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Young male gorilla in tree, Ngaga Camp, Odzala, Rep of Cong

Republic of Congo Holidays

Follow your instincts and embark upon an adventure in the Congo. You’ll have to be prepared for an untamed experience – rambunctious gorillas and mighty elephants roam freely throughout the forests here.

No other country holds the promise of adventure or delivers unforgettable travel experiences quite like the Republic Congo (also known as Congo-Brazzaville). The bais, clearings in the forest, are a great place to view western lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

For more adventure, roll up your sleeves and track primates in the forests of Odzala National Park. You will be in awe, not only at the scale of the jungle around you but also the unerring skill of the trackers.

Kayaking from the air, Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo
Lowland Bongo Antelope, Lango Camp, Odzala, Rep of Congo
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo

What to expect on your Congo holiday

The Republic of Congo is unfenced and untamed – so too are its camps which can be a little unnerving on your first night. Distances are vast so journeys can be very long and delays and breakdowns are an occupational hazard of travel to the Congo.

So why go? The fun lies in getting there – flying over an endless horizon of green and driving along dirt roads into the depths of the forest – and entering a world where few people, let alone tourists, have set foot. In a world of increasingly contrived travel experiences, what better way to put the fun back into an adventure?

Lango Camp Walking Trail, Lango, Odzala, Rep of Congo
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo
Neptuno Group lowland gorilla Silverback, Ngaga Camp, Odzala, Rep of Congo
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo
Boat cruise at Mboko, Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo

Some ideas for a Congo holiday

  • Experience the Republic of Congo in style – fly to Odzala National Park, search for gorillas and watch elephants in the bai under a full moon whilst enjoying a delicious single malt around the fire
  • Search for the Fresco of Africa, a painting at the entrance to Brazzaville’s Poto-Poto market which shows the history of Congo. The market itself is also great fun.
  • Head north to the remote Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, where WCS researchers monitor the park’s threatened wildlife
  • Charter a plane from Odzala National Park and fly north to the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve in the CAR, combining two of the region’s greatest wilderness areas.
Young male gorilla in tree, Ngaga Camp, Odzala, Rep of Cong
Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo

Lowland Gorilla Trekking in the Congo Basin

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.

10 days

from £7,800 pp

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Explore Republic of Congo

  • Nouabale Nkoki National Park
  • Odzala National Park

Experiences

Wildlife Safari

Explore by boat, 4×4 and on foot, looking out for forest elephants, monkeys, birds and more.

Meet Dr Magda Bermejo

Spend time with gorilla researcher, Dr Magda Bermejo for a fascinating insight into her work.

Track Gorillas and Elephants

Trek in search of western lowland gorillas, spending an hour with a habituated family.

Track Elephants and Gorillas

Experience thrilling encounters with lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

Forest Communities

Visit remote forest villages, alive with myths and superstition.

Discover Flooded Swamps

Paddle (or walk) through flooded swamps in wooden pirogues.

The Wildlife Conservation Society

Join wildlife researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society following gorillas and elephants.

Meet Ba’Aka Communities

Visit isolated riverside outposts and traditional Ba’Aka forest villages.

Poto-Poto Market

Search for the Fresco of Africa, a painting at the entrance to Brazzaville’s Poto-Poto market which shows the history of Congo.

Spend a night in the forest

Sleep in the forest and see what wanders through camp at night.

Accommodation

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

Mboko Camp £££££

  • Republic of Congo
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

Spread along the banks of a tributary of the Lekoli River, the beautiful Mboko Camp looks out over an area of lush grassland. This rich vegetation attracts a wealth of animals, including forest buffaloes, elephants and spotted hyenas. Made up of 12 rustic but well-appointed rooms, the camp is the largest of Odzala’s three options. Although it is renowned for its sweeping views of fertile savannah – emerging from dense forest, Mboko also offers a more intimate connection with the jungle. Flowers bloom between the comfortable rooms, with butterflies flitting through the air. A wonderful fire deck is the best place to spend the evenings, with the stars and nocturnal animal life providing the entertainment.

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Ngaga Camp £££££

  • Republic of Congo
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

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. Each of the 6 forest huts are on raised wooden walkways, the thatch rooms have canvas screens at the front and back, hot showers, flush loos and ceiling fans, plus charging points for cameras and laptops, (but don’t expect wi-fi or phone reception).

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Lango Camp £££££

  • Republic of Congo
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

Lango Camp sits in a spectacular setting, overlooking the bai from which it takes its name. Six traditional Congolese-style tree houses are connected by raised, wooden walkways that wind through the gallery forest. The small, but comfortable rooms (open at the back), have hot showers, flushing loos and power points for charging cameras and laptops and a small ceiling fan, with a small veranda at the front to take in the views. The main dining and bar area is also raised, centred on a large wooden deck, overlooking the bai where you can relax after the day’s safari and make use of the lodge’s spotting scope. At night, stargazing around the fire sets the scene, before Santos, the chef, serves up the most delicious food and head waiter Patrick helps keep your fluid intake up.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.
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  • 01285 601 784

Frequently asked questions about Republic of Congo

When is the best time to go gorilla trekking in the Republic of Congo

Given the rains in the Congo tend to arrive around October and continue through to April, the best weather is found outside these months. Despite this, the Republic of Congo can be considered a year-round destination if you don’t mind a bit of rain. It will always be hot and humid any time of the year.

Is it safe in the Republic of Congo?

Yes. The Republic of Congo is not to be confused with the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. We have been running tours here for years and the safety of our clients is paramount. We remain in constant contact with government officials, tourism bodies, charities and lodge owners who update us on the political situation and the Congolese people are some of the most welcoming you will meet.

You are usually safer in the remote camps – given the difficulty in getting there – than you would be in the larger cities, although when in the cities, common sense prevails in terms of keeping an eye on your valuables as you would in any large city. The opening up of new, upmarket camps is a testament to the ongoing stability of the country.

What advice would you give for photography in the Republic of Congo?

When photographing wildlife, bear in mind you will be in humid rainforests, with a lot of moisture around so lenses can become foggy very quickly. It is best to keep a small, dry cloth in an old film canister or similar to counter this, along with putting plenty of silica gel packets in your camera bag. A good zoom lens is essential and a minimum of 300mm is recommended, but 400mm would be even better. Remember much of the photography in the forest will be in shadow, looking at dark subject matters so you will need to use a high ISO.

In the cities and markets, photographing people may not always be appropriate so please ask first and strike up a conversation to put people at ease. A wide-angle lens can be a great way to get a sense of place in the forest or a sense of scale in the markets.

What are the lodges and camps like in the Republic of Congo?

In Odzala National Park, the standard of accommodation is excellent. Here, there are upmarket lodges, catering for those who prefer their safaris on a fly-in basis, with high levels of comfort and great food and wine after a day in the wilds (although make no mistake, step outside your room and you are very much in the heart of Africa). These camps have private bathrooms, hot showers and are very comfortable – reflected in the higher costs.

However, outside of Odzala and the capital, Brazzaville, there is almost no tourist infrastructure and any accommodation options are extremely basic.

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