highlights and main attractions of NOUABLE-NDOKI NATIONAL PARK

A true unexplored wilderness and intriguing park for the intrepid traveller, one whose swampy tropical rainforests are filled with animals, Nouabale Ndoki National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in the Congo. The fact that it remains uninhabited by human settlers heightens simply adds to its appeal and authenticity, and with some of the most important populations of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants in the world, the opportunities for unique wildlife encounters are undeniable.

Today it remains one of the most intact forest ecosystems in the African continent.

where is nouabale-ndoki national park?

history and wildlife

Covering a total area of more than 4,000 kilometres squared, Nouabale Ndoki is situated in the north of Congo close to the borders with Central African Republic and Cameroon, and was established in 1993 by presidential decree in order to protect the incredible biodiversity of the park through land management, local education and research projects. 

The forest consists of both open and closed canopy, with an impressive mix of forest habitats such as swamp forest, vine forest and open clearings.  These forests are home to a terrific variety of flora and fauna, with in excess of 1,000 species of flora and 300 bird species.  

One of the most remote areas within the park is Mbeli Bai, which you reach after a 45 minute walk through the forest. Access to the Mbeli Bai Camp located there is by local pirogue boat through swamps, giving you a real sense of adventure as you wave your way through the buttress roots and lillies to arrive at the boardwalk.  Entering the Bai is a truly breathaking moment as you climb the mirador (viewing platform) which acts as your base throughout the day. The camp itself is known to see a range of wildlife visit, including a resident elephant and silverback gorilla, who can often be seen in the trees that surround the camp grounds. 

Wildlife enthusiasts may see crocodiles, black and white colobus monkeys, dwarf forest buffalo, bongos, leopards, antelope, leopard and duikers.

A stay at Mbeli Bai will bring you close to an array of wildlife over the course of 3 or 4 days, and you can expect to see lowland gorillas, forest elephants bathing, sitatunga, buffalo, red river hog, otters, crocodiles and a variety of birdlife. With approximately 150 lowland gorillas in the local vicinity who regularly pay a visit, this gives you roughly a 75% chance of seeing the gorillas each day. Evenings can be spent in the company of researchers who will be happy to take you through their work and the purpose of their projects. 

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