The magic of Odzala

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None of us here at Travel Africa have visited Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo. But, boy, do we want to! We’ve known about it for a long time, and met several people who have been and raved about it. By all accounts it’s a long journey to get there, but it clearly doesn’t disappoint as a wilderness or wildlife destination, offering experiences and opportunities unavailable anywhere else. 

So we were thrilled when we started working with Odzala Discovery Camps, which operates three camps in the park, and particularly jealous when photojournalist Scott Ramsay returned from a visit with the stunning photographs and engaging report that we have published in our wildlife themed issue 84.

When the company shared their photo library with us, we couldn’t resist the temptation to share more of the pictures with you. Quite simply, this is too special a place not to share. We have to hope that it may be preserved so that future generations can appreciate it as much as we do. And a visit will certainly help that. We’ll race you there!

Odzala-Kokoua National Park helps to protect one of the most beautiful and intact rainforests on our planet. More than 500 different wildlife species are home here, in addition to thousands of plants.

 

Nearly 450 species of birds have been recorded in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, with more than 300 known to breed here.

 

Lango Camp, overlooking the marshy bai which attracts wildlife out of the forest cover.

 

The bai attracts huge flocks of African green pigeons (pictured) and grey parrots, as well as herds of forest buffalo by day and forest elephants at night.

 

Not your average game walk! Lango is one of the few places in Africa where you can safely explore the streams and marshes on foot.

 

Located in the south central part of Odzala, Lango allows easy access to a variety of converging habitats.

 

A highlight is to explore the Lekoli and Mambili Rivers by motorboat, traditional pirogue or even kayak.

 

Mboko Camp is the largest facility, with 12 guest rooms, and is situated in an area of meadow-like savannah along the banks of a tributary of the Lekoli River, giving a sense of the interplay between the tropical rainforest and grassland savannah.

 

Mboko is an area frequented by, among others, forest buffalo, forest elephant…

 

 

…and spotted hyena.

 

Venturing down the Lekoli River, from Mboko, hoping to spot forest buffalo, harnessed bushbuck, primates, birds, dwarf crocodiles, a multitude of birds and other wildlife.

 

Spotting forest elephant on a game walk from Mboko Camp…

 

…and forest buffalo.

 

Ngaga Camp is located just outside the park boundary, in the Ndzehe concession.

 

Its six elevated guest rooms and wraparound walkways allow you to peer directly into the forest canopy.

 

Ngaga is situated with the overlapping home ranges of several groups of western lowland gorillas, two of which are habituated.

 

It is unsurprising, therefore, that the main activity at Ngaga is tracking western lowland gorillas through the rainforest.

 

The Ndzehe Forest offers a network of well-maintained trails, giving plenty of opportunity to admire the forest habitat, and cool off after a day tracking gorillas.

 

Night walks offer the possibility of seeing nocturnal primates and other shy forest species.

 

Seek and ye shall find. A habitat as lush as this is home to a wealth of wildlife, such as this green micro tree frog.
Image by Scott Ramsay

 

(Images supplied by Odzala Discovery Camps, used with permission)

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