Visit Odzala

Seven Reasons to Visit Odzala

Here are our seven reasons to visit Odzala Kokoua National Park. Nestled in the north-west corner of the Republic of Congo lies the unspoilt, 13,500 square kilometre Odzala, or more correctly the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Home to around one hundred mammal species, four hundred and forty bird species and with 4,400 recorded plant species, it is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.

 1. The Landscape

The park offers a variety of ecosystems; preserved old-growth rainforest of dense jungle with numerous bais, or glades, 350m high hills and dry forest and savannah which support a range of wildlife. 

Immerse yourself in one of the oldest parks in Africa and experience the world’s second largest rainforest after the Amazon, the Congo Basin.

2. Gorillas

A trip to Odzala is not complete without gorilla trekking to find the western lowland gorilla. 

This is the smallest subspecies of gorilla but is still an impressive sight as a male standing erect can measure 1.8m and weigh 140 kg. Gorilla trekking in Odzala is restricted to four guests with a guide and a tracker which makes for a less crowded experience and trekking permits are cheaper than elsewhere in Africa.

3. The Bais

The Bais are clearings in the forest and offer sightings of the forest dwellers.

Sit quietly alongside one of these glades and watch the wildlife that comes to eat and drink. You may see forest elephants, bongos, sitatungas and forest buffalo which are smaller and lighter than their savannah relatives.

If you stay at the Mboko camp, you can watch the putty-nosed monkeys that live in the forest in front of the camp.

4. Game Viewing

Apart from gorilla trekking, Odzala offers other opportunities to really experience all the park has to offer.

Walk through the park with a knowledgeable guide from the local community and view the fauna and flora on foot.

You can also take to the water with boat trips or for the adventurous, kayaking. See the wildlife such as hippos and water birds in their own environment. 

In the more open and lightly forested areas of the park, game drives are available. Keep your eyes open for hyenas and aardvarks.

The semi-flooded forest near Mboko boasts a 700m nature boardwalk which offers an opportunity to enter an area which would be otherwise inaccessible. 

5. Unsurpassed Biodiversity

The different ecosystems of the park offer an opportunity to see hippos and dwarf crocodiles one day then the next, you may spot bay duiker, black-fronted duiker or Peters’ duiker. 

Amphibians thrive in the park and you may see slender nosed crocodiles and a variety of amphibians such as the blue screeching frog and the oban toad.

6. The Accommodation

Tourism in the park is organised both by African Parks and the Congo Conservation Company

African Parks runs Imbalanga camp, a tented forest camp to the east of the park and accessible by the national road. Odzala Discovery Camps, managed by the Congo Conservation Company, consists of a series of three high-end tourism camps located in the south of the park: Ngaga, Lango and Mboko.

Lango Camp

Situated along the edge of a dense gallery forest, this camp overlooks the wildlife-rich Lango Baï. This site offers access to the Lekoli River and the surrounding forests.

📷Congo Conservation Company

Ngaga Camp

A research centre and six bungalows constitute Ngaga Camp. It rests in a glade within the primary forest above the Ngaga Stream. Spend some time with the habituated groups of western lowland gorillas in the area.

Mboko Camp

With twelve guest rooms, Mboko is the largest of the camps. This is the adventure camp on the edge of the savannah extending along the forested banks of the Likeni River.

📷Congo Conservation Company

7. Birds

With 440 recorded bird species in the park, birders will be in their element.

Species include the African fish eagle, black-backed cisticola, black-throated apalis, black-winged pratincole, eastern wattled cuckooshrike, forest robin, forest wood hoopoe, great snipe, green pigeon, grey parrot, grey-headed broadbill, lesser kestrel, Pel’s fishing owl, pied kingfisher, red-capped crombec, red-throated cliff swallow, Uganda woodland warbler, and yellow-capped weaver. 

You can also watch herons, hornbills, and kingfishers, including the goliath heron, black dwarf hornbill, and giant kingfisher.

Odzala-Kokoua National Park has a lot to offer and there is no better way to visit than with John Pearse Safaris. John will plan and arrange your safari at no additional charge. So give us a call today and let’s explore the magic that Odzala has to offer.