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overview

The Congo Rainforest Expedition is a 6-night, fly-drive itinerary in Odzala National Park featuring jungle treks, nature walks, river cruises and kayaking adventures in the care of passionate guides and expert trackers. The lodges are relaxed and comfortable, accommodating a maximum of 12 guests and suffused with generous hospitality. Lango Camp overlooks a ‘bai’ – a large natural mineral lick and watering point - frequented by forest buffalo and larges flocks of birds; Ngaga Camp is set deep in the forest, sharing a base with the research team that habituates and studies the gorillas.

To go on a Congo safari is to be a frontrunner in the race to protect the jungle and its western lowland gorillas. Since about 1999 or so, gorilla trekking tourism has been decisive in conserving mountain gorillas and their habitats in Uganda and Rwanda, destinations that have rapidly risen up travellers' bucket lists. Congo is embarking on a similar journey but offers a unique wilderness setting.

The best way to experience the Congo is simply to slow down and allow your senses to take it all in. 

View our photo album from a recent trip to the Congo for a firsthand taste of what to expect from your safari.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Central West Africa’s magnificent rainforest
  • Slow down and see the small things
  • Play a vital part in pioneering a unique conservation story
  • Enjoy an active, fascinating nature experience
  • Learn about unique, endangered forest animals
  • Explore on guided walks, boats & kayaks
  • Relax in comfortable, fly-in lodges

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

The adventure begins

You are met  on arrival at Brazzaville's light and modern airport. There is a daily charter flight to Odzala National Park, so depending on your arrival time you will either be transferred to a luxury hotel overnight, or checked in for your charter flight. If you do overnight in Brazzaville, there is plenty to see and do in this pleasant city. If you fly out directly, you will soon see the tamed urban world giving way to countryside far below you.

As your flight descends, a sea of lush green appears beneath the tropical cloud cover. The foliage opens up to reveal a grass runway – your entry point to the rainforest. You are among the few travellers to come here, and the sense of adventure is palpable as you step out of the plane. Your guide meets you in a rugged 4X4 safari vehicle for the transfer to Ngaga Camp. Your journey takes you over grassland, winding between pockets of woodland and through a vibrant community, carrying you deeper and deeper into the heart of the rainforest.

After a warm welcome, you settle into your traditional thatched suite. Later, over orientation, you hear about the western lowland gorillas that live in the surrounding forest. Several family groups are habituated to the presence of humans by the researchers working actively in the area. The excitement builds as your guide explains what to expect on a jungle trek.

Day 2-3

Rainforest trek

Rainforest trekking is the main attraction at Ngaga Camp: you walk out directly from the camp with your guide, led through the cathedral-like rainforest by expert trackers, you make your way through lush undergrowth spotlit by sunbeams and full of the chatter of unseen birds and insects. A hush descends as the tracker signals you to move forward cautiously: the gorillas are nearby. You don your mask and step behind your guide, slipping quietly through the undergrowth until the unmistakable black bulk of a lowland gorilla comes into view.  You settle in to observe the gorillas as they forage peacefully, wild and uninhibited by your presence. When sweat bees gather to gently lap the sweat from your skin, you quickly don the face nets provided by the guide and marvel at this new layer to the jungle experience. 

You have another day for rainforest trekking, time enough to make the most of Ngaga Camp superb setting, soaking up the sights and scents of the planet’s second largest swathe of rainforest, home to butterflies, birds, monkeys and the calls of foraging chimpanzees on the air.

Day 4

Journey to Lango bai

After breakfast, it is time to discover the other side of Odzala. A three-hour drive follows jungle tracks and winds past local villages to bring you to Lango Camp. Raised on stilts among a gallery of woodland it overlooks Lango Bai, a shallow lagoon rich in natural minerals that attracts herds of forest buffalo.

After freshening up in your tented suite, you settle down on your private viewing deck to soak up the forest sights and sounds, or take a short guided stroll to the bai for your first taste of the rainforest. The sun sets quickly in the jungle but, as with every sunset in Africa, the close of day is marked with convivial conversation and tall, cool sundowners.

Days 4-5

Bai expeditions

The smell of fresh coffee and jungle’s dawn chorus lure you from your suite. A full morning hike in the rainforest lies ahead, and you set off to explore with expert guides after breakfast.

The terrain changes dramatically as you explore on a guided nature walk, from the emerald shadows of thick woodland to lush grasslands, swamp forests and open bais. The adventure walk takes you along the secret pathways of forest elephant, stepping in their tracks, exploring the hidden depths of the woodlands between stretches of open savannah. 

The nearby Lekoli River is home to abundant birdlife and a great way to view shy forest species, like buffalo and elephant. You explore the winding waterways by boat and on kayaks, floating along effortlessly.

The Lekoli River is a slow, snaking brown waterway bordered by towering rainforest and patches of savannah, slowing here and there into shallow bais. Explore the Lekoli by motor boat, traditional pirogue or kayak  its flat waters make for easy navigation and the surrounding jungle is alive with chattering birds and monkeys. 

When night falls on your last day at Lango, you settle onto the comfort of the deck overlooking the bai – stars rise up over the wilderness the sky above you sparkles with diamonds of light, a slice of heaven framed by a circle of towering rainforest trees.

Day 7

Homeward bound

After breakfast, you drive back to the airstrip for your charter flight to Brazzaville. As you wing your way over Odzala’s incredible rainforest, you feel the full privilege of being one of the few travellers to witness a truly wild place. You have explored the rainforest initimately, watched forest buffalo drinking at a bai and heard the conversation of monkeys. You will never forget meeting a lowland gorilla family, free and at ease in their natural world.

Inclusions

  • 6 nights accommodation on fully inclusive basis
  • Airstrip / camp road transfers
  • Park fees
  • Laundry
  • Tracking of habituated gorilla groups / guided forest walks at Ngaga Camp
  • Guided walking / boat cruises / motorised pirogue trips / kayaks / park and forest visits at Lango Camp

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Additional Tour Notes

Package excludes all flights, departure taxes, custom stamp fee of US$40.00 per person, visas, accommodation and excursions in Brazzavile

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 02 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2014 $6475
  • 01 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015 $6930

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Liesel van Zyl

Liesel van Zyl

Product Manager

"The Congo Rainforest is about as offbeat as you can currently get in Africa; we've partnered with a reliable and professional company to bring you not just another safari, but an opportunity to discover and delight in the smalls that make up this fast disappearing ecosystem. Must have: patience, no expectations & an enquiring mind! Some great adventure activities for those inclined, otherwise just plenty of gentle forest walks and slow river cruises...this is an experience that goes alongside the likes of Mahali, Ruaha, Rubondo & Niassa - those last remaining gems which require a real love of Africa and her conservation efforts."

From

$6475

Per person sharing

View all rates ENQUIRE NOW
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