GORILLA SAFARI • REPUBLIC OF CONGO
About Odzala Gorilla Safari Experience
The most exclusive Gorilla safari.
Odzala is home to 430 species of birds. Special varieties include: Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, Gabon Woodpecker, African Grey Parrot, White-crested Tiger-heron, Black Guineafowl, Vermiculated Fishing-Owl, Congo Serpent-eagle, Forest Swallow, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Grey-headed Broadbill, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Greenbuls, Alethes and Akalats.
Western Lowland Gorilla are observed in two unique settings at Odzala:
1. Professionally-guided FOREST tracking of habituated gorilla groups led by expert local Mbeti trackers; Our Resident Camp Guides Okoko Zepherin and Okele Gabin.
2. At Special OBSERVATION HIDES on the edge of forest bais for gorilla groups foraging on sedges (water grass).
In keeping with the WILDERNESS Conservation Model, the Gorilla viewing protocol at Odzala Wilderness Camps is based on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines issued and designed specifically to limit behavioral impact and potential disease transmission from humans to gorillas.
• Maximum proximity to gorillas is 22-feet, with typical interactions occuring at 32-50 feet.
• Maximum viewing duration of any individual group is 1-hour per day.
* Each group is only visited once per day, but if guests would like to spend more than an hour with gorillas on a particular day and time allows it is possible to track a different group following the first encounter.
• Maximum number of guests allowed per gorilla tracking excursion is 6 persons (our 2 eco-camps only accommodate 12 guests each; Expeditions are split into two guided groups covering different families).
• Guests that display cold, flu or other respiratory tract symptoms, will not be allowed to track gorillas.
• No food is permitted on gorilla tracking excursions, nor is smoking allowed. Hand washing facilities are provided at Ngaga Camp prior to gorilla tracking.
• While gorilla sightings and encounters are very reliable in this area, as with all wilderness excursions viewing is always dependent on natural variables such as weather and forest tracking conditions.
Extra cost for all Odzala Safaris: International air travel to/from Brazzaville • Guide Tipping • Comprehensive insurance coverage • Visas
- All rates are based on seasons indicated & subject to increase without prior notice due to government levy or change in rate of exchange.
- All bookings are subject to our service & Odzala booking terms.
- All flights and added safari camps can be booked with us at extra cost.
Luxury Safari Camps in Botswana or a gorgeous beach
getaway to Seychelles at special discounted rates. Select
from the following add-on Wilderness Collection travel ideas
to finish your Gorilla trekking experience:
• Abu Camp - Elephant back safari
• Mombo Camp - Big Cat safari
• North Island Seychelles
GUIDE'S DIARY PROGRESS REPORT: Odzala Camps, Congo
Diary entry: February 28 2013
As construction continues at Odzala the park's wild habitants have offered their curiosity and acceptance of our presence in their territory with frequent sightings: Leopard, Hyena, Sitatunga, Jackals, herds of Forest elephant and buffalo, Colobus and De Brazza's monkey and a singular Silverback western lowland Gorilla have all been spotted just off the road ways, with a thousand-strong colony of African Grey Parrots ever present in the area. Two herds of forest buffalo and a now-resident camp supervisor Forest Elephant have all been overseeing the construction take place and inspecting the camp grounds.
As the plans at Odzala unfold, happy incidences have offered a few surprises along the way:
Ngaga Camp's site has now been moved about 2-km (1.2 miles) into the forest in a new visually stunning setting with beautiful views over the hills. More space, with ample water in the overlooking river at site, brings Ngaga Camp closer to the core area of Gorilla activity making the safari excursions even more fruitful.
Having begun the process, the experience at Odzala Camp base has been an interesting one for project manager, Bas van Soest; digging in mud and sweat one moment and driving to Brazzaville in suit-and-tie the next for formal presentations hosted by European Union Ambassador and African Parks for Friends of Odzala (Amis d'Odzala). Back at camp, under the leadership of Wilderness guide Karl Diakite, the team of 50 villagers from the community were employed in construction and had already cleared a rough road to the Ngaga Camp site with layout plans underway.
Lango Camp is sited about 2-hours drive from Ngaga Camp and the construction and carpentry team is making rewarding progress there led by Bas van Soest and his team headed up by Math and Nick. Lango Camp is taking superb shape with the main deck area (to be used as lounge and al fresco dining) overlooking the forest bai (raised 4 meters off ground) almost complete. Images of tranquil breakfast and lunches laid out on the deck come to mind as one takes in the sweeping view of the forest shade with buffalo herds and antelope in the backdrop.
Equipment and uniforms - blue overalls, work boots and such - arrived at Odzala almost in the spirit of a "Christmas" present for the crew who posed for group photos, with the team now dubbed "Barcelona". These "work clothes" have become somewhat of an emblem in the community, often worn proudly even when on leave to the villages adjacent to Odzala.
All rewarding shapes, both in morale and actual creation taking form, are happening at base camp as we move toward the opening deadline for May 31 - to which we all greatly look forward!
Ngaga Camp at Odzala Oct 2011
From the Wilderness Safaris Guides’ Dairies: "A recent trip to do an Environmental Impact Assessment on the two small camps we are developing in Odzala had some fantastic buffalo, gorilla and other sightings. The highlight though was three magnificent forest elephant bulls seen together along the Lekoli River."
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