There’s only one O – Odzala! And I bet you’ve not heard of it before? Think adventure, eco travel, off the beaten track, rainforests, gorillas, elephants, rivers and more…
Many of you who know Jonathon and Danica here at Encompass Africa will understand their passion for adventure, wildlife and true wilderness. With a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa [countries below the Sahara desert where there is more wilderness and wildlife], we sometimes get caught up in the ‘favourites’ of travel like Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia to name a few (don’t forget the Zeds.. Zimbabwe and Zambia or the M’s Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar).
A few years ago we ventured into Ethiopia and have never looked back. We also delved feet first into the Republic of the Congo when Odzala first opened. Move forward a few years and after sending just a handful of guests, it became really tricky to make a successful holiday of it (visas were hard to get prior to travel for Aussies!).
So we slowed down on promoting it proactively and yet kept supporting and loving the Odzala camps hoping it would become easier and the stars have now aligned. Please feel free to visit the Odzala website or their facebook page… thanks to Odzala for the photographs which they use for their Newsletter. To sign up to that, head to their website www.odzala.com
Oh Odzala Discovery Camps how we adore thee. What you have done to create a focus on commitment to conservation of the western lowland gorillas and other wildlife in the country is honourable and we are blessed to know you and hope we can start sending more of our adventurous maverick travellers your way!
So let me tell you about Odzala… but first, about the Congo.
CONGO? WHAT? WHERE? WHICH ONE?
We know, it’s confusing because there are indeed two countries with Congo in the name.
Odzala can be found in the Republic of Congo which is also known today as Congo-Brazzaville. This is the peaceful Congo whilst the other, DRC is still a little troubled and we do not entertain the idea of travelling there at this point in time.
When you think about the peaceful Congo – please close your eyes and imagine friendly smiling faces thrilled you are coming to visit, mighty rivers hugged by giant thick forests humming with birdlife and echoing the calls of gorillas.
ODZALA DOES ECO
Odzala does eco better than many because they are trully immersed in a remote area of the Congo Basin and their impact must be minimal to protect the fragile ecosystem. Solar electricity generating systems, bio degradable everything, small teams with passion and commitment to the cause including the chefs and menus that celebrate local produce and influences.
THE EXPERIENCE AT ODZALA
From the get-go, you feel like this is a true adventure. It starts when you arrive into Brazzaville and then board the twin turbine LET410 and take off with 15 passengers in total to the steamy forests of Odzala. Captain Mike Doubell and First Officer Gabor Huth ensure a smooth flight over Brazzaville rooftops, the wide expanse of the Congo River and the savannahs of Lango bai and Mboko.
You arrive on a set day due to the delicate logistics for this eco safari adventure and the next eight days are riddled with WOW factor moments from lowland gorilla trekking, canoeing and forest walks to river sundowners, birding, nocturnal forest walks, village visits and more.
Over the course of the adventure, you stay at Ngaga Camp [gorilla base], Mboko Camp [river heart] and Lango Camp [upstream uber forest].
Rather than talk about it, we want you to see it, interact with it so here’s our digital itinerary link.
What are you waiting for? Take the first steps on your Congo adventure today!
THE FINE PRINT
Ah yes, what are the special terms and conditions, inclusions and exclusions… here we go…
Children – due to the remoteness and wildlife activities, children under the age of 15 are not able to visit Odzala.
Dates – To take up this great itinerary and keep your costs down, it’s a Thursday start from Brazzaville. [otherwise charter flights all round at additional cost] That may mean you’ll need a night first in Brazzaville depending on your flight arrival time. We’ll work through all that with you once we’ve got you hooked on this great escape to Africa!
Rates – There is a high and low season.
HIGH SEASON: US$7,750 per person sharing. Single Supplement US$1,500
15 MAY – 31 OCT 2017 | 15 Dec – 14 Jan 2018
LOW SEASON:US$6,500 per person sharing. Single Supplement US$1,500
1 Nov – 14 Dec 2017 | 15 Jan – 31 Mar 2018
OPTIONAL: Third Gorilla Trek, add US$285 per person to the total
Inclusions – 7 night circuit between 3 of the Odzala Discovery Camps; return flights from Maya Maya Brazza to Odzala on Thursdays; 3 nights Ngaga Camp, 2 nights Mboko Camp and 2 nights Lango Camp; daily guided activities including your 2 gorilla permits, 1 boat cruise, 1 kayak safari, daily guided forest walks; 3 meals per day, house wines, beers, spirits, water and soft drinks [excl premium wines and champagne]; road transfers between camp and airstrips; airport meet and greet and full assistance on both arrival and departure to ensure it’s effortless [that’s how we roll]; Congo letter of invitation fee and all 3rd party fees including Medical Evactuation, Community Fees and Park Fees; laundry and internet access [yes can you believe it?! Wifi is available in all camps!]
Exclusions – International flights; visa which is US$50 per person payable in cash only on arrival with presentation of letter; pre or post night accommodation in Brazzaville if required; return transfers to and from your Brazzaville hotel and Maya Maya airport; meals and activities whilst in Brazzaville; optional 3rd gorilla trek if you want it! This is possible to do and what a thrill.