Dense, complex and remote, the 4-million-square-kilometre Congo Basin is perhaps the continent’s least explored wilderness. Congo Conservation Company has combined two pivotal areas in this magnificent sphere – the 13 000 km2 Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the north west of the Republic of the Congo, and the 7 500 km2 Sangha Trinational, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a collaborative protected area from the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Central African Republic. Within the Sangha Trinational is Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve. Both Odzala and Sangha are part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem with rich fauna and flora, including the critically endangered western lowland gorilla, forest elephant, forest buffalo, and bongo to name but a few. Accommodations between Odzala Discovery Camps and Sangha Lodge differ, but the ethos remains the same – to protect and conserve the land and its inhabitants, making it commercially viable through low-impact tourism.
Monday / Thursday departure from Brazzaville includes:
Monday departure from Brazzaville Includes:
Monday departure from Brazzaville includes:
Thursday departure from Brazzaville Includes:
Please note: activities described are an example of what might happen from day to day. local climatic and other conditions occasionally dictate changes to this in order for our guests to have the best possible chances of seeing desirable species. Adaptations to these activities can also be made on request where this is required for specialised group bookings. Each group of guests has two opportunities to track gorillas.
Gorilla viewing protocol is based on the guidelines issued by the IUCN for great ape viewing and is very similar to that of Rwanda/Uganda. Protocols are designed specifically to limit stress and behavioural impact and also potential disease transmission from humans to gorillas. They are critical for gorilla conservation.
The vast green wilderness that is Odzala-Kokoua National Park has a multitude of habitats. In general, the north of the Park has dense forest covering many steep-sloped hills, while in the west a major escarpment runs roughly north-south from which the altitude drops 350 metres into low swampy forest. The southern part of the Park is characterised by pockets of savannah dotted with forest islands, bisected by the rivers and their associated gallery forests.
A primary feature is the occurrence of “bais” or salines. These are swampy, grassy clearings in the otherwise dense forest that forest wildlife visit on a regular basis in order to drink, feed on sedges and grasses, and obtain minerals and salts. These bais range in size from less than a hectare to more than ten hectares and represent the best chance of seeing forest wildlife. The bais we visit in Odzala-Kokoua are relatively small and as a result offer the opportunity for close up viewing of various wildlife species.
Odzala is blessed with numerous habitats, which range from dense primary forest to forest fringe, savannah, wide, languid rivers and forest bais and salines. As a result, species diversity is high and the rivers and bais in particular allow the ‘green curtain’ of the forest to be pulled back and allow our guests an insight into this spectacular ecosystem. This vast, wild region, with its wide range of landscapes, is home to an incredible diversity of life.
It holds globally significant populations of Western Lowland Gorilla and Forest Elephant as well as a plethora of other species: 430 bird species and more than 100 mammal species of which around 50 are classified as medium- or large-sized. It has the highest number (11) of diurnal primates for any forest block in central Africa, as well as central Africa’s highest density of Chimpanzees. Other species include Forest Buffalo, Leopard, Bongo, Giant Forest Hog and Hippo.
Clouds of spectacular butterflies are characteristic of the region. The trees are spectacular: ancient giants well over 50 metres tall emerge from the canopy, delicate orchids cling to the branches, while the forest floor is littered with an incredible array of pods, fruits, flowers and fungi.
Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve lies in the extreme southwest of the Central African Republic, bordering Cameroon to the southwest and Republic of Congo to the southeast. The park consists of nearly 832.5 thousand acres (3,369 km2) of tropical moist forest, much of which is relatively intact. Combined with its sister reserves, Lobéké National Park in Cameroon and the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, this rainforest is the second largest on earth. The main river running through the reserve is the Sangha River, and the tri-park basin area is often referred to as the Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area (STN).
The average annual rainfall is about 1500 mm and the average temperature is between 24 and 29 °C. The most precipitation in the reserve area falls in the long rainy season from October to November and in the short rainy season between May and June.
Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve is ecologically rich and contains a variety of megafauna such as western lowland gorillas, African forest elephants, bongo antelopes, African forest buffalos, white-nosed and moustache monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, bushpigs, duikers, and many different bird species. Of particular note, though, are the western lowland gorillas and forest elephants.
Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve has one of the highest population densities of gorillas in the world with an estimated 2000 of them living within the reserve's precincts. Since the establishment of the reserve it has been an important location for research into the western lowland gorillas and forest elephants in particular.
There are thousands of insect species. Rodent species include cane rat, giant rat, and porcupine. The reserve is also noted for its dark-crowned forest eagles which have an average wingspan of 1.55 metres and the blue-breasted kingfisher.