Congo Ultimate Lowland Gorilla Safari

Your Safari will take you on a very different and eye opening experience to the tropical forests of the Congo Basin the world’s largest rain forest after those of the Amazon Basin. They are among the last of their kind on the planet. This tour includes one of those forests,  Noubale is home to western lowland gorillas, forest elephants and buffaloes, bongo and sitatunga antelopes, giant forest and red river hogs, leopards, African Grey parrots and many different monkey species. covering the 850 kilometers between the starting point, Brazzaville, and the north of the country where Nouabale-Ndoki National Park is located. By car, it is a two day trip, towns and people are left behind, replaced by forests on either side of the road. It is increasingly difficult even now to find travel destinations where - to use an old adage - the journey truly is the destination. But this best describes this trip to Nouabale-Ndoki. National Geographic magazine photographer Mike Nichols has described this park as "the last place on earth." Sixteen gorilla families along with ten solitary silverbacks, amounting to some 150 animals, are known to come to its Mbeli Bai to feed. There are its gorilla silverbacks Kingo and Buka, success stories of science's habituation efforts. To spend time in Nouabale-Ndoki is to accept that you are paying for the privilege, to experience a unique wildlife opportunity and not for five-star luxuries.

Day 1: 
Your journey begins today with your flight to London. Departing at approx 20.00pm 

Day 2: 
transit Nairobi.  depending on your flights we can arrange a day room at a convenient hotel or a day looking around Nairobi.

Having arrived in Brazzaville, Congo. at 22:25pm. You are met by a representative just outside baggage hall and transferred to the Residence Marina Hotel. You are on a bed and breakfast basis. You will be met by your guide who will welcome you and add more info and answer questions and will be on hand through out to ensure every thing goes as smoothly as possible during the whole safari.

Day 3:
After an early breakfast, you depart Brazzaville today in  4 x 4 vehicles. The ROC’s highway #01 is patched pavement in places but overall it’s in good condition. The destination tonight is the upcountry town of Oyo, where the current ROC president was born, and the Bel Air Hotel. Because of the president's largesse to his birth place, this is a town like no other in the ROC. A late dinner of local fare is available in Oyo. Total driving distance today is six to seven hours. 

Day 4: 
Ouesso town and Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Another early start in order to arrive in Ouesso by mid-afternoon. Breakfast and lunch supplies are carried in the car from Brazzaville. After the bridge across the Mambili River, highway one becomes rough gravel for the last four hours of the drive. By this time there is forest on both sides of the road. Every so often you will pass small villages which border the route. If there are road delays then it is possible to overnight in Ouesso town but ideally, you should arrive at Ouesso wharf on the Sangha River by 15:30 where you transfer to a motorized pirogue which is the primary means of transportation in the Congo Basin. Your destination tonight is Bomassa, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park's headquarters, several hours boat ride upriver. Accommodation at Bomassa is modest as scientific research continues to be its focus; shared rooms come with mosquito nets and bedding; bathroom and shower are just outside the rooms. The camp uses a generator for power. This is switched off at 9 PM. 

Day 5: 
Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Transfer to Mondika Camp via 4 x 4 vehicle (50 minutes) and on foot (2.5 hours). There is some flooded forest to cross at the beginning of the walk. Rubber shoes are recommended. The depth of water depends on the season. You arrive in time for lunch. There are two habituated gorilla groups around Mondika. Your first gorilla trek is this afternoon, or if necessary, you will gorilla trek twice tomorrow. The gorillas may be one hour walk from camp or several hours. Overnight Mondika Camp where accommodation is simple: tents are of walk-in size and on platforms covered by metal roofs. Washing house and long drop toilet are outside every tent. Hot water is heated on the fire for hand showers.

Day 6:
Today you will visit habituated gorilla families. the rest of the day will be spent relaxing in camp with the Ba'Aka trackers. There is a new forest walk at this camp where tree species and indigenous plants have been identified. Overnight at Mondika Camp. While Mondika Camp sleeps a maximum of eight visitors, only two people at a time can visit the gorillas. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) camp manager will decide on gorilla trekking logistics for the group.

