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Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Odzala National Park Republic of the Congo
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About

#1 of 2 Speciality lodging in Odzala National Park
Today, Odzala Discovery Camps - Ngaga Camp, Lango Camp, and Mboko Camp - are gaining fast traction with travellers who visit to experience the western lowland gorillas, forest elephant, bongo and many more species through a 4, 7 or 10-night itinerary between the 3 camps. In 2019, new 10 and 11-night journeys were launched connecting Odzala-Kokoua National Park with the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve through a new access route to the Central African Republic by way of an airstrip at Kabo in Republic of the Congo and a boat journey up the Sangha River to Sangha Lodge. This innovative access route creates a pathway between Odzala Discovery Camps and Sangha Lodge allowing travellers the opportunity to access the Congo Basin through Brazzaville with charter flights and boat journeys for the first time with a choice of expeditions into these remote regions.
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Heather T wrote a review Oct 2019
London, United Kingdom27 contributions12 helpful votes
If you truly believe in supporting the conservation of a remote, rich tropical rainforest - travel to Odzala-Kokoua National Park and you will be amazed. Go with a spirit of adventure, an open mind and a sense of humour and you will experience the most incredible adventure. Magnificent rainforest, amazing wildlife and fantastic guides - thank you Biff The Odzala team work extremely hard to ensure all their guests experience the very best of this most precious place.
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Date of stay: October 2019
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Maria Lucia S wrote a review Sep 2019
Rio de Janeiro, RJ510 contributions159 helpful votes
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I saw the pictures of this place before, at their website, but nothing prepared me for what I have encountered there. Ngaga camp is not a place, it is a life changing experience. It is located at a concession at Odzala, in the middle of the forest of Congo. It has 6 huts on stakes, constructed pigmy style. The rooms have a bathroom annexed, linked by a suspended boardwalk. They are rustic and decorated beautifully, in the middle of the forest, with its beautiful and soothing sounds. The main hall is in a separate spacious pavilion, with comfortable sofas and couches on the floor. It is also the dining area. After a two hours flight from Brazaville, we were greeted at the air strip by a group of the staff, including our young guide, Elizabeth. There were snacks and drinks. She drove us to the camp. Raphael, the manager, and part of the camp staff welcomed us. He was an impeccable host. Hurmel, Rency and Noe work there and are extremely friendly and efficient. They go out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Each day you can do a gorilla tracking, with the guide and a tracker. It is a transforming experience. Elizabeth is wonderful and our trackers were very good and made sure we found gorillas. At the afternoons there are nice activities with drinks, at beautiful surroundings. The food is absolutely delicious. There are always several choices. I am a vegetarian and it was very good to have gourmet vegetarian food, something very rare. Ngaga camp is a research facility also and we have met the chief researcher, the leading world specialist on Western low land gorillas. It was a pleasure and a privilege. All in all, this is one of the best places I have been!
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Date of stay: September 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
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Roz N wrote a review Aug 2019
Sandbach, United Kingdom163 contributions50 helpful votes
My partner and I were keen to see gorillas in the wild and when we discovered that we could see them in the Republic of the Congo we jumped at the chance, and it was a wonderful experience. We stayed at Ngaga, this camp is so well designed and thought out, each of the rooms has its own platform overlooking the forest canopy. The the communal area has an outdoor fire pit, an indoor seating area and a restaurant (it also has a "loo with a view") all high above the canopy, so great for bird watching while enjoying a meal or drinks. The food is superb, really varied and fresh, with meat and vegetarian options every day. The gorilla trekking was an incredible experience which will stay with us forever, walking silently through the forest with guide Alice and either Gabin or Zepherin the trackers. Being able to spend time with just the four of us and the magnificent gorillas in close proximity was a real privilege and an experience we will never forget. We did three treks and each one we got to spend time with either Jupiter or Neptuno's families. ODC also have small surprises each day, from sun downers in a crystal clear creek to cooking sweet corn over a fire in a clearing, to night drives spotting nocturnal primates. The guides, Alice, Ade and Liam were great fun and so knowledgeable we were with Alice mostly and she was fantastic. if you want wildlife, adventure, wilderness and somewhere different then ODC is for you, I really want to go back.
