PRICE FROMUSD 28 620 per person
IDEAL DURATION12 Nights
Destination: Republic of Congo
John and Louise wanted a meaningful visit to a smaller part of Africa in order to maximise time on holiday and minimise their time in transit. With a wonderful mix of exploring the Republic of the Congo’s cities and its top rural sites, they enjoyed a glorious blend of adventure and relaxation taking in local architecture, markets, stunning views and life-changing encounters with the region’s wildlife in untouched rainforests. They even spent time with the local gorilla research team.
Discover all the unique details of this trip below
John and Louise arrived at Maya-Maya Airport in Brazzaville where they were met, assisted and transferred to the Radisson Blu M’Bamou Palace Hotel, positioned in a prime location on the banks of the famous Congo River in the city’s central business district. The couple could take in the city’s light-coloured colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and old Catholic churches, or explore the hustle and bustle of the Marché Total, the biggest market in Brazzaville.
After a good night’s rest, the pair checked out and departed by private vehicle to the Maya-Maya Airport for their scheduled charter flight to Odzala, landing at Mboko Airstrip. Upon arrival they were welcomed and taken on the three-hour drive to Ngaga Camp through Odzala-Kokoua National Park where they spotted wildlife and took in the natural beauty of the surrounds. Located just outside the park boundary in the Ndzehe concession, Ngaga Camp overlooks a beautiful open glade within a forest above a forest stream and is situated within the overlapping home ranges of several groups of western lowland gorillas, two of which are habituated. With the rest of the day to explore the camp and settle in, John and Louise had lots of adventure planned for day three of their trip. Beginning the day with a gorilla trek, lunch at Ngaga camp was followed by an afternoon session with the gorilla research team, a forest walk and a night walk to view the nocturnal forest life.
After a relaxed morning in the camp, John and Louise traveled to the Mbomo village to experience Sunday village life, then on to Mboko Camp for lunch.They then headed to Lango Camp and baï via a kayak trip on the Lekoli River.
Lango Camp allows easy access to a variety of converging habitats, offering the chance to explore the Lekoli and Mambili Rivers by motorboat, traditional pirogue, or even kayak. It is also one of the few places in Africa where you can safely explore streams and marshes on foot – a truly immersive experience! The bai holds a magnetic attraction for huge flocks of African green pigeons and African grey parrots, as well as for herds of forest buffalo by day and forest elephants by night.
On day six the couple took in a morning walk through the baï. Forest Buffalo and Harnessed Bushbuck are regular visitors to the bai and can be seen at any time of the day. Forest Elephant and Spotted Hyena are also regular visitors but are more typically seen after dark. Nocturnal visitors to the bai include there are Bongo, Leopard and Red River Hog. Western Sitatunga and various forest duiker species can be encountered nearby and Guereza Colobus monkeys are frequently seen in Camp.
The following day the couple moved on to Mboko Camp via a game drive. Lunch and a lazy afternoon were followed by a river cruise. Mboko Camp’s 12 guest rooms extend along the banks of a free-flowing tributary of the Lekoli River and situated in an area of lush meadow-like savannah, frequented by forest buffalo, forest elephant and spotted hyaena. Mboko gives a sense of the scale of Odzala, beautifully showcasing the interface between the tropical rainforest and grassland savannah where hundreds of towering termite mounds help create an otherworldly experience. Stargazing at Mboko was a must, along with visits to the nearby villages on the fringes of the Park, where the pair met and interacted with the locals.
Day eight to eleven were spent travelling from Mboko Camp to Kabo Airstrip via a 40-minute flight, followed by a five-hour boat transfer to Sangha Lodge. Just 5 km from the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve, Sangha Lodge has a well-stocked bar, with a small kitchen that produces simple, yet tasty, Western and African foods. Sangha Lodge is located near the geographical heart of Africa, with chalets overlooking the Sangha River. The JP and Louise could experience the elusive forest elephant congregating en-masse, observing their social behaviours and interactions; spend time with the Ba’Aka net hunting; walk through the Valley of Giants; explore hidden waterfalls; kayak down the Sangha River; and learn about conservation efforts, including the Sangha Pangolin Project. They ended the day with sundowners on the star deck, marvelling at all this destination has to offer.
The final day of their Republic of the Congo exploration, JP and Louise enjoyed breakfast at the lodge b efore retracing their steps back to Mboko Lodge for a final night’s stay where they took in a sunset river cruise before heading to bed.
The couple departed Mboko for Brazzaville by air, before catching their return flights home after a magnificent stay.