Located in north-western Congo, Odzala-Kokoua is one of Africa's oldest national parks. Habitat is primarily dense, equatorial rainforest but there are also areas of savannah, lush grasslands and the characteristic natural forest clearings or 'Bais', where mixed selections of wildilfe congregate on a regular basis, creating an impressive spectacle. The region is well drained, with expansive swamps, marshes and a network of rivers and streams. 

Wildlife is diverse, with key species including a significant population of Forest elephant, Forest buffalo and a variety of antelopes, notably the rare, forest-dwelling Bongo.  The area is perhaps best known for its primates, of which the star attraction is three habituated groups of Western lowland gorilla. Thanks to intensive work by researchers, visitors have the opportunity to track the gorillas on an almost daily basis. 

Birders will be in their element here: among the 430-odd species recorded in the park are the likes of Congo serpent-eagle and flocks of African grey parrot. The park is also home to a diverse array of reptiles, frogs and impressive invertebrates which include clouds of butterflies (seasonally). 

The national park is reached by chartered plane once weekly from Brazzaville. There is an airstrip near Lango Camp, on the far western edge of the park. Ngaga Camp is about a two and a half hour drive away and is the place to go to seek the habituated Western lowland gorillas. Each of the three habituated gorilla groups in the area are about 16- strong. When tracking, wearing masks is a requirement and number of guests is restricted to four. 

Craig Kaufman

Travel Specialist

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