A vast green wilderness nestled in the northwest of the Congo within the second largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world, the Odzala Kokoua National Park is an undiscovered gem that is waiting to be explored, despite being one of Africa’s oldest parks, proclaimed as it was in 1935 by French administration.
The gorillas found in Odzala Kokoua are western lowland gorilla, and are amongst the highest density recorded globally. Specifically, the area around Ngaga Camp groups of the gorillas range between 10 to 25 in size, usually with one silverback, the movements of which will depend on their proximity to leaves, shoots, plants and fruits.
Protecting an expanse of forest covering 13,600 square kilometres, Odzala Kokoua forms part of the Congo Basin but also overlaps Gabon and Central African Republic. The habitats of the park are wide-ranging, from forests and mashes to rivers and swamps. The north generally comprises more dense forest and steep hills, whilst the south has areas of savannah plains and forest islands. The many ‘Bais’ or swampy grassy zones found within the park are home to an impressive quota of flora and fauna. These salines attract animals who are drawn to the water and minerals found in the clearings. They therefore represent some of the best opportunities for sightings of some of the endemic wildlife found within the park.
Some of the most popular animals here are the lowland gorillas and forest elephants, but with over 100 mammal species in total there is plenty of other interesting wildlife. With a total of 11 diurnal primate species including the moustached monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and guereza colobus, this is the highest number to be found in any central African forest.
“BIRDERS TOO WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED, WITH A TOTAL OF 430 SPECIES INCLUDING BLACK GUINEA FOWL, GREY PARROT AND FOREST SWALLOW.”
The excellent Ngaga Camp not only places you in great proximity to the wildlife, it has also taken the designs of the local B’Aka pygmy groups, whilst the Lango Camp is set on the edge of the savannah and close to the Lekoli and Mambili Rivers, both brilliantly remote and offering a range of exciting explorations into the heart of Odzala Kokoua.