life found in this remote region. Stay at Ngaga, Mboko and Lango camps, each beautifully designed so as to merge with this remote, forested wilderness. Experience safari comfort amidst the hot, humid forests of northern Congo.

GORILLA TREKS

The highlight of this journey is the chance to trek in search of endangered western lowland gorillas. Two habituated groups live close to Ngaga Camp, having been monitored and tracked by dedicated researchers for over a decade. Thanks to their painstaking work, encounters with these fascinating primates are now possible.

Twice, hike through the challenging jungle landscape to track down the habituated families. On each occasion, spend an hour amongst the group, watching as they eat, play and groom one another. Led by expert guides, get close to these powerful creatures – capture fantastic photographs and observe as the powerful silverback exerts his dominance over the group.

FOREST, RIVERS AND BAIS

From the comfort of these remote camps, explore the varied landscape on foot, by boat, in kayaks and in 4x4 vehicles. Forest elephants roam throughout the jungles and bais of Odzala, whilst a plethora of animal and birdlife can be spotted across the different habitats. Spot forest buffaloes, red river hogs, rare bongo antelopes, colobus monkeys and dwarf crocodiles.

Price includes two gorilla permits. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 8495 £ 850
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed
  • Two gorilla permits

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Addis Ababa overnight

Day 2

Fly Addis Ababa to Brazzaville


Simpler and quieter than its noisy neighbour Kinshasa across the water, Brazzaville is surprisingly relaxed and welcoming. Having been the epicentre for France's interests in central Africa for nearly a century, there are a handful of interesting sites, easily explored on foot.


You will be staying at Radisson Blu, Half board

Day 3

Travel from Brazzaville to Odzala National Park (Air Transfer Journey)


This forested expanse is part of multinational tranche of jungle - itself crisscrossed with ancient elephant tracks. Managed by African Parks, the park is experiencing a revival, after years of neglect. Western lowland gorillas can be seen here - one of the few places they are habituated to humans - whilst it is also one of the last strongholds of the diminutive forest elephant.

Now opening up to the outside world, albeit slowly, the park is home to three beautiful tented camps that hide amongst these verdant, humid forests. Dotted around the edges are a number of isolated forest villages, where superstition and sorcery are strong-held beliefs, but the welcome is unrivalled.


You will be staying at Ngaga Camp, Full board

Day 4

Ngaga - First Gorilla Trek
Leave the lodge on foot and head out in search of the famous western lowland gorillas. Two habituated families inhabit the area close to Ngaga Camp. The smaller of these consists of around 16 individuals, whilst the larger is around 25 individuals. The forest here takes no prisoners - walls of vegetation, very few trails and 100% humidity ensure it is hot, hard trekking. The forest, however, is spectacular. The moisture-dappled leaves gleam in the sunlight, as butterflies glitter green and blue. Hornbills take flight and monkeys shout alarm calls in the canopy above. The guides stop en route to point out the smaller flora and fauna, allowing the group to catch their breath. On reaching the gorillas, one hour is spent in the company of these fascinating primates. Sightings vary enormously, with the gorillas preferring to relax amongst some of the very thickest vegetation. However, every encounter is captivating, allowing for an up-close experience with some of the world's most intriguing animals. You then return to the lodge.


In the afternoon, have time to relax, before taking a forest walk, looking for birdlife.


You will be staying at Ngaga Camp, Full board

Day 5

After breakfast, set out on a second, early morning, gorilla trek.


In the afternoon, relax and recover, or take a nature walk through the forest.


You will be staying at Ngaga Camp, Full board

Day 6

Optional Third Gorilla Trek
Today you have your third and final gorilla trek (optional and at additional cost).

Transfer from Ngaga to Mboko


Leave Ngaga Camp for your next camp where you may have the chance to pass a local school and, if possible, we will try and arrange a visit. The three-hour drive offers a fascinating glimpse into a little visited region in the Congo, arriving at Mboko Camp around lunchtime.


Safari, Boat Trip or Short Walk
Explore the surrounding area on foot, by boat or in a 4x4 vehicle. Spot colobus monkeys, forest elephants, hippos, hyaenas, buffaloes and dwarf crocodiles. Wildlife abounds in the rivers, amongst the grasslands and throughout the forest canopy.


You will be staying at Mboko Camp, Full board

Day 7

Transfer from Mboko to Lango


Set out on the Lekoli River in kayaks for a relaxed journey along the river, passing thick vegetation and wildlife coming to drink on the shore, before heading leaving the Kayaks and crossing the Bai's on foot. This thrilling walking safari then continues on to your arrival at Lango Camp. The journey is around 2 - 3 hours. Luggage will be transferred separately. Driving is also an option.


In the afternoon, take another walk through the forest close to camp.


You will be staying at Lango Camp, Full board

Day 8

Lango - Half Day Bai Visit
Explore Lango Bai and the surrounding forests - one of the many naturally occurring clearings in the forest that offer phenomenal wildlife spotting. This famed bai acts as a meeting place for buffaloes, red river hogs, numerous primate species and, if lucky, elusive bongo antelopes. It is also one of the few places in Africa where you can see flocks of African green pigeons and grey parrots, often hundreds strong. Walking - and sometimes wading - through the bai along adventure trails running the length of the forest offers a fascinating insight into this unique eco-system. Guereza colobus monkeys are often found in the trees, whilst bushbuck and sometimes dwarf crocodile are found in the shallows, over which fish eagle and vultures circle on the thermals.


Spend the afternoon relaxing at camp. In the evening, sit out on the beautiful fire deck.


You will be staying at Lango Camp, Full board

Day 9

In the morning, walk to a nearby bird hide and watch African grey parrots.

Transfer from Lango to Mboko


Drive through the park, then leave the vehicles and walk along a raised wooden pathway, crossing an area of swamp.


Mboko - Boat Trip on the Lekoli River
Set out on the Lekoli River, following its winding course as it cuts its way through the heart of Odzala's forests. Look out for wildlife on the banks, with animals often coming to drink from the river's cool waters. Watch out for primates, birds and forest elephant as the forest drifts by. In the river, spot dwarf crocodiles, forest ducks, kingfishers and - occasionally - hippos.


You will be staying at Mboko Camp, Full board

Day 10

Travel from Odzala National Park to Brazzaville (Air Transfer Journey)

Fly Brazzaville to Addis Ababa

Fly Addis Ababa to London overnight

Day 11

Arrive into London Heathrow

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Lango Camp

Lango Camp

Lango Camp sits in a spectacular setting, overlooking the Bai from which it takes its name, with 6 traditional Congolese, style tree houses are connected by raised, wooden walkways that wind through the gallery forest....

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Ngaga Camp

Ngaga Camp

Located in the Ndzehi Forest on the western boundary of the park, the lodge sits at the crest of a glade, blending in seamlessly with the surroundings, looking out across the forest canopy....

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Mboko Camp

Mboko Camp

Spread along the banks of a tributary of the Lekoli River, the beautiful Mboko Camp looks out over an area of lush grassland....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Republic of Congo

Bridget Cohen, Travel Expert

"Bridget had a great knowledge of the areas being looked at and given I have spent time in both countries, it required someone who completely understood the type of camps preferred."

"Bridget's service was very personal and friendly whilst maintaining a professional manner. All my questions were dealt with promptly and efficiently."

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Chris Johnston, Travel Expert

"Chris was always there for any questions and we felt he was genuinely interested in making this next trip as memorable as possible - which it most certainly was!"

"Excellent advice and information on our very first Steppes holiday. Chris was exceptionally helpful and patient and he treated us as individuals instead of tourists, by taking time find out what we wanted from our trip."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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