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Date of stay: July 2019
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BAM1113 wrote a review Jul 2019
New York City, New York, USA983 contributions207 helpful votes
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The 3 camps in the Odzala-Kokoua NP, Ngaga, Lango and Mboko, are surprisingly comfortable considering the location, with modern facilities and amenities, as well as caring service. The flight from Brazzaville in their small plane is scenic and comfortable. This is not Botswana or South Africa, however, you're visiting to be thrilled by close encounters with unusual wildlife in a wild and wonderful environment, not for a top end luxury experience. My husband and I had viewed 4 families of mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda and were keen to observe lowland gorillas in the wild. ODC delivered beyond our expectations! At Ngaga we joined another traveler and on subsequent days our tracker and guide lead us to see the 2 local groups of habituated Western Lowland Gorillas. Jupiter and Neptuno were the silverbacks leading these families. It was amazing how agile and graceful these weighty apes were while scrambling up and down trees. The best part though was the opportunity to visit D'zebe Bai. The Odzala team has been scouting this remote location for a new camp, so we lucked out and got to preview it. We were only the second tourist group to visit it. We arose at 4:30 am for the long, bumpy drive, but it was well worth the effort. From a small hide overlooking the bai we watched a huge, impressive silverback come to drink and consume minerals (he had a deformed foot which might explain why he was solo) and a while later an entire family spread out in and around the bai. These gorillas were not habituated to humans. We were able to sit quietly and observe their activities until they moved on, while also catching glimpses of Moustached and Putty-nosed Monkeys jumping through the surrounding trees. When we left the hide we found that lunch had been set up in a nearby clearing, which we enjoyed before the long drive back to Ngaga. During our time at the camps we also saw chimpanzees eating fruit, Guereza Colobus, Grey-Cheeked Mangabey, Agile Mangabey and Putty-Nosed Monkeys, some very close, Forest Elephants, Forest Buffalos, Sitatungas, Bushbucks, nocturnal Potto (a type of Loris), two types of Galagos (type of Bushbaby) and lots of birds including African Grey Parrots, African Green Pigeons, a Long-Tailed Hawk, Fish Hawks, Green-backed Herons, Orange-Cheeked Waxwings, 4 species of colorful Kingfishers and many more birds. It was pretty rough going at times, but worth it. Each camp offers different experiences so it's best to stay at all 3. We spent 4 nights each at Ngaga and Lango and 3 nights at Mboko and felt that this was a good amount of time, though you might want an extra night at Lango. You can see so much wildlife right from the camp, that it would be nice to have a day to just hang around camp. A reasonable degree of fitness is fine but good mobility is a must since you will walk quite a bit, often via animal trails that are not cleared. Our guide, Alice, was superb as well as being a joy to spend time with. We ended up having 2 guides at times since we got along so well with another couple that sometimes we'd join together on an excursion and share Ady, who was equally delightful. ODC provides excellent value for a very special experience and you'll enjoy it very much so long as you don't mind some insects, walking in water (which we found to be mostly fun) and bouncing around on rough roads. In the earlier reviews there are some exceedingly helpful tips about what to pack that are well worth reading.
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Date of stay: June 2019
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Jacx M wrote a review May 2019
1 contribution5 helpful votes
We have just returned from a trip to the Odzala camps in the Republic of Congo. We will admit to having reservations, everyone pulled faces at us when we told them we were going to the Congo, isn’t that dangerous? Brazzaville is the cleanest city we have ever visited, they banned plastic bags in 2012, and the people are extremely well dressed and proud of the city, that is obvious. The city feels safe and welcoming, we stayed two nights in the Radisson Blu hotel in Brazzaville, which was an extremely smart and comfortable hotel with an excellent restaurant overlooking the sparkling Congo river. It’s a hard place to get to but well worth the effort. We flew with Ethiopian airlines from Heathrow to Addis Ababa and then from Addis to Brazzaville. Jackie had an issue with her visa on arrival but fortunately an Odzala camp manager arrived and resolved the problem with the immigration staff....just the first example of what we found to be an extremely efficient and well run operation. We took a 2 hour flight over the Congo basin, the view is incredible with trees as far as the eye can see. At the camp airstrip we were met by the entire guiding team and took a 3 hour game drive with our guide Liam and another senior guide Clem to our first camp, during which we saw a lone chimp on the road, forest buffalo, various bee-eaters and monkeys. We were immediately struck by the humour, knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides we met, in fact we have never been at another camp where the sense of camaraderie and fun among all the guides has been so evident. This created a great atmosphere, not only during activities but also at mealtimes and post dinner drinks. We stayed in 3 camps, firstly Ngaga for the