THE SECOND LUNG OF AFRICA
The most exciting development in African travel is the Congo (or Congo-Brazzaville). Access to the equatorial rainforests of Africa is now easier than ever before. Home to around 100 mammal species including the western lowland gorilla, chimpanzees, forest elephant, buffalo and the rare bongo antelope, it is an extremely important biodiversity centre for the world.
With 70% of the country covered in rain forests, these forests have been referred to as “the second lung of the world.” In this way, they contribute to world climate in many ways. They are dense, complex and remote, making them the least-explored corner of Africa.
The key safari location lies in the exceptional Odzala-Kokoua Forest, which has been protected since 1935. It is an undisturbed primary forest and home to the western lowland gorillas that have become habituated to human presence. This low-impact safari allows guests the opportunity to partake in walking safaris to view the gorillas. Entering into marshy clearings, known as a bai, guests will see where herds of elephant and other wildlife congregate. They can also swim through the crystal clear waters, kayak and boat along waterways spotting antelope, birds and beautiful butterflies along the way.
As a country rich in wildlife and in culture, the Congo is the next big thing in safari travel in Africa. If you want an experience that cannot be offered anywhere else, then this is the place to visit.
Ngaga camp is located in the Ndhezi Forest on the western boundary of the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The camp overlooks a beautiful, open glade in the heart of the pristine primary rainforest, overlooking a forest stream. Each room is raised off the forest floor to offer views into the surrounding canopy. This makes for the perfect childhood treehouse setting. The dining room, lounge and bar area are all on raised decks at the crest of the glade, looking into and above the primary forest.
It is also constructed from natural and traditionally-used materials like woven raffia, allowing it to blend perfectly into its surroundings. A star deck and fire pit are the perfect places to relax and listen to the sounds of the forest. There’s also a smaller deck on the stream below, offering the perfect place to cool off during the day.
The camp is situated with the overlapping home ranges of several groups of western lowland gorillas, two of which are habituated to human presence. There could not be a better place to have a camp for those interested in gorilla viewing.
Mboko camp is situated inside of the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, resting on a savannah alongside the Lekoili River.
The camp is frequented by forest elephant and buffalo. These animals graze in the savannah that lies in front of the camp. At night, guests are even able to see spotted hyena from the comforts of their room, making for an exciting experience even when resting.
The 700m long boardwalk from the camp extends into the swampy forest. This allows guests to experience the true wonders of the area. A combination of game drives, walks and boating will ensure that guests are able to access the most productive areas in the region with little hassle. Look out for dwarf crocodiles, forest ducks and even hippo on your adventures. An area known for a variety of primates and rare antelope, this is an Africa that is untouched and rarely explored.
Lango camp is situated in the south-central region of the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. This is nestled in a dense gallery forest with each room, dining room, lounge and bar area on raised decks overlooking the Lango bai. Constructed from local materials and built in a traditional manner, it is the perfect way to enjoy the forest.
Raised walkways connect every room to the main area that incorporates a star deck and a dropped fire deck overlooking the bai.
At Lango camp, guests are able to drive, walk and boat through the region in search of unique mammals and bird species.
In combination with visiting the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, guests have the ability to extend their journey into the Central African Republic to visit the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve. This is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sangha Trinational.
Both Odzala and Sangha are part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem with rich fauna and flora. This includes the critically-endangered western lowland gorilla, forest elephant, forest buffalo and bongo, to name only a few.
At Sangha, guests are able to lose track of time by witnessing hundreds of animals that frequent the Dzanga Baï, a mineral-rich clearing in the middle of the forest. Why not spend a day with the Ba’Aka tribe as they invite you into their daily lives that include net hunting, traditional medicinal plant gathering and hut building?
From gorilla trekking to forest walks in search of remote baïs, you will encounter rare antelope like bongo, pangolins and forest elephant.
As an eco-friendly lodge made up of tree houses above the water, guests can relax as they watch the sunset over the forest in one of the most remote regions on the continent.