Explore The Congo Basin Like Never Before

November 5th 2019  |   Unique Experiences, Congo  |  by   Alice Gully
Explore The Congo Basin - Sangha Lodge

This is a once in a lifetime Congo Basin walk with a primatologist and an ornithologist. The unique adventure will be hosted by renowned experts and conservationists Paul Telfer and Rod Cassidy, each a legend in their own right.

tracking Lowland gorillas at Sangha Lodge

Tracking Lowland gorillas

Up to eight guests will discover more, learn more, and connect more than they ever thought possible, in a special one–off trip to Odzala Discovery Camps and Sangha Lodge (these camps are home to pioneering conservation research and Sangha Lodge is home to a rehabilitation centre for local wildlife).

View at Sangha Lodge

View at Sangha Lodge

During this eleven night trip, guests will discover and explore the Congo Basin tracking lowland gorillas, net hunting with the Ba’Aka tribe, and walking in the forest, across bais and to waterfalls.

Walking from Mboko to Lango camp

Walking from Mboko Camp to Lango camp

Guests will have the opportunity to really learn from the experts by spending time at the pangolin research centre, with anthropologists studying the Ba’Aka tribes, and with the African Parks team at Odzala-Kokoua National Park.

Dates:

Thursday 26 March – Tuesday 7 April 2020

Price:

Eleven night Congo Basin trip available through Aardvark Safaris from $20,190 (£15,655) per person, based on two adults sharing.

This includes transfers and internal light aircraft flights, accommodation, all meals and drinks.  Safari activities are included at all the camps listed.

International flights are not included in this price. We can arrange international return flights to Brazzaville (BZV) to meet this trip.

Full itinerary scroll down

Meet the forrest elephants, Sangha Lodge

Meet the forest elephants, Sangha Lodge

Beautiful Lango Camp set in the forest

Beautiful Lango Camp set in the forest

Summary itinerary:

Day Adventures Stay
1 Private flight to Mboko (Congo) + transfer to Ngaga
Gorilla tracking briefing with research team
Ngaga Camp
2 Gorilla tracking + forest walk Ngaga Camp
3 Gorilla tracking + forest walk + night forest walk Ngaga Camp
4 Mbomo village morning + Lunch with African Parks + Mboko transfer onward to Lango via kayak Lango Camp
5 Guided baï walks + forest walk + leisurely afternoon Lango Camp
6 Baï walk + Mboko transfer + forest walk/river cruise Mboko Camp
7 Private flight to Kabo + boat journey to Sangha Lodge (Central African Republic) Sangha Lodge
8 Dzanga Baï + full day on the research platform Sangha Lodge
9 Forest walk + net hunting with Ba’Aka community + time with pangolin researchers + night walk Sangha Lodge
10 Valley of the Giants + waterfalls hike/forest walk Sangha Lodge
11 Boat transfer to Kabo (Congo) + private flight to Mboko + sunset river cruise at Mboko Mboko Camp
12 Private flight to Brazzaville Brazzaville

More on the guides

Paul Telfer, Ph.D. Primatologist

Paul’s interest in conservation began when he started working in Africa as a primate specialist in Sierra Leone and Gabon in 1990s. While investigating primate viruses and the origins of the HIV epidemic, Paul pioneered non-invasive sampling techniques for wild primates. Since July 2008 Paul has been the Country Director for the WCS-Congo Program and is the CEO of Congo Conservation Company which champions low-impact tourism development in the Congo Basin with a foundation in research, community and conservation.

Rod Cassidy Ornithologist

A renowned ornithologist from South Africa, Rod first entered the rainforests of Africa in 1999. In 2008 he purchased Sangha Lodge and began with a refurbishment, welcoming his first guests in September 2009. Sangha Lodge is now home to a rehabilitation centre for local wildlife as well as the pangolin research project spotlighted in the recently released ‘Eye of the Pangolin’ documentary. To date, Rod and his team have rehabilitated over 70 pangolins, seven blue duikers, one brush-tailed porcupine and one servaline genet.