Day 7: 
Today you have a third chance to treck in search of western Lowland Gorillas, in the company of the resident expert guides. To spend even more precious time amongst these incredible apes. 

Day 8:
Mbeli Camp and Mbeli Bai: Transfer to Mbeli Camp on foot (2.5 hours), by road (40 minutes), and by pirogue (90 minutes). The pirogue ride up the Ndoki and Mbeli Rivers to Mbeli Camp is perhaps the most magical of all the river travel on this tour. There is no motor; instead, two trackers stand upright at the front and back of the traditional wooden pirogue and propel the craft along with long paddles. On either side of the narrow river channel is lush forest. Sometimes the forest meets overhead creating a canopy over your canoe. After lunch, you walk 45 minutes through the forest to Mbeli Bai, an extensive clearing several hundred meters in length, where wildlife such as elephants, gorillas, buffaloes and antelopes come to feed. Wildlife is observed from a raised wooden platform located in the tree-line. This is your best opportunity on the tour for spotting wild gorillas. We return to camp at 16:00. Mbeli Camp consists of four screened bungalows on stilts, all facing the forest. Bathing houses and long drop toilets are at the foot of the stairs of each bungalow. Water is heated for hand showers. There is no generator at Mbeli. Camp. Dinner is usually attended by the researchers who are in residence at the camp which allows guests to learn more about the wildlife under observation at Mbeli. 

Day 9: 
Full day at Mbeli Bai observation tower with picnic lunch. Overnight at Mbeli Camp. 

Day 10: 
Today after breakfast. You return to Bomassa, park head quarters, arriving mid to late morning. After a brief rest, you transfer by motorized pirogue downriver to Ouesso town where you will spend the night. There will be time to explore this frontier town on foot. There are two hotels in Ouesso which offer adequate comfort, Leslie will arrange the most appropriate before you arrive. 

Day 11: 
You begin your drive to Brazza, retracing your steps. Overnight upcountry in either Oyo or Owando. It is sometimes possible to make it all the way to Brazza in one day if no road obstacles or delays are met. 

Day 12:  
You arrive Brazzaville early afternoon. Transfer to a hotel day room until Kenya Airways check-in early evening. An early dinner is possible at the hotel at guest expense / discretion. Your flight to Nairobi departs at 23.45pm and arrives back in Nairobi the following morning at 05.30 local time. Connect to your homeward flight.

Rates for this Safari
Price excluding international flights:
2016 Price guide $10500 pp
 
No single supplement
Safari Summary

Notes:

This safari visits The Congo (Brazzaville ).

This safari is arranged on dates to suit you, although this requires a minimum two guests.
Costs decrease as group number increase
Also arranged on set dates a few times a year when subject to numbers we can avoid single supplements.
Your Safari Includes:

Park fees, Conservation fees, Village development fees transfers throughout and between camps - lodges using a combination of walking, hand powered and motorized pirogues & 4 x 4 vehicles.
Forest guides in the Congo parks, Porters in Congo.
Letters of invitation for visas to Congo Brazzaville, visits to Congo Mbeli Bai observation platform, Mondika Camp gorilla trekking x 3 permits pp
Meals as per itinerary
 

Your safari Safari Excludes:  

Congo Visas to ROC. (We will provide all guest with a complete instruction on the visa and immunisation requirements).
Gratuities 
Drinks are not included, other than water (wine possibly ! but beer is available to buy at Nouabale-Ndoki NP).
Additional nights in Brazzaville or elsewhere if international or local flights are delayed or missed or luggage goes missing. 
English speaking guide in NNNP is not guaranteed but it is highly likely that you are guided by an English speaker from the tourism team.  
Additional gorilla permits (although 3 are already included in the safari) 

