There’s only one O – Odzala! And I bet you’ve not heard of Odzala 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 safari ‘favourites’ like Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia to name a few (don’t forget the Zeds.. Zimbabwe and Zambia or the Ms 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.
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.
Did you say Gorillas in the Congo? Which Congo?
We know, it’s confusing because there are indeed two countries with Congo in the name and both offer fantastic wilderness and wildlife experiences.
Odzala can be found in the Republic of Congo which is also known today as Congo-Brazzaville. This is the more peaceful Congo whilst the other, DRC is still a little troubled and whilst we entertain the idea of travelling there (Jonathon ventured there in October 2017), it’s for real safari holiday mavericks.
S0 when you think about the 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 Odzala experience
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].
Are you ready for an Odzala adventure?Let’s Chat