Designated in 1935, Odzala is one of the oldest national parks in Africa. It lies in the heart of the Congo basin and received its Biosphere reserve status in 1977.
Covering an area of 13500 square kilometers, this park is occupied by the second largest rainforest in the World after the notable Amazon forest.
This park faced multiple problems that limited conservation efforts, but in 2010 African parks entered into a 25 year long term agreement with the Ministry of Forest, Sustainable development and environment for the Republic of the Congo to protect this Park. Poaching and deforestation were the major problems.
It is now recovered and inviting several tourists from various parts of the World. Big thanks to this organization.
Odzala invite tourists with its incredible landscapes, diverse wildlife which include the Western lowland Gorilla species.
Activities in the Park
Odzala is home to thousands of elusive forest elephants you can see at mineral licks. Its Vegetation favors many other wild animals.
A game drive is enough for you to see multiple animals like the red River hog, duikers, and hippos at the Lekoli River, water chevrotain, forest buffalos, bushbucks, Sitatunga, and bongo.
Don’t hesitate to do the drive along the river banks, mineral and salt licks for inspirational views.
Gorilla trekking is the main reason that tourists visit Odzala national park.
This adventure is rewarding and grants travelers a grand chance to meet the rarely seen species of western lowland gorillas in their natural habitats.
Once in the jungle you can as well see other primates like crowned monkey, mustached monkey, chimpanzees, Allen’s swamp monkey, guereza colobus putty nosed monkey, agile Mangebay, red tailed monkey and de Brazza monkey. The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years of age.
Another interesting activity in Odzala is the boat cruise at the Lekoli River. It rewards tourists with unending views of primates, towering mountain ranges, birds and other aquatic species.
For those who are addicted to birds, make sure not to omit birding on your wish list for Odzala. This protected area houses over 400 species of birds including the endemic species.
Common birds you can see here are black guinea fowl, forest swallow, African grey parrots to name but a few.
If you are easily drawn by culture, the nearby village of Ombo is for you. Travelers go there to interact with the local people and also be introduced to various things like local food, their attires and varied activities they carry out in their communities.