- Duration 13 Days
- Difficulty 3/5
- Group Size 6 - 8
This is not the Democratic Republic of the Congo-DRC
9 – 21 February, 2019
Go where few have gone. The French Congo (as opposed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo) is a safe country in west Africa, home to incredible wildlife. It is developing as one of the most important areas in which to see habituated western lowland gorillas thanks to the 15 year, pioneering, work of Dr. Magda Beremejo (the ‘Diane Fossey of western lowland gorillas’) and German Illera. Their work has been with the same groups we shall visit. In three distinct ecosystems we will track gorillas in the rainforest (as well as looking for other primate species), watch red forest buffalo and flocks of African grey parrots, or look for turacos and hornbills in the open ‘bais’, and take river trips to look for sitatunga, dwarf crocodiles and rare forest elephants. It is a complete itinerary delivering the best that the Congo has to offer.
USD $13,900Per person sharing
Single Supplement: USD TBA
Arrival: Brazzaville, French Congo
Departure: Brazzaville, French Congo
Arrival Time: February 9th 2019
- Land transportation as indicated in the itinerary.
- Accommodations in a standard room at hotels and lodges based on double occupancy.
- Airport arrival and departure transfers.
- Meals throughout the expedition.
- Internal flights.
- Three gorilla trekking permits per person
- All park and community fees as necessary in the itinerary.
- A letter of invitation required for a visa application.
- Drinking water.
- Medical evacuation insurance.
- Local English-speaking driver/guide as well as one Pete Oxford Expeditions trip leader.
- International airfare to the French Congo.
- Personal laundry and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Travel insurance.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Visa fees.
- Tips for local guides and lodge staff.
- Any other services not mentioned as included.
ADay 1, February 9th, 2019: Arrival in Brazzaville, French Congo
Today we will arrive in Brazzaville, capital of the French Congo. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our luxury hotel, the Radisson Blu, which overlooks the mighty Congo River.
ADay 2, February 10th, 2019: City tour Brazzaville
A day to take stock of where we are, acclimatize and begin to soak in the local culture. We have the time to explore the bustling city with our own transport in an organized city tour of Brazzaville. Overnight Radisson Blu hotel.
BDay 3, February 11th, 2019: Overland Brazzaville to Ngaga
We get up early for our pre-dawn overland transfer from Brazzaville to Ngaga Camp. This is a long day but we have deliberately opted to go by road to get to see and understand more of the country. We intend to make several stops along the way as we pass various towns and even cross the equator, one obligatory stop will be as we cross the River Likouala-Mossaka by rustic ferry, from then on there is no more tarmac as we head further north towards the rainforest and Odzala. Overnight in Ngaga Camp.
BDays 4-6, February 12th-14th, 2019: Ngaga Gorilla watching
Ngaga Camp is all about the western lowland gorillas. With many years of research and subsequent habituation, two main groups, led by the silverbacks Neptuno and Jupiter (with a third currently being habituated) are readily found by the expert local trackers. We use a network of rainforest trails to make our best approach to the groups as they go about their daily business. Our time in the forest is also spent searching for other primate species (there are chimps here too and although they are seldom seen, they are often heard) a host of birds, bizarre insects, frogs or orchids. After dark we can venture again into the forest and another world as the nocturnal animals come to life. We will look particularly for some of the nocturnal mammals. Overnight Ngaga Camp
CDay 7, February 15th, 2019: Ngaga to Mboko
After another morning in Ngaga. We have an exhilarating, three hour, road transfer on narrow rainforest tracks, passing through Ombo village, before arriving at the open spaces and savannas of Mboko Lodge. Here our choice of activities might include an afternoon river cruise, wildlife watching with sundowners. Overnight Mboko Lodge.
CDay 8, February 16th, 2019: Mboko Camp
We spend a full day in the Mboko area, a completely different ecosystem from Ngaga. This wide open grassland area, studded with termite mounds and backed by forest and wetland is full of surprises that may include close encounters with forest elephants, palmnut vultures, bee-eaters or even hyenas. Our activities will depend on local information at the time so that we maximize on wildlife sightings. They may include a river trip on the Lekoli River, a drive or a walk. Overnight Mboko.
DDay 9, February 17th, 2019: Mboko to Lango
After breakfast we will take a guided kayak trip up the river towards Lango Camp while our luggage is transferred by vehicle. After leaving the kayaks we continue (wading) upstream through the open bai where we might chance upon flocks of green pigeons, hornbills, harnessed bushbuck or red forest buffalo. It is a spectacular way to get from one lodge to the next! After lunch at Lango we may have time for a forest walk where we could run into duiker, red-river hogs, monkeys or even elephants. Overnight Lango Camp.
DDays 10-11, February 18th-19th, 2019: Lango Camp
Lango is a stunning camp. It has only six tasteful suites and a large deck overlooking a beautiful bai (forest clearing). You almost don’t have to go anywhere as the wildlife is continuously moving through the bai in front of you. Behind the lodge we may also be lucky to find plenty of native species including the spectacular Guereza colobus monkeys which are commonly seen or smaller putty-nosed monkeys. We will walk often but may even drive to look for shier monkeys and other species such as grey-cheeked mangabeys or de Brazza’s monkey. Highlight animals we will look for include the western sitatunga and lowland bongo. With birds in mind we will see plenty of native Congolese species from sunbirds and puffbacks to hornbills and huge flocks of African green pigeons. We also intend to wait in a makeshift blind to witness large numbers of African grey parrots. A real priviledge to see these ‘pet shop’ birds in the wild. Overnight Lango Camp.
CDay 12, February 20th, 2018: Lango to Mboko
We transfer again by road on a game drive for 2 ½ hours back to Mboko Camp searching for any and everything en route. After lunch at Mboko we will decide what activity best suits our mood for the afternoon and our last evening in this incredible, relatively unknown and magical place in the heart of the Congo. Overnight Mboko Camp.
ADay 13, February 21st, 2019: Charter flight to Brazzavile
The airstrip is adjacent to Mboko camp so it is an easy connection to catch our charter plane for the 2 hour flight to Brazzaville. We cover a large part of the length of the country on this flight which is the perfect complement to having had the different perspective from ground level on our way in. On arrival we are ready to connect to our international flights home.
Discover the world with experienced travelers
Photographer | Owner | Trip Leader
Pete first got to know the French Congo several years ago. He was commissioned by Africa Parks (who are the managing body of the Odzala – Kokoua National Park) as a photographer to help promote the region. As part of his mission he was also embedded with the elite, armed, anti-poaching unit while they were operating patrols for illegal bush meat. He fell in love with the place and knew immediately that he wanted to bring people to show them the magic of Odzala. Such a seldom visited region needs touristic support as it tries to hold its own in conservation to protect the integrity of the park. Let Pete take you there.