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Congo Exploration

Join Wilderness Collection on a journey through the life-filled African rainforest – along with the privilege and thrill of observing one of our closest relatives in the wild – the Western Lowland Gorilla

Day 01: Ngaga Camp, Ndzehi Concession

Meet your Odzala Wilderness Camps representative at Brazzaville’s Maya Maya international airport at 08h30 in preparation for your 09h30 private charter flight to Mboko Airstrip in Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The charter flight takes approximately two hours (possibly three hours if a fuel stop is required due to the plane’s load) and includes a light packed lunch. On arrival at Mboko Airstrip, you will be met by an Ngaga Camp guide for your three- to four-hour savannah and forest drive to Ngaga Camp, your home for the next three nights. You will be passing through different habitats and the village of Mbomo on the western boundary of the Park and hope for a glimpse of a variety of forest mammal and bird life en route. As you pass through Mbomo you will have an opportunity to visit the community garden that we sponsor, and where many of the fresh fruits and vegetables enjoyed in the Camps come from. Any produce that is ready to be harvested will be collected and taken with us to the Camp. Passing through the village will give insights into how a community exists in sustainable harmony with the surrounding forest, and how traditional values are being maintained as technological advances make their presence felt. If time allows, you can also stop at the village market to enjoy the hustle and bustle of this busy commercial centre, buy delicious fresh bread from the village bakery, or pop into a local bar for a Congolese beer.

On arrival at Ngaga Camp, you will be welcomed by the staff and given afternoon tea. Time to freshen up and settle in before receiving an extensive briefing on Western Lowland Gorillas, including the research project in the area, conservation of the species, its biology and ecology and of course what to expect when tracking the habituated groups of the area. If time allows, there will be a short introductory forest walk and / or sundowners by the Ngaga stream.

Day 02: Ngaga Camp

– Suggested itinerary; can vary depending on local conditions on the day

After an early morning wake-up and light breakfast, depart on foot with your guide and tracker on your first gorilla-tracking excursion. Using the expert skills of the trackers, you start at the point where the group chosen to be monitored for that day slept the night before and follow their tracks as they move through the forest, hopefully being able to locate and catch sight of them foraging. While home range sizes are relatively small, the gorillas can move quite quickly through thick forest undergrowth and during a two- to five-hour tracking excursion (including up to a maximum of one hour observing the gorillas – please note that actual time spent viewing the gorillas may vary considerably from day to day depending on prevailing conditions) you may cover between 5 and 8 kilometres. After this exhilarating experience  return to camp to freshen up and enjoy a substantial brunch. Time to relax during the middle of the day.

In the afternoon after a light tea, enjoy a guided forest walk in search of birds and primates as well as forest duiker. If their research schedule allows, you can spend time with primatologists Dr Magda Bermejo and German Illera, perhaps over a sundowner drink whilst overlooking the forest from the main deck of camp. This is also a great chance to listen to the sounds of the forest as the diurnal animals retire and their nocturnal counterparts become more active.

Day 03: Ngaga Camp

– Suggested itinerary; can vary depending on local conditions on the day

This morning after another early wake-up and light breakfast, set out again on foot for your second gorilla tracking excursion. Your expert trackers will again follow the tracks and signs of the group through the forest, hopefully until you find the group and enjoy a fascinating experience watching them resting and foraging. Returning to camp, time to freshen up and enjoy lunch and a siesta.

In the afternoon you go out on the forest trails in search of the birds and mammals of the area, returning to camp to enjoy a sundowner on the main deck looking out on the forest canopy. Alternatively you can enjoy an interactive cultural experience in the nearby traditional village of Ombo. Ombo provides an authentic rainforest village experience, with houses constructed from locally available natural materials and people continuing with a way of life entirely bound up with the surrounding forest. Ombo is where some of the supplies for the Camps are purchased, from pineapples to traditional baskets made from woven raffia palm leaves. You can be sure of a friendly welcome from our neighbours in Ombo and they evidently enjoy the opportunity to meet and interact with guests from all over the world. Night walks in the forest are another option, giving you a chance to look for unusual nocturnal primates such as galagos and pottos.

