Gorilla and Elephant Trekking in the Congo Basin | Fauna Travel

Gorilla and Elephant Trekking in the Congo Basin

Lowland gorilla trekking at Ngaga Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company

12 Days | Starting at $14,535 per person

The Congo offers travelers the most exclusive and unique gorilla experience in Africa. You will be among the few travelers exploring the vast rainforests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park and will meet gorilla researchers. Some accommodations in this remote area can only be reached by kayak, and gorillas may roam about the camps. An estimated 25,000 lowland gorillas are in the park, which is stunning compared to the 1,000 remaining mountain gorillas. In addition to lowland gorillas, the rainforest is home to chimpanzees, elephants, and leopards. This trip was designed around a pioneering ecotourism project that has transformed research stations into rustic yet stylish eco-lodges. It’s one of the only ways tourists can safely access the wild Congo Basin.

Travel in the Congo is rated safer than many other more popular African safari destinations (US State Department Level 2). Still, it is often confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo, its more troubled neighbor. The following itinerary is custom, but rates for standard 7-night trips start at $14,535 per person and $20,950 for 11 nights. The price is inclusive of everything except for international flights and is comparable to other high-end treks in Rwanda or Uganda.

Your custom travel playlist includes Franco and TPOK Jazz’s “Likambo ya Ngana”
Franco is one of the most celebrated Congolese musicians of the 20th century. He lived most of his life in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, but he spent a year in Brazzaville across the river. Members of his band, TPOK Jazz, also hailed from there. The bouncy guitars and mixed vocal harmonies make a welcoming backdrop to your arrival in the Congo.


Day 1-2: Arrival in Brazzaville

Raddison Blu

Arrive in Brazzaville, the capital of the Congo, on a direct flight from Paris. Relax at the Radisson Blu Hotel for the night before spending the next day on a guided tour of the city. There aren’t many local attractions, but it will allow you to see the modern Congo.

Day 3-4: Edge of the Forest

Mboko Camp

A car will take you to the airport in the morning. From here, you will fly to Odzala-Kokoua National Park and settle in at Mboko Camp. The lodge is located on the edge of the savannah and rainforest and is surrounded by massive termite mounds. You can spend the next two days warming up your muscles on nature walks and kayaking the river.

Mboko Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company
Mboko Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company

Day 5-7: Lango Bai

Lango Camp

Lodge at Lango Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company luxury Congo jungle lodge
Lodge at Lango Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company

After two nights at Mboko, travel deeper into the forest – first by road and then by kayak to Lango Camp, which overlooks Lango Bai. The area was featured in the Our National Parks Netflix series. For the next two days, the unique ecosystem of the swampy bai. Here, you can spot herds of forest elephants and other wildlife that have come to drink the mineral-rich waters. There is also a fantastic variety of birds in the region that your guide can share with you.

Day 8-11: Gorilla Trekking

Ngaga Camp

Lowland gorilla trekking at Ngaga Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company luxury Congo gorilla lodge
Lowland gorilla trekking at Ngaga Camp / Courtesy of Congo Conservation Company

Finish your journey with four nights of lowland gorilla trekking at Ngaga Camp. After a full-day overland voyage, meet the gorilla research team over dinner at camp in preparation for your first trek. A trained guide or researcher will guide you into the forest the next day in search of one of the two habituated gorilla families in the area. This is the only trekking operation in the park so that you will have exclusive access to the gorillas. With an estimated 25,000 gorillas in the park, you may likely see other families during your stay, as well as other primates like chimpanzees.

Day 11-12: Home

Drive back to Mboko Camp for one last day on the forest’s edge before flying back to Brazzaville for your trip home. Optional extensions include even more remote gorilla trekking in the Central African Republic or a casual few days dining out and relaxing at a nice hotel in Paris.


We’ve sent you some reading material, including, Black Moses
Alain Mabanckou currently teaches at UCLA but grew up in Brazzaville and is Congo’s most celebrated writer. Black Moses is a tragic comedy that follows a young orphan through the events of the 1970 revolution in the People’s Republic of Congo. View on Amazon


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