Congo is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Remote in the best possible sense of the word, this is safari in the original sense of the word – a voyage into the unknown. A journey of exploration and discovery that will whet even the most jaded of travel appetites. Congo is far from the beaten track – indeed, vast tracts of its pristine rainforest are far from any tracks at all. The very name ‘Congo’ conjures up powerful images of the heart of Africa, a place of marvels and wonder that few have ever visited.
Calmer and much more stable than its larger namesake, (the Democratic Republic of Congo) the "Republic of Congo" is approaching a vital crossroads. Despite its sparse human population, pressure is mounting to fund development by exploiting its natural riches – particularly oil and timber.
Ecotourism, although in its infancy, offers a viable alternative. Far-sighted conservationists have established a handful of sensitively designed and managed Camps in and around Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the north of the country.
One of Africa’s oldest protected areas, Odzala boasts the world’s highest density of western lowland gorillas, and many other charismatic species of bird, mammal and reptile in its 13 600km2. A vivid mosaic of habitats supports incredible biodiversity – several new species have been discovered there in recent years, and almost every day (and night) brings new discoveries.
There are few places left in Africa where you know that your footprints are among the first, and that by placing them there, you are making a real and lasting contribution to the conservation of the globally significant rainforests of the Congo Basin.
We love Congo for the chance it offers to intrepid explorers to have close encounters with habituated groups of gorillas and to spend time with the pioneering primatologists who have dedicated their lives to studying them.
In addition to the gorillas, Odzala has eleven species of diurnal primate and megafauna such as forest buffalo and forest elephant. These more visible species share Odzala with a whole host of fascinating creatures, many of them unknown to the uninitiated. If you’ve ever wanted to see a bongo in the Congo, or a potto, anomalure or tree pangolin, then Odzala is a must-visit destination.
Remember that palpable sense of excitement you felt the first time you set foot in Africa? Odzala is your chance to feel that way again, and discover much more besides