- Travel StylesTravel Styles
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PRICE FROMUSD 18 800 per person
IDEAL DURATION8 Nights
Destination: Republic of Congo
Robin and Jack wanted to visit a region of Africa that was a bit more off the beaten track. The Republic of Congo is a former French colony on the northern bank of the Congo River and home to some of the leading gorilla researchers, as well as rainforest and primate conservation initiatives. With plenty of water-based wildlife excursions and stunning accommodations, the pair set off on the adventure of a lifetime to make timeless memories of one of Africa’s most precious regions.
Discover all the unique details of this trip below
Robin and Jack arrived at Maya–Maya Airport, Brazzaville, in the Republic of The Congo where they were met and assisted to their transfer to the Radisson Blu M’Bamou Palace. Brazzaville is a charming city with architectural nods to its French heritage displayed through its light-coloured colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards, and old Catholic churches. The couple had a few hours to explore the city and the hustle and bustle of the Marché Total, the biggest market in Brazzaville, which houses a wonderful array of goods.
Day two took Robin and Jack to Odzala’s Mboko Airstrip for a warm welcome and a three-hour drive to Ngaga Camp through the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. One of Africa’s oldest national parks, it received Biosphere Reserve status in 1977 and covers an expansive 13,500 km2 area in the heart of the Congo Basin, also the second-largest rainforest in the world.
Full of stunning biological diversity, the region hosts 400 bird species and 114 mammal species, as well as over 4,400 varieties of plants, and is home to rare rainforest games like the pangolin, sitatunga, bongo and forest elephant. It is also home to the western lowland gorilla, which can be tracked from Ngaga Camp. A focal point for world-class research, as well as unforgettable primate encounters, Ngaga Camp’s unique design, evokes the fun and the mystery of childhood tree houses. From the elevated guest rooms, wrap-around walkways allow you to peer directly into the forest canopy.
The Camp is constructed from natural materials using traditional techniques. Home to central Africa’s highest density of Chimpanzees, this exceptional region hosts a myriad of other species including forest buffalo, leopard, bongo, giant forest hog and hippo. Clouds of spectacular butterflies are characteristic of the region, too. The pair’s time at Ngaga Camp focused on gorilla treks in the morning, followed by lunch at Ngaga camp and a relaxed afternoon or a forest walk for bird watching and river sundowners.
After a relaxed morning in the camp, on day five the couple travelled through Mbomo village to experience Sunday village life, then on to Mboko Camp for lunch. Post lunch, the pair headed to Lango Camp and baï via a relaxed kayak trip on the Lekoli River.
A real highlight of their stay at Lango was the chance to explore the Lekoli and Mambili Rivers by motorboat or traditional pirogue. Lango is also one of the few places in Africa where one can safely explore streams and marshes on foot – a truly immersive experience!
The lodge’s six guest rooms are raised to the level of the surrounding gallery forest, giving incredible views out onto the open marshy bai in front of the camp – one of the most arresting views of any camp in Africa. 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 Robin and Jack departed with their guide for a morning walk through the baï. Forest buffalo and harnessed bushbuck are regular visitors and can be seen at any time of the day. Forest elephants and spotted hyenas are also regular visitors more typically seen after dark. Among the region’s nocturnal creatures are bongo, leopard and red river hog. Western sitatunga and various forest duiker species can be encountered nearby, while guereza colobus monkeys are frequently seen in the camp. Other primates, such as grey-cheeked mangabey and putty-nosed monkeys, are commonly seen nearby, while chimpanzees are regularly heard from Camp.
The following day the pair enjoyed another guided walk followed by breakfast overlooking the baï. Departing the camp along the wooden path walk through the swamp, the couple hopped onto a game drive transfer to Mboko Camp where they were greeted with lunch and the choice of a relaxed afternoon or a walk through the forest, followed by a river cruise. Mboko Camp has 12 guest rooms that extend along the banks of a free-flowing tributary of the Lekoli River. Situated in an area of lush meadow-like savannah, frequented by forest buffalo, forest elephants and spotted hyaena, Mboko gives a sense of the scale of Odzala while also allowing you to focus on some of the smaller details: flowers and butterflies (depending on the season) can be seen in profusion. Spectacular star-viewing opportunities before you fall asleep to the sounds of flowing water.
On their final day on safari, the couple could choose between a guided walk through the forest, or simply take time to relax and enjoy the savannah views. After lunch at the camp, they headed off for an afternoon river cruise on the Lekoli River for a refreshing swim before preparing for the journey back home.