Small Group Safari

Congo Gorilla Tracking & Photographic Safari with Brent Stirton

Accompany world-renowned photojournalist Brent Stirton on a journey through Odzala-Kokoua National Park, tracking western lowland gorillas and honing your photography skills amidst forests, swamps and rivers.

Duration 9 days
Price From $11,340
When Sep 2019
Destination Congo

Safari Overview

On this safari to the northwest of the Republic of the Congo, you'll discover two of the unique camps within the pristine Odzala-Kokoua National Park, and a third on a private concession bordering the national park. This is a lowland rainforest characterised by a network of bais, rivers, marshes and swamps. This vast and truly wild region, with its wide range of landscapes and habitat, is home to an incredible diversity of life. Forest elephant, leopard, bongo, forest buffalo, giant forest hog and hippo live alongside the greatest density of western lowland gorilla in all of Africa. Led by award-winning photojournalist Brent Stirton, this safari is perfect for adventurous travellers and photographers hoping to get off the beaten track for incredible wildlife experiences. The recipient of a plethora of awards for his photographic and humanitarian work, Brent will be on hand throughout this trip to provide a truly unique perspective on what you’ll witness both from behind your lens and with your own eyes.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Accompany multi-award-winning photojournalist Brent Stirton on a unique journey into the raw, wild side of the Republic of Congo.
  • Spend 2-3 days tracking western lowland gorillas through the wilderness of Odzala-Kokoua National Park.
  • An opportunity to spend time with primatologists German Illera and Dr. Magda Bermejo, and learn about the important research work being carried out in Odzala-Kokoua.
  • Embark on night walks through the forest, searching for unusual nocturnal primates such as the galago and potto.
  • Enjoy a pirogue trip downstream along the Lekoli River.
  • Benefit from Brent’s decades of experience working in the field of investigative frontline photojournalism.
  • Hone your own photography skills as you learn from Brent’s experiences covering wildlife, conservation and conflict around the world.

Learn from a master of his craft and experience one of africa's most untouched wildernesses on this safari.

Experience this trip with footage shot on the ground by nws

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Day by day

Day 1

8 Sep: Arrive Brazzaville

Upon your arrival into Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the night. Here, you have the chance to relax after your flight and before the adventures of the coming days. Depending on your arrival time into Brazzaville, there is an option for a city tour in the afternoon.

Day 2

9 Sep: Brazzaville - Ngaga Camp

Board the scheduled light aircraft flight from Brazzaville to Ngaga Camp to begin your lowland gorilla safari. Upon arrival you will be greeted with cold towels and a welcome drink before checking in and enjoying lunch. Meet with your specialist leader, Brent Stirton, and get to know your group before setting out on a forest walk, with a local guide on hand to point out various local species of flora and fauna. Back at camp you will meet the gorilla research team who will tell you all about the work they are undertaking here, which will be sure to build your excitement for your upcoming gorilla treks. Dine on a three-course meal before retiring to your room in preparation for your early start the next day.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp B, L, D

Day 3

10 Sep: Gorilla Trek and Forest Walk

Wake at dawn to begin your day with a light breakfast before setting off at 6am for your first gorilla trek. Depending on the location of the gorillas, the treks to reach them can vary in length from just two hours to a full day. To safeguard the gorillas, tourists are able to spend just one hour with the group each day, making every minute precious. Make sure to bring all of the camera equipment you need, and hang on Brent’s every word as he shares the lessons learned from his decades of photographic experience. Pay close attention to the play of light and shadow among the foliage and watch how the gorillas interact with one another, from the smallest baby to the mighty silverback. Spending time with these amiable apes is an experience that will last long in the memory. After your hour is up, head back to Ngaga Camp for lunch. In the afternoon, take a guided walk to discover the forest's wildlife, ending at the river for sundowners. Finish your evening with drinks around the fire and another three-course meal.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp B, L, D

Day 4

11 Sep: Gorilla Trek and Night Walk

Today, wake early again for another gorilla trek. Where possible the team will try to locate a different family group of gorillas, but even if you see the same group again the experience is sure to be mesmerising. Many of those who have spent time with gorillas urge others to experience things differently during their second day with these great apes. By all means, take your camera, your batteries and your equipment, but try to take to time to truly immerse yourself in your surroundings, and connect with these intelligent primate cousins of ours as they go about their lives mere metres away from you. Watching a gorilla through a lens is magical enough in itself, but to look into one’s eyes with your own is to truly get a sense of our place in the world. In the afternoon you will have the chance to experience another forest walk with an expert guide, who will keep an eye out for unique birds and primates. Forest walks also extend into the evening to seek out nocturnal wildlife. Back at camp, enjoy drinks and dinner with your fellow travellers and discuss the events of the day.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp B, L, D

Day 5

12 Sep: Ngaga Camp - Village Visit - Lango Camp

Enjoy a relaxed morning in camp, with an optional third gorilla trek (at an additional cost of $350). Late morning, transfer around 2.5 hours by road to Lango Camp. Stop in at Mbomo Village for some village life before arriving at the camp and settling in in time for lunch. Your afternoon will be spent at leisure, watching from your vantage point out into the marshy bai in front of camp, which attracts huge flocks of African green pigeons and African grey parrots, and at night, forest elephants.

Overnight: Lango Camp B

Day 6

13 Sep: Lango Bai

Today is your chance to explore the area surrounding Lango Camp. Head out to the bais on foot and enjoy close encounters with wildlife such as forest elephants. Return to Lango Camp for lunch before choosing to either relax at camp or head out on an adventure walk. Back at the lodge, join the research team for an evening presentation on what has been snapped on the camera traps.

Overnight: Lango Camp B, L, D

Day 7

14 Sep: Lango Camp - Mboko Camp

Enjoy an early breakfast in camp, savouring the sunrise over the primeval forest. Look out for the multitude of resident bird species that make this forest their home – over 2,500 species are found here due to the diverse array of pristine habitats this area offers. Transfer from Lango Camp to Mboko Camp via a game drive and a walk along a wooden path raised over a swamp. Add to your birding count or seek out red river hog and harnessed bushbuck, which are regularly seen around camp. After lunch you have the option of a river cruise on the Lekoli River or a final adventure walk along the Likeni River.

Overnight: Mboko Camp B, L, D

Day 8

15 Sep: Mboko Camp

Forest buffalo, forest elephants and spotted hyena are frequently seen in the area of lush meadow-like savannah beyond Mboko Camp. As well as spotting wildlife either on foot, boat or safari vehicle, take time to enjoy the smaller details, such as seasonal flowers, butterflies, and colobus monkeys and grey parrota in the tree canopies. Near the edge of the park there is the chance to visit the nearby villages and interact with the local people. Boat and kayaking safaris are available along the Lekoli River. Look out for unique species during your trip such as the sitatunga, then head back to camp for dinner.

Overnight: Mboko Camp B, L, D

Day 9

16 Sep: Mboko Camp - Depart Brazzaville

This morning, after an early breakfast, check out of your camp and drive back to the airstrip for your flight to Brazzaville. Upon arrival in Brazzaville you will be met and assisted with connecting to your onward flight home.

Trip Details

This is a small group safari with photojournalist Brent Stirton departing on a single set date in September 2019. This is an exclusive trip with limited spaces available; please enquire for further information and to book your place.

2019 Departure Price
Sep 8 - 16 From £8,860 per person
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