Full Safari Details
Congo Ultimate Lowland Gorilla Safari

Your Safari will take you on a very different and eye opening experience to the tropical forests of the Congo Basin the world’s largest rain forest after those of the Amazon Basin. They are among the last of their kind on the planet. This tour includes one of those forests,  Noubale is home to western lowland gorillas, forest elephants and buffaloes, bongo and sitatunga antelopes, giant forest and red river hogs, leopards, African Grey parrots and many different monkey species. covering the 850 kilometers between the starting point, Brazzaville, and the north of the country where Nouabale-Ndoki National Park is located. By car, it is a two day trip, towns and people are left behind, replaced by forests on either side of the road. It is increasingly difficult even now to find travel destinations where - to use an old adage - the journey truly is the destination. But this best describes this trip to Nouabale-Ndoki. National Geographic magazine photographer Mike Nichols has described this park as "the last place on earth." Sixteen gorilla families along with ten solitary silverbacks, amounting to some 150 animals, are known to come to its Mbeli Bai to feed. There are its gorilla silverbacks Kingo and Buka, success stories of science's habituation efforts. To spend time in Nouabale-Ndoki is to accept that you are paying for the privilege, to experience a unique wildlife opportunity and not for five-star luxuries.

Day 1: 
Your journey begins today with your flight to London. Departing at approx 20.00pm 

Day 2: 
transit Nairobi.  depending on your flights we can arrange a day room at a convenient hotel or a day looking around Nairobi.

Having arrived in Brazzaville, Congo. at 22:25pm. You are met by a representative just outside baggage hall and transferred to the Residence Marina Hotel. You are on a bed and breakfast basis. You will be met by your guide who will welcome you and add more info and answer questions and will be on hand through out to ensure every thing goes as smoothly as possible during the whole safari.

Day 3:
After an early breakfast, you depart Brazzaville today in  4 x 4 vehicles. The ROC’s highway #01 is patched pavement in places but overall it’s in good condition. The destination tonight is the upcountry town of Oyo, where the current ROC president was born, and the Bel Air Hotel. Because of the president's largesse to his birth place, this is a town like no other in the ROC. A late dinner of local fare is available in Oyo. Total driving distance today is six to seven hours. 

Day 4: 
Ouesso town and Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Another early start in order to arrive in Ouesso by mid-afternoon. Breakfast and lunch supplies are carried in the car from Brazzaville. After the bridge across the Mambili River, highway one becomes rough gravel for the last four hours of the drive. By this time there is forest on both sides of the road. Every so often you will pass small villages which border the route. If there are road delays then it is possible to overnight in Ouesso town but ideally, you should arrive at Ouesso wharf on the Sangha River by 15:30 where you transfer to a motorized pirogue which is the primary means of transportation in the Congo Basin. Your destination tonight is Bomassa, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park's headquarters, several hours boat ride upriver. Accommodation at Bomassa is modest as scientific research continues to be its focus; shared rooms come with mosquito nets and bedding; bathroom and shower are just outside the rooms. The camp uses a generator for power. This is switched off at 9 PM. 

Day 5: 
Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Transfer to Mondika Camp via 4 x 4 vehicle (50 minutes) and on foot (2.5 hours). There is some flooded forest to cross at the beginning of the walk. Rubber shoes are recommended. The depth of water depends on the season. You arrive in time for lunch. There are two habituated gorilla groups around Mondika. Your first gorilla trek is this afternoon, or if necessary, you will gorilla trek twice tomorrow. The gorillas may be one hour walk from camp or several hours. Overnight Mondika Camp where accommodation is simple: tents are of walk-in size and on platforms covered by metal roofs. Washing house and long drop toilet are outside every tent. Hot water is heated on the fire for hand showers.

Day 6:
Today you will visit habituated gorilla families. the rest of the day will be spent relaxing in camp with the Ba'Aka trackers. There is a new forest walk at this camp where tree species and indigenous plants have been identified. Overnight at Mondika Camp. While Mondika Camp sleeps a maximum of eight visitors, only two people at a time can visit the gorillas. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) camp manager will decide on gorilla trekking logistics for the group.

