Journey into the wilds of Odzala-Kokoua National Park for an unforgettable encounter with the western lowland gorillas of Africa
Creeping through the thick African jungle in the midst of gorillas in their natural habitat rates among the great bucket-list adventures of our time. To do so in the Republic of Congo, whose dense, pristine and largely untouched rainforest represents one of adventure travel’s final frontiers, is an opportunity not to be missed. After touching down in the capital, Brazzaville, travel to Odzala-Kokoua National Park to join expert trackers and take advantage of an astounding biodiversity and the world’s highest concentration of western lowland gorillas. With game drives, nature walks and river cruises on the agenda, this Republic of Congo Expedition reveals not only a diverse array of primates but also the colourful birdlife, exotic flora and iconic mammals – anything from elephant to hippo to buffalo to leopard – that makes this continent such a thrill to explore.
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Not only is the Congo Basin the second largest tropical rainforest in the world after the Amazon Basin, it’s home to the largest group of western lowland gorillas in the world
With expert local trackers, a gorilla density of 12 per square kilometre, and multiple excursions for maximum gorilla time, there’s a high chance of several encounters with these mesmerising beasts
In addition to the star primates of the show, spot the likes of dongos, duikers, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas, monkeys, not to mention some of the 450 species of bird and 13,000 elephants that occupy this rainforest
Included night excursions show a whole different side to the Congolese wild, as nocturnal creatures such as bongos and hyenas come out to play
Cruise down the infamous Congo River, the deepest and most powerful stream in the world, with the twin capitals Kinshasa and Brazzaville as a backdrop
Take the safari to the next level with a journey deep into the park on a motorised pirogue (traditional flat-bottomed boat)
This trip requires a good level of fitness. You’ll be getting out and about on several hikes (as noted in the itinerary) which range from four kilometres to twelve kilometres. They’re not necessary overly technical, but this is raw jungle, and the conditions will be testing.
A lot of research has gone into this trip, but that doesn’t guarantee it will run perfectly. It’s brand new, so a few bumps along the way are expected. This of course can make things more interesting, if you approach the adventure with flexibility and an open mind. If you’re concerned, however, we recommend waiting and joining the trip next year when the kinks have been ironed out.
The Republic of Congo is one of the most expensive regions to travel to in Africa. Almost everything is imported, which makes daily life quite pricey, so it’s important to budget accordingly.
Infrastructure (accommodation, roads, telecommunications, hospitals, water and electricity) is poor. Accommodation is relatively expensive and, outside bigger urban areas, non-existent. Roads outside major cities generally range from poor to very poor, so a little bit of patience will go a long way!
None of this exaggeration or metaphor. The trip will be one of the most serious adventures you have ever taken and is best experienced if you can come prepared. Welcome to Africa’s Last Frontier.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Republic of Congo Expedition - Gorilla Trek trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This is an expedition trip and requires a minimum of 6 people to depart. Please do not book any non-refundable flights or services before the departure is guaranteed to depart.
2. Expedition trips may not suit everyone. While a lot of research and planning goes into putting together an Expedition itinerary, they are pioneering and innovative by nature. If smooth, ripple-free travel is what you’re after, perhaps wait until they (possibly) become established trips. But for those with a yearning to veer off the beaten track and explore free of crowds and preconceptions, this is an adventure above all others.
3. The standard of health facilities in The Republic of Congo is limited and very basic to non-existent in outlying regions. Medicines are sometimes unavailable in rural areas and can be expensive. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (at considerable expense) to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary.
4. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in ROC before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts.
5. The trip price includes a compulsory on ground payment of 350USD in order to cover the cost of meals listed in the itinerary.