Etoumbi marks the point in northern Congo where the tarred road ends, and the adventure of exploring Odzala really begins. Guests travelling to Odzala by road stay at the Etoumbi Hotel (operated by the same company that runs the Camps in Odzala), ensuring a comfortable night’s rest before the river crossing in the morning.
Etoumbi is also where guests bid a fond farewell to the ‘purple turtle’, the guest bus which connects this riverside town with the capital, Brazzaville. Markets sell fresh tropical fruit and the ubiquitous small baguettes, a legacy of French colonial rule.
The night in Etoumbi gives you the opportunity to meet the Odzala guides, who will rendezvous with you there. The pontoon barge across the Likouala-Mossaka River is a real highlight of the journey, and a testament to Congolese ingenuity.
The journey to Etoumbi continues along dirt roads and as you near the Park, the trees become taller and more impressive, and signs of human settlement diminish. There are a number of small roadside villages with traditional houses, plus the chance to spot forest birds and monkeys along the way.
Travelling north of Etoumbi is the moment you penetrate the green veil of the Congo forest, and enter into a world largely untouched by man. A land of towering trees and dwarf crocodiles, of stingless bees and plants that seem to grow almost as you watch them.
Experience at least fifty shades of green, plus the splashes of colour provided by flowers, seed pods, and clouds of butterflies. Spot rare and strange forest wildlife, and encounter some of our closest living relatives deep in the forests of Odzala.
Etoumbi is where you’ll really start to feel that you are exploring somewhere quite different to your ‘standard’ safari destination. From here on in, you’ll be on a voyage of discovery that will leave you with wonderful lifelong memories.