Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Congo

Deep in the dense Congo rainforest, there exists a place where time and space seem to be suspended. A place so exotic and unspoiled, a rainforest so remote and reviving, that it seems both timeless and serenely apart from the spinning world we call home.

This vast region of the Congo Basin contains the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, surpassed only by the Amazon. Welcome to Odzala Kokoua.

Covered in forests, rivers, marshes and swamps, the Park receives some 1 500 mm of rain annually, mainly during the two wet seasons. Permanent rivers are a primary feature, with the Lekoli and Kokoua rivers flowing into the Park’s major channel, the Mambili. In some places, the Mambili is up to 100 metres wide between densely forested banks; it then flows into the great Congo Basin.

Bais, or salines, are major features of this rainforest. These swampy, grassy areas are dotted across the rainforest and offer a rare chance to catch a glimpse beyond the ‘green curtain’ into the lives of the forest dwellers. Various mammal species come to the bais on a regular basis in order to access various elements, from water to minerals and salts to sedges and water-loving grasses to water.

Odzala is blessed with numerous habitats, which range from dense pr2


imary forest to forest fringe, savannah, wide, languid rivers and forest bais and salines. As a result, diversity is high and the rivers and bais in particular allow the ‘green curtain’ of the forest to be pulled back and allow our guests an insight into this spectacular ecosystem.

This vast, wild region, with its wide range of landscapes, is home to an incredible diversity of life. It holds globally significant populations of Western Lowland Gorilla and Forest Elephant as well as a plethora of other species: 430 bird species and more than 100 mammal species. It has the highest number (11) of diurnal primates for any forest block in central Africa, as well as central Africa’s highest density of Chimpanzees.   Forest Buffalo, Leopard, Bongo, Giant Forest Hog and Hippo are some of the other sought after species that can be seen by the adventurous traveller.