This sparsely populated former French colony is situated in western central Africa and it not to be confused with Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) with which it shares its major border. Spared the problems of the DRC, its 3 million inhabitants live mainly in the south-west of the country leaving the endless pristine tropical forest of the north and the fingers of savannah that cover its interior largely uninhabited and therefore untouched. This is heart of the Congo Basin, a vast area of tropical rainforest, about the size of the United Kingdom, drained by the mighty Congo river, as well as the Sangha and Mambili.
The region supports a host of forest biodiversity in which endemic wildlife thrives including the majority of the world population of western lowland gorillas. The forest also supports traditional tribal culture.
Tourism in the Congo is in its infancy giving every trip into the forest the feeling of an adventure, not quite knowing what one might discover. The rivers allow access, to what otherwise would be almost impenetrable forest, to parks such as Odzala-Kokoua National Park.
The primary rainy season is from November through to April.
We would advise all travellers, prior to booking, to consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for the country(s) they are thinking of visiting, both in respect of the safety of travel and also passport and visa requirements. Please click here.
Odzala-Kokoua in the north of Congo and on the Gabon border is one of Africa’s oldest national parks, having been proclaimed by the French administration in 1935. It covers primarily pristine equatorial rainforest typical of the Congo Basin but is unique for protecting a large area of savannah as well. It is one of the […]
Congo lies on the equator, so temperatures vary very little year round and with maximum day time daily average temperatures of 31C and minimum average night time temperatures of 20C.
The vast bulk of the Congo is rainforest with all that implies; rainfall for the year exceeds 1600mm, with the drier times of the year being on June through to August
Whilst game viewing can never be guaranteed, there are some trends that can be seen with respect to habitats and water availability and how it affect wildlife distribution:
Green (wet) Season – March to May & September to November
The amount of rainfall during this season means that the air is clearer but humidity higher. – November in particular can be very wet but water levels in the Lekolo River are high allowing for boating activities
Movements by western lowland gorilla, central chimpanzees and elephants are reduced, but sightings especially of elephants are prolific with good numbers visiting the Lango Bai. The resident birdlife is excellent with black-collared lovebird, vermiculated fishing owl, yellow-lored bristlebill and Guinea turaco and many other species breeding.
Transition (dry) Season – December to February & June to August
With limited (by Congo’s standards) during this period, the air can be quite hazy and a white film of clouds covering the sky most days. However humidity is lower and daytime temperatures are a little lower.
The ripening fruit (especially during February and August) lead to elephants and gorillas wandering more widely with gorillas primarily feeding in trees, making for easier sightings.
Birding is excellent in both the rainforest and savannah areas with inter-African migrant species present from June to September including the shining-blue kingfisher, Hartlaub’s duck and bare-cheeked trogon.
Take a look at our safari camps in Republic of Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Western Lowland Gorilla safari is a 6 night, two camp itinerary with set departure dates visiting the remote interior rain forest national park of Odzala-Kokoua in the heart of the Congo Basin in the Republic of Congo. Your safari starts in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, when you are collected for your flight to Lango […]