More detail on the itinerary

Day 1

  • Airport assistance at Maya Maya Airport (Brazzaville)
  • Congo Conservation Company’s private flight: departs Brazzaville at 1pm, arrives Odzala at 3pm (2 hours), landing at Mboko
  • Road transfer from airstrip to Ngaga Camp (3-hour drive through the Odzala-Kokoua National Park)
  • Meet and spend time with the gorilla research team headed by Magdalena Bermejo, followed by dinner
  • Overnight Ngaga Camp in a luxury en-suite forest room

Day 2

  • Gorilla tracking in the morning with a guide and tracker from our team
  • Lunch at Ngaga Camp and debrief of the first gorilla observation with Paul and the research team
  • Afternoon relaxation followed by a forest walk for bird watching and discovery of forest life and river sundowners
  • Viewing of camera-trap footage for gorillas in the region and insight from the research team
  • Overnight Ngaga Camp in a luxury en-suite forest room

Day 3

  • Gorilla tracking in the morning with a guide and tracker from our team
  • Lunch at Ngaga Camp and debrief of the second observation with Paul and the research team
  • Afternoon time with the gorilla research team, forest walk and a night walk to view nocturnal forest life
  • Overnight Ngaga Camp in a luxury en-suite forest room

Day 4

  • Relaxed morning in camp
  • Road transfer through Mbomo village and lunch with the African Parks team at their headquarters for an update on their findings and experiences in Odzala-Kokoua National Park
  • Onward to Mboko for a transfer to Lango Camp and baï via a kayak trip on the Lekoli River
  • Relaxed afternoon in camp or a discovery baï (wet) walk, followed by sundowners
  • Overnight Lango Camp in an en-suite forest room

Day 5

  • Guided morning wet walk through the baï
  • Lunch followed by followed by forest (dry) and baï (wet) walk, or bird watching from the camp deck
  • Overnight Lango Camp in an en-suite forest room

Day 6

  • Guided morning wet walk through the baï and breakfast overlooking the baï
  • Scenic drive to the forest and a short walk along a wooden path amidst the trees to Mboko Camp
  • Lunch and afternoon relaxation or a walk through the forest followed by a river cruise
  • Overnight Mboko Camp in a luxury en-suite river room

Day 7

  • Congo Conservation Company’s private flight: departs Odzala at 9am, arrives Kabo at 9:40am (40 mins), landing at Kabo Airstrip
  • Road transfer to the boats where a 4 to 6-hour boat journey up the Sangha River begins and takes guests through the Sangha Tri-National Special Reserve (clear customs en-route at Bayanga)
  • Arrive at Sangha Lodge nestled along the Sangha River for briefing with Rod and relaxed afternoon
  • Overnight Sangha Lodge in an en-suite river room

Day 8

  • Breakfast at the lodge before a road transfer (±1.5 hours) and forest walk (2 km) to Dzanga Baï
  • Spend the day on the research platform observing the diverse wildlife activity around the remote baï, enjoying a packed lunch and a debrief with Rod
  • Overnight Sangha Lodge in an en-suite river room

Day 9

  • Guided morning forest walk and net hunting with members of the Ba’Aka community with time to work on the building of huts or learning about medicinal plants
  • Lunch in camp is followed by time with the pangolin researchers and protectors, and then sundowners followed by a night walk after dinner to explore the wonderful nocturnal life
  • Overnight Sangha Lodge in an en-suite river room

Day 10

  • Breakfast and boat transfer (15 mins) to the forest walk through the Valley of the Giants – spend the morning walking amongst some of the tallest trees in the Congo Basin and enjoy a packed lunch
  • Afternoon hike to the waterfalls (boat transfer) or return to camp for lunch and enjoy a guided forest walk during the afternoon
  • Overnight Sangha Lodge in an en-suite river room

Day 11

  • Breakfast at the lodge and a 4 to 6-hour boat journey down the Sangha River via Bayanga to Kabo Airstrip in the Republic of Congo
  • Congo Conservation Company’s private flight: departs Kabo at 1pm, arrives Odzala at 1:40pm (40 mins), landing at Mboko airstrip
  • Afternoon guided forest walk followed by sundowners on the Lekoli River
  • Overnight Mboko Camp in an en-suite river room

Day 12

  • Breakfast at Mboko Camp
  • Congo Conservation Company’s private flight: departs Odzala at 9am, arrives Brazzaville at 11am (2 hours), landing at Maya Maya Airport
  • Connect with onward flight or stay in Brazzaville and soak up the city atmosphere

This is a suggested outline and is subject to change based on logistics, availability, weather and guest interests. Activities may not be experienced in this order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.