THE REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Named after the world’s second largest river and its deepest, the Republic of Congo is a land of verdant and tropical rainforest punctuated by slivers of savannah. Its capital, Brazzaville, lies along the Congo River’s banks, while the largest rainforest on the globe after the Amazon can be found in this Central African country. This vast expanse of forest is home to the critically endangered western lowland gorilla in Odzala-Kokoua National Park - a recognised UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.
The 1,350,000ha Odzala-Kokoua National Park is one of the Congo’s oldest parks in the country having been created in 1935
The Odzala-Kokoua National Park is home to over 400 bird species, over 16 primate species, and a whopping 4,400 species of plant
The critically endangered western lowland gorilla is found here
The Odzala-Kokoua National Park is a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve
The Odzala-Kokoua National Park can be reached after a 2.5hr flight from Brazzaville to the Mboko Airstrip
WHY THE CONGO
Odzala’s 1,350,000ha landscape in a remote north-western corner of the country is a myriad of savannah, forest, and rainforest, fed by the Lekoli and Kokoua rivers. Apart from its gorillas, the park is home to Central Africa’s largest elephant population along with forest buffalo, chimpanzee, mangabey, and over 400 different bird species. Visitors can enjoy gorilla tracking, forest walks, day and night game drives, and boat safaris. The nation’s capital and gateway to the country is sprawled along the western banks of the Congo River. Named after a Franco-Italian explorer, Brazzaville is an important port city and transport hub for the Congo. The Maya Maya Airport, mere minutes from the city centre, services flights from around the country and far-flung destinations such as Paris, Johannesburg, and Nairobi.
WHEN TO VISIT THE CONGO
In the southern section of the Republic of Congo near the capital of Brazzaville for example, daily temperatures may fluctuate anywhere between 20 and 30°c, although it does tend to be slightly cooler in the long dry season in the middle of the year, making it more advisable to travel then. Further north, however, we see the seasons reverse, with the wetter months generally known to be between April and October. In general, the calendar year can be divided into the four following seasons that can be used as a rough guide when planning your trip. If heading to the area in and around Brazzaville and the southern parts of the country you should aim for travel in the long dry season between May and September, whilst the north is best visited in the short dry season between January and February.