Day 7: 
Today you have a third chance to treck in search of western Lowland Gorillas, in the company of the resident expert guides. To spend even more precious time amongst these incredible ape's. 

Day 8:
Mbeli Camp and Mbeli Bai: Transfer to Mbeli Camp on foot (2.5 hours), by road (40 minutes), and by pirogue (90 minutes). The pirogue ride up the Ndoki and Mbeli Rivers to Mbeli Camp is perhaps the most magical of all the river travel on this tour. There is no motor; instead, two trackers stand upright at the front and back of the traditional wooden pirogue and propel the craft along with long paddles. On either side of the narrow river channel is lush forest. Sometimes the forest meets overhead creating a canopy over your canoe. After lunch, you walk 45 minutes through the forest to Mbeli Bai, an extensive clearing several hundred meters in length, where wildlife such as elephants, gorillas, buffaloes and antelopes come to feed. Wildlife is observed from a raised wooden platform located in the tree-line. This is your best opportunity on the tour for spotting wild gorillas. We return to camp at 16:00. Mbeli Camp consists of four screened bungalows on stilts, all facing the forest. Bathing houses and long drop toilets are at the foot of the stairs of each bungalow. Water is heated for hand showers. There is no generator at Mbeli. Camp. Dinner is usually attended by the researchers who are in residence at the camp which allows guests to learn more about the wildlife under observation at Mbeli. 

Day 9: 
Full day at Mbeli Bai observation tower with picnic lunch. Overnight at Mbeli Camp. 

Day 10: 
Today after breakfast. You return to Bomassa, park head quarters, arriving mid to late morning. After a brief rest, you transfer by motorized pirogue downriver to Ouesso town where you will spend the night. There will be time to explore this frontier town on foot. There are two hotels in Ouesso which offer adequate comfort, Leslie will arrange the most appropriate before you arrive. 

Day 11: 
You begin your drive to Brazza, retracing your steps. Overnight upcountry in either Oyo or Owando. It is sometimes possible to make it all the way to Brazza in one day if no road obstacles or delays are met. 

Day 12:  
You arrive Brazzaville early afternoon. Transfer to a hotel day room until Kenya Airways check-in early evening. An early dinner is possible at the hotel at guest expense / discretion. Your flight to Nairobi departs at 23.45pm and arrives back in Nairobi the following morning at 05.30 local time. Connect to your homeward flight.

Rates for this Safari
Price excluding international flights:
2016 Price guide $10500 pp
 
No single supplement
Book this safari
Safari Summary

Notes:

This safari visits The Congo (Brazzaville ).

This safari is arranged on dates to suit you, although this requires a minimum two guests.
Costs decrease as group number increase
Also arranged on set dates a few times a year when subject to numbers we can avoid single supplements.
Your Safari Includes:

Park fees, Conservation fees, Village development fees transfers throughout and between camps - lodges using a combination of walking, hand powered and motorized pirogues & 4 x 4 vehicles.
Forest guides in the Congo parks, Porters in Congo.
Letters of invitation for visas to Congo Brazzaville, visits to Congo Mbeli Bai observation platform, Mondika Camp gorilla trekking x 3 permits pp
Meals as per itinerary
 

Your safari Safari Excludes:  

Congo Visas to ROC. (We will provide all guest with a complete instruction on the visa and immunisation requirements).
Gratuities 
Drinks are not included, other than water (wine possibly ! but beer is available to buy at Nouabale-Ndoki NP).
Additional nights in Brazzaville or elsewhere if international or local flights are delayed or missed or luggage goes missing. 
English speaking guide in NNNP is not guaranteed but it is highly likely that you are guided by an English speaker from the tourism team.  
Additional gorilla permits (although 3 are already included in the safari)