Gorilla-tracking in Odzala can only be done through the Congo Conservation Company. They offer various packages of between 4 and 11 nights, from staying at their main camp for gorilla trekking, Ngaga, to venturing as far afield as the Central African Republic for gorilla tracking at Dzanga-Sangha National Park.
On the 4-night Gorilla Discovery trip, visitors take a 2-hour flight from Brazzaville to Mboko on a private charter, then stay at Ngaga just outside Odzala, where the gorilla research team is based. Here, you’ll meet the team and have three chances to track gorillas over three days. Accommodation is in six rustically chic rooms, inspired by indigenous forest people, with superb cuisine and fine wines. Your last night will be spent at Mboko Camp in the park, where you can enjoy a fascinating river safari in the rainforest.
Longer packages allow more time to explore Odzala National Park, staying at different camps where activities include walks, boat trips and drives. Look for forest elephants, antelopes, buffalo, monkeys and myriad birdlife.
Gorillas share over 90% of our DNA picking up our infections easily. Confess to colds or contagious illnesses, or risk terrible consequences for the gorilla population.
You must keep 10m away from gorillas, although no one has told the gorillas this. If they come close, try to move slowly away, however tempting it is to stay still.
Put the gorillas at ease by leaving your camera alone for five-ten minutes after encountering them and letting them see your face. That way, you’ll get more rewarding, relaxed images.
Although habituated, gorillas are still wild. Silverbacks, the dominant males, may charge if they feel threatened. Should this happen, don’t run – just stay behind your guide and stand still…