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Habari Africa Safari Holidays>Congo Opens Up ->The Facts

One of the most exciting new openings in years is about to happen in the Congo in June.
Wilderness Safaris’ is opening Odzala for lowland gorillas and much, much more. Please see below.


Latest Images:
• Pottos, primates and mega herbivores: Odzala reveals its secrets…

The Congo
• Peaceful & democratic. Not to be confused with volatile Democratic Republic of the Congo to the East
• Former French colony of 4 mill people. 65% live in southwest urban centres leaving the northern rainforest sparsely populated and pristine
• Following independence in 1960, the Congo followed Marxism with a one party state to 1990. Period of multiparty democracy followed interrupted by a civil war between 1997 - 1999. Multiparty democracy now exists with a coalition between the Congolese Labour Party of President Denis Sassou Nguesso & smaller parties
• Economy based on oil, forestry & mining. Subsistence agriculture is primary economy of rural areas
• Major ethnic groups are the Kongo (48%), the Sangha (20%), Teke (17%) and Mbochi (12%). Half the population are Christian, while 48% are animist & 2% Muslim

Odzala National Park
• Odzala is one of Africa's oldest national parks, proclaimed in 1935
• 13,600 sq kms (1,360 mill hectares)

Key Selling Points
• Odzala had less than 50 tourists in 2011
• Part of the world's second largest expanse of tropical rainforest
• Has Africa's densest population of Western lowland gorillas
• 6 habituated groups of Western lowland gorilla in a 5km by 5km area
• Highest number (11) of diurnal primates of any forest block in central Africa
• Central Africa's highest density of chimpanzees
• Significant populations of forest elephant
• Altitude is low & the terrain not mountainous making for easy access. Altitude in the Ngaga area varies between 450 - 550 mts. (highest point in Congo Mt.Berongou only 903 mts)
• No gorilla permits (U$750 elsewhere) needed

• 2 Camps, 6 rooms in each
• Lango Camp: Edge of the savannah, overlooks the Bai with visits to the savannah & saline / Bai. River trips on Lekoli & Mambili rivers
• Ngaga Camp: Heart of a Marantaceae forest, camp faces the forest canopy. Habituated gorilla experience accompanied by researchers
• Style: Raised 4 mts above ground, Creatively designed, taking inspiration from the local B'Aka Pygmy groups
• Natural locally sourced materials, sustainably harvested hardwoods with FSC rating, bamboo & raffia palm matting
• 2.5 hrs flt from Brazzaville
• 40 min drive from Lango Camp to M’boko airstrip
• 2.5 hrs drive from Ngaga Camp to M’boko airstrip

• Short ‘dry’ season – Dec to Jan (100mm+ per month, 5+ days per month of rain)
• Long ‘dry’ season – Jun to Aug (50mm per month, 3 days per month of rain)
• Semi wet season – Feb to May (140mm per month, 7+ days per month of rain)
• Wet season – Sep to Nov (230+ mm per month, 13+ days per month of rain)

Gorilla Viewing
• 1 hr max at each gorilla group per day
• Max 6 pax per visiting group
• Min age 15
• Each gorilla group only visited once a day

Flora & Fauna
• 6 habituated Western lowland gorilla groups, of approx 16 animals each
• Other primate species include: Lango Camp - Guereza colobus, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Agile mangabey, De Brazza's monkey, Allen's swamp monkey, Naga Camp - Crowned monkey, Putty-nosed monkey
• 100 mammal species including: Forest elephant, Forest buffalo, Bongo, Sitatunga, Black-fronted duiker, Red river hog, Harnessed bushbuck, Grey duiker, Peters' duiker, Blue, Yellow backed, White bellied & Bay Duiker
• 430 bird species including specials like: Black Guineafowl, White-crested Tiger-heron, Congo Serpent-eagle, Vermiculated Fishing-Owl, Grey-headed Broadbill, Grey Parrot and Forest Swallow Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Gabon Woodpecker, Chestnut Wattle-eye, several understorey skulkers such as Greenbuls, Alethes & Akalats
• Predators: rare Golden Cat, Spotted Hyaena regularly seen. Palm civet, Leopard in high densities, but not often seen, rumours of Lion in the savannah
• Water Chevrotain occasionally seen after dark

• There are 500,000 ‘pygmies’ left in Africa where they have lived for 40,000 yrs
• The local pygmy group is the B'Aka group

• Informative talks on the Western lowland gorilla research project in the area, conservation concerns for the species, their biology & ecology
• Guided forest walks
• Lango Camp: day & night game drives on the savannah, guided walks, boat trips by motorised pirogue, catch-and-release fishing (2013)
• Ngaga Camp: Gorilla tracking (habituated groups) with expert trackers and researchers, birding walks, night walks
• Gameviewing from hides overlooking Lango bai (swampy, grassy area in the rainforest)

International Access
• Air France from Paris
• Inter Air from Johannesburg
• Kenya Airways from Nairobi

• Min 2 pax to guarantee a departure
• Min age in camp is 14
• Guests should be able to walk 5 – 8 km a day
• Need Yellow fever certificate
• Luggage limit 20kgs
• All visitors need a visa before traveling from local embassy
• A letter of invitation is required before a visa will be issued. Wilderness Safaris will supply this invitation as it needs to be on the letterhead of a company based in Congo. Your Wilderness consultant will add the details of the people travelling to the invitation and stamp it with the Wilderness company stamp.
• Congolese Embassies worldwide:
• Foreign Office travel advice:
• Recommended Brazzaville Hotel: Hotel Mikael,
Bookable through Habari Africa
Premium Standard Room = U$160 pppn nett, b&b basis including rtn apt xfrs
Valid to 31 Dec 2012. Single rate = double this rate. Breakfast = U$32 pp non commissionable

Itineraries & Price
• Set departures, 12 pax max per departure
• 6 nt or 3 nt set itineraries

• 6 nt itinerary, U$7000 rack pp
Day 1. Dep Brazzaville early afternoon on 2.5 hr flt to M’boko airstrip. Drive 30 min to Lango Camp. Stay 3 nts
Day 4. Drive via Dzebe Bai to Ngaga Camp. Stay 3 nts
Day 7. Drive 2.5 hrs to M’boko airstrip. Arr Brazzaville in afternoon

• 3 nt Itinerary, U$5500 rack pp
Day 1. Dep Brazzaville early afternoon on 2.5 hr flt to M’boko airstrip. Drive 30 min to Lango Camp. Stay 1 nt
Day 2. Drive 2 hrs to Ngaga Camp. Stay 2 nts
Day 4. Drive 2.5 hrs to M’boko airstrip. Arr Brazzaville in afternoon

Includes: return Brazzaville charters, accommodation, activities, all meals, all drinks (except premium alcoholic brands), laundry
Excludes: U$30 departure tax from Brazzaville

• Camps open June 26th 2012
• Closed between 27 Sep - 5 Dec 2012 & 26 Sep – 4 Dec 2013
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