Day 04: Lango Camp, Odzala-Kokoua National Park

After breakfast depart for a three to four-hour savannah and forest drive to Lango Camp, passing through different habitats and the village of Mbomo on the western boundary of the Park. Once inside the Park, pass through open savannah and forest patches with views of the forest fringe and into the interior.

On arrival in Camp, time for lunch, relax and settle in before embarking on your short late afternoon activity (time permitting), which may consist of a walk around Lango Bai and the forest fringe and stream, or perhaps a savannah drive.

Day 05: Lango Camp

An early morning wake-up then a light breakfast on the main deck, before embarking on your first activity for the day. This could be a walk from camp through Lango Bai and down the clear, shallow waters of the Lango Stream to its confluence with the Lekoli River. A motorised pirogue will then head upstream for two hours (stopping en route for tea/coffee). The return to camp includes a downstream portion of the river followed by a drive through the savannah.

Back in camp a enjoy a substantial brunch and time to relax before heading out again for the afternoon activity. An example of this would be a return savannah drive to the boat jetty followed by a pirogue trip downstream along the Lekoli River with a stop for sundowners on the way. A night drive back to camp offers intriguing potential opportunities to see some of Odzala’s more secretive nocturnal creatures.

Day 06: Lango Camp

Wake up early for a light breakfast and coffee before setting off on the morning activity. Today this may begin with a savannah drive to the boat jetty at the confluence of the Likeni Stream and Lekoli River and then a pirogue trip down the Lekoli River in search of primates, forest buffalo and other species, before returning to camp on foot through Lango Bai. The trip along the river offers great opportunities for birding and mammals, while the walk can provide excellent viewing of buffalo, red river hogs, a number of primate species and even the secretive bongo.

You return to camp for an appetising lunch and some downtime before heading out again in the afternoon. You may head back to the boat jetty and take a pirogue trip upstream along the Lekoli River enjoying sundowners before returning to camp on a night drive, searching for elusive nocturnal species such as spotted hyaena, serval, the enormous Gambian pouched rat and even water chevrotain.

Day 07: Brazzaville

Wake up early once more for a light breakfast on the deck at Lango overlooking the bai before departing camp at 06h30 to Mboko airstrip. This is a 45-minute drive through a variety of different habitat types. Departure from Mboko airstrip will be at 07h30. You land back in Brazzaville at 10h30

[NB. This means that guests can only connect with international flights taking off from Brazzaville after 13h00].

 

CONGO EXPLORATION -  in USD

VALIDITY July 25 – December 25

Per Person

Single supplement.

6 night Package

6,000.00

3600.00

scheduled flight Brazzaville to M’Boko Airstrip minimum 2 passengers Currently approx 715.00 per person

Included:

accommodation, all meals, airstrip / camp road transfers, scheduled camp activities, park fees, laundry and all local drinks – excludes premium imported brands and champagne.

Activities:

  • Lango Camp – guided walking / game drives / boat cruises / motorised pirogue trips / park and forest visits.
  • Ngaga Camp – daily tracking of habituated gorilla groups / guided forest walks.

Excluded:

  • all flights (shown above) and departure taxes
  • gratuities &  items of a personal nature

Notes:

  1. Maximum proximity to gorillas is 7 metres (22 feet). One is not permitted to approach any closer and you typically view the gorillas at 10-15 metres (32-50 feet).
  2.  Maximum viewing duration of any individual gorilla group is 1 hour per day. Each group is only visited once per day.
  3. Maximum 4 number of guests per gorilla tracking excursion
  4. Guests that display cold, flu or other respiratory tract symptoms, will not be allowed to track gorillas. This is at the discretion of the researchers, guides and camp manager.
  5. While gorilla sightings and encounters are very reliable, viewing is dependent on variables such as weather and tracking conditions.

Please note: Prices and dates are subject to change at any time. Please call (647) 231-0067 or email us (info@africaonsafari.com) for current pricing.