Odzala–Kokoua National Park is well worth visiting if you have a keen interest in gorilla tracking! It is among the largest national parks in Africa – at 13,600 square kilometres, it’s some 600 sq. km bigger than Tanzania’s Ruaha!
Yearly Odzala-Kokoua receives approximately 1,500 millimetres of rain, so its rivers are a permanent feature. Other interesting parts of the park include steep hills, a 350-metre escarpment, and occasional clearings within the forest termed ‘bais’. The bais are shallow and often swampy depressions full of herbs and sedges, and they are very popular with wildlife!
Location & access
The park is situated in the Republic of the Congo’s Cuvette-Ouest Department, which lies in the country’s remote north-west. It is usually accessed via a 2-hour charter flight from the Congo’s international airport Maya-Maya, which is in Brazzaville, the country’s capital city.
Wildlife in Odzala-Kokoua National Park
The park contains a number of different types of habitat, featuring savanna, forest, and rivers. The savannas of Odzala–Kokoua attract grazers including buffalo, bushbuck, and Grimms’ duiker. Buffalo are also found in the park’s forests, as are forest elephant, giant forest hog, and gorilla. The marshy forests are home to an array of primates – De Brazza’s monkey, Angolan talapoin, mantled guereza, and Tana River mangabey. And the park’s rivers contain hippo, dwarf forest crocodile, and slender-snouted crocodile. As well as the mammals and reptiles, there’s some brilliant birdlife. Odzala–Kokoua boasts over 430 types of feathery friend, with some spectacular highlights. Congo serpent eagle, white crested tiger-heron, black dwarf hornbill, chestnut wattle-eye, lyre-tailed honeyguide… certainly the park holds plenty of intrigue for keen birders. Don’t forget to pack your binos!
Gorilla tracking in Odzala
Gorilla tracking is the most exciting activity here. This experience involves hiking through the forest in the hopes of encountering at least one of the park’s two habituated family groups. But you are sure to see a lot of other species along the way! Other activities available in Odzala–Kokoua include nature trails, boat trips, stream swimming, and village visits.
If you like the sound of a safari to the Republic of the Congo, please don't hesitate in contacting our experts here to start planning your adventure today.