Lowland Gorilla safari in the Congo
Description of Lowland Gorilla safari in the Congo
This adventurous lowland gorilla safari takes you deep into Congo’s Odzala-Kokoua National Park to look for gorillas, chimpanzees and other wildlife, including elephant and buffalo. You’ll also take a night walk in the forest, explore the Lekoli River by kayak and learn from expert primatologists about their research in the park.
After arriving at the airport in Brazzaville, there’s time to explore the city before heading out to your camp the next day, where you’ll walk in the forest and learn about lowland gorillas from a research team. Over the following two days you’ll rise at dawn to track gorillas in the company of a local guide, on treks lasting anything from two hours to a full day. If time permits, afternoons are spent looking for birds and primates in the surrounding forest. There’s also the option of walking at night, when the forest comes alive with unusual nocturnal wildlife such as galagos and pottos.
The next four days bring a local village visit, a briefing from a wildlife research team and a kayaking trip on the Lekoli River, as well as walks over swamps and through marshland. You’ll stay at two different forest camps, one along the banks of the Lekoli River and the other surrounded by marshland. Both attract plentiful wildlife, including buffalos, elephants and red river hogs.
The final day takes you back to Brazzaville to meet your connecting flight home.
1 Reviews of Lowland Gorilla safari in the Congo
Reviewed on 18 Mar 2018 by Lynda Davey
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
We went on this trip to see western lowland gorillas and we saw them on both the tracking days. However, to single them out as the most memorable is quite difficult as the whole trip was a memorable one for different reasons. I love elephants and we got to watch them at fairly close quarters in Lango Bai for some considerable time, add to that the wonderful accommodation and fantastic staff who made you feel so special it was a great recipe for a perfect trip.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
We had a lot of problems with Ethiopian Airways, they cancelled flights without telling us, refused to allow us to board other flights meaning we had to re route thru another destination adding another 5 hours to our flying time and then missed our names off one of the return flights, we would strongly recommend that no one uses Ethiopian Airways. They are absolutely awful. We later discovered that we were not the first people they have done this to......it's only becasuse we were so pushy and persistent that we managed to get to Brazzaville in time.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Becasue the gorilla tracking is linked to a research programme and we spent time with one the lead reasearchers who gave us a fantastic insight into her work we know that that our trip did benefit them and the local community. The lodges we stayed in also provide employment for local people in various ways. We also visited a local village and spent time talking to the 'head man' who seemed genuinely happy to see us and interested in us. The lodges are about as eco friendly as they can be without compromising on comfort and facilities for guests, we were very impressed.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
We are reasonably widely travelled and have seen lots of wildlife but would rate this up there with the best of the trips we have done. Everything was really very excellent and although we have racked our brains we can't really think how it could be improved. We have given it 5 stars but it really deserves more!
PlanetWe know our wildlife; in fact it is buried within the roots of our company and will always be so. The Republic of Congo is home to some unique wildlife species that are under a significant threat. We contribute a percentage of each safari sold to wildlife conservation and always keep our eyes peeled for new projects to get involved with.
We aim to reduce waste and our impact on the environment within our destinations, and at home in the UK, where our offices are based. We work in partnership with the Borough of Brighton & Hove in an attempt to recycle and reuse as much as possible. Our clients are always advised on the best way to do this when away. We recommend using environmentally friendly shampoos, soaps and toiletries, and to avoid leaving litter (whether it is biodegradable or not).
Although accommodation options are limited in the Congo, whenever possible we use accommodation that savours every drop of precious water; from using environmentally friendly flushing toilets to savouring rain water for washing, to using solar power for heating. Where no eco-friendly destination is available, we make every effort to alert the management of the accommodation in question to find ways of improving their service with the environment in mind. We use local guides during this trip, and they share our wish to keep the environment clean and free of litter. Travelers are briefed about not dropping litter and sticking to the paths, as well as how to act respectfully around wildlife.
PeopleWhere possible, we always use local suppliers in preference to others, whether this is in the purchase of provisions, accommodation, transport or equipment. Through the employment of our local ground operators, who use local guides and drivers, money is fed directly back into individual families and villages that would otherwise not benefit from tourism, as well as giving more jobs to local people. Great guiding is essential on wildlife adventures and few people know a place better than the locals; we wholeheartedly do not believe in taking jobs from local populations, and as such, try to use local guides wherever possible.
We make sure that tourists have the opportunity to buy local souvenirs and handicrafts, assisting further to contribute to their community and always give support to local communities and conservation agencies. We advise people not to bargain just for the sake of it, and because it is the 'thing to do'; you should pay what you feel the object is worth to yourself and the vendor, bearing in mind local cultures.