lowland gorillas. We did 4 gorilla treks - 2 with each of the habituated groups - and spent time with them each day. Of the 2 silverbacks Jupiter seemed much more chilled than Neptuno (who mock charged us twice on one day) but we ended up with excellent views of both of them as well as the rest of their group, including some very inquisitive and playful youngsters. It had been a lifelong ambition to see lowland gorillas in the wild so this was a real thrill. Another unexpected highlight of our time at Ngaga was the chance to spend an hour or so watching a troop of non habituated chimps. Really hadn’t expected that. Ngaga is a beautiful camp set deep within the rainforest, which hums with life. We had an impressive thunderstorm on our first night/ day which delayed our gorilla trek, but didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. The camp has impressive bird life, and a very chilled putty nosed monkey called Bob, a reminder to keep your camera close at all times. One afternoon Liam took us for a river walk through the forest. We waded through crystal clear water, clambered over trees, and arrived after an hours walk to cold drinks being served on chairs in the river, the fish swimming around our toes. We then moved to Lango camp, which was a very different environment. The camp overlooked a bai/savannah which attracted the occasional forest elephant during the day (and lots at night), herds of forest buffalo, harnessed bushbuck, sitatunga. One night soon after going to bed we were woken up with the news that a clan of hyenas had killed a buffalo in front of camp. It was a full moon so we could make out the silhouettes of the hyenas across the bai. We all got up early the next morning and the hyenas and an army of palm nut vultures were still there with the carcass and remained there for a few hours. On another evening we were mock charged by a forest elephant as we sat having sundowners, by the time she stopped she couldn’t have been more than 2 metres away. Heart thumping but thrilling!! Our last camp was the main camp at Mboko, which was our least favourite of the 3. It was still very comfortable and the main eating / drinking area was lovely with a great view of the dambo but was strangely ugly compared to the other 2 camps. Main activity here was boat rides along the Lekoli river - where we were lucky to see Pel’s fishing owl, forest elephants, honey buzzards etc. We ended the trip with some great memories and sightings, but failed to see any hogs (apart from the backside of one red river hog), bongo, de brazza’s monkey.....so we have to come back again, probably 2021. No trip is without its downsides but these were trivial - Kev had taken water shoes which were half a size too big for the bai/river walks which meant they were regularly getting sucked off his feet when the mud was particularly thick and sticky. Also each camp had its own irritating bug - sweat bees at Ngaga, sand flies at Lango and tsetse flies in Mboko.....guess that’s the price you pay for spending 10 days in a rain forest paradise.... We’d like to thank all the staff at Odzala camps for creating a truly fantastic experience, everyone was such fun - my dinosaur buddy Biff (lovely touch to wear that Jurassic park t shirt on the morning we left), Lyn, Clem the adventurer, Danielle, Adi, Raff (for whom nothing was too much trouble - including cycling between Mboko and Lango when we ran out of cider). The chefs and barmen were fantastic at every camp, and the quality of food was excellent. We booked our trip with Primal Pathways (Brent Harris is the owner and private guide), and his assistant Lychelle couldn’t do enough for us and helped us through the process of obtaining a visa, sent a list of suitable clothes, and was available everyday to answer our questions. Brent Harris accompanied us as our private guide. We had met Brent in Zambia on previous safaris, he is extremely knowledgeable, great company, and enthusiastic about all aspects of a safari. We wanted the comfort of a private guide on this trip, which was outside our comfort zone, and Brent took all the anxiety out of the trip. The relationship between Brent and Liam could have been tricky, but their personalities, good humour and expertise gelled so well that it was never less than a joy to spend time with them. When you go on safari trips the quality of the guiding can make or break the experience, so we were lucky enough to have 2 guides who were a great team and definitely made the experience, we were lucky to get Liam as our camp guide through the trip and his suggestions for additional activities made the trip exciting from beginning to end. Thanks again to Liam and Brent in particular, and the rest of the Primal Pathways and Odzala teams in general, and hopefully we meet again for a return trip to Odzala, nouabale, CAR and maybe Gabon in 2021.
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Date of stay: April 2019
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Republic of the CongoCuvette-Ouest DepartmentOdzala National Park
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Frequently Asked Questions about Odzala Discovery Camps
What are some of the property amenities at Odzala Discovery Camps?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include airport transportation, laundry service, and conference facilities.
What food & drink options are available at Odzala Discovery Camps?
Guests can enjoy complimentary tea and free instant coffee during their stay.
Does Odzala Discovery Camps have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Odzala Discovery Camps offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.