Gorilla tracking and classic wildlife safari
Enjoy legendary gameviewing at South Africa’s renowned Mala Mala Private Game Reserve and the thrill of tracking lowland gorilla in the Republic of the Congo.
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Cost From:||$11,995 see pricing|
|Arrive:||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Depart:||Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo|
|Lodging:||3 nights deluxe safari camp, 7 nights comfortable safari camps|
|Meals:||All meals included|
|Activity:||Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History|
2 days of gorilla tracking, hikes of 2-4 hours on muddy trails, 4WD gameviewing, river travel by pirogue
- Once-in-a-lifetime encounters with lowland gorillas of the rainforest
- Track rare forest elephants, forest buffalo, and other unusual African wildlife
- Explore on foot, by pirogue, and by 4WD vehicle, enjoy remote safari camps
- Experience world-class gameviewing on the golden savannas of Mala Mala
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
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We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.Email Area Manager
Join our veteran safari guide Dana Allen for an utterly unique safari! We combine two epic wildlife experiences on this journey: legendary gameviewing at South Africa’s renowned Mala Mala Private Game Reserve and the thrill of observing a near-mythical endangered mammal in the wild: the lowland gorilla. Our adventure begins with a 4WD safari on the golden savannas of Mala Mala, famed for its breathtaking “Big Five” wildlife encounters. We then take a private charter flight directly to 8,400-square-mile Odzala-Kakoua National Park in a remote corner of the Republic of the Congo (also known as Congo-Brazzaville), near Gabon. The world’s largest population of lowland gorillas lives in this vast park’s dense, pristine rainforests. In this incredible environment, we travel by pirogue on winding rivers, explore on foot on the forest fringe, and enjoy the comfort of two exciting new safari camps: Lango and Ngaga. We can bank on once-in-a-lifetime encounters with lowland gorillas, our closest cousins, along with rare forest elephants, forest buffalo, and a host of exotic animals from giant forest hogs to huge flocks of African grey parrots. There’s no other wildlife journey quite like this one—if you’re a traveler who wants to head “off the map” for real adventure, this is it!
Itinerary at a Glance
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
Johannesburg, South Africa / Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Arrive in Johannesburg and fly by charter flight directly to Mala Mala Game Reserve. From Mala Mala’s Sable Camp, set in a prime elevated position overlooking the Sand River, enjoy exciting game drives in this world-famous private reserve, founded in 1927 and still providing some of the most thrilling wildlife encounters on the continent. On Day 4, return to Johannesburg for overnight.
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / M’boko / Lango Camp
Fly to Brazzaville and continue by private charter flight to Odzala-Kokoua National Park. With comfortable accommodations at Lango Camp, nestled in a dense gallery forest, explore on foot on forest trails, by river on motorized pirogues, and from concealed gameviewing hides at Mbouebe Bai. The savanna, marsh, swamp forest, and riverine forest are home to forest elephant and forest buffalo, along with red river hog, eight species of monkeys, and an array of forest birds.
Ngaga Camp / Gorilla Tracking / Brazzaville
Heading to the southwestern corner of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, our next accommodation is Ngaga Camp, situated in the heart of highest known densities of western lowland gorilla. No fewer than seven groups totaling over one hundred gorillas have been observed here. With our guide and tracker, we track and observe gorilla clans as they move through the forest. Return to M’Boko Airstrip on Day 11 and fly to Brazzaville for departing flights.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
What the Trip is Like
The trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. At Mala Mala in South Africa, we enjoy superb lodging and three days of morning and afternoon gameviewing excursions by open 4WD vehicle in search of the “Big Five”—lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.
In Odzala-Kokoua National Park at Lango Camp and Ngaga Camp, we have the chance to see fascinating and rare animals that few people other than wildlife researchers ever get to see. That said, there are some rigors involved in travel to and around Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The roads may be muddy, the vehicles may get flat tires, and the heat and humidity of the rainforest can be tiring. Lango Camp and Ngaga Camp have guest rooms supplied with fans but not air conditioning. Emergency medical evacuation from the camps can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive; if you have a medical condition of concern, this may not be the trip for you. (There is electricity in the guest rooms at Lango Camp and Ngaga Camp, so CPAP machines can be used). At Lango Camp, we travel by small motorized pirogue (canoe) as well as on foot and by safari vehicle. At Ngaga Camp, we make 2- to 4- hour gorilla tracking excursions (including time spent observing the gorillas), during which we may cover between 3 to 5 miles of walking. The Odzala rainforest environment can be muddy. After a forest walk, we will have wet shoes and muddy smears on our clothes as proof of our adventure! T-shirts, shorts, and sandals are not suitable attire for the Odzala camps. Rather, the ideal clothing is closed walking shoes (lightweight and quick drying—no heavy boots), long-sleeved shirts and long pants in fast-drying fabrics, and calf-length socks to avoid exposing the ankles. Limited laundry service is offered at camp, but same-day turnaround is not possible because of the time it takes to dry in the often-humid conditions.
The shape you’re in will be an important factor in your enjoyment of the walks and boat rides. Make an effort to get in good physical condition with hiking, biking, running, or other kinds of exercise beyond your normal routine. A brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning.
Any African safari is an adventure, and the traveler to Africa should bring along flexibility, a sense of humor, and an openness to the unexpected
Departures & Leaders
Aug 25-Sep 4, 2013 Dana Allen
Prices are for 2013
$11995 (10-11 members)
$12295 (7-9 members)
$12695 (4-6 members)
Single supplement: $3700
Internal airfare: $1050 (subject to change)
more on pricing
Trip Cost Includes:
- expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
- accommodations, based on double occupancy
- welcome and farewell dinners
- All meals included
- park fees
- land transportation
- airport transfers, baggage handling
Trip Cost Does Not Include:International airfare; airport departure taxes; any meals not specified after each itinerary day; optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff; hotels en route to/from Africa; any additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by international airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations, visa fees, travel insurance; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Trip Payment Schedule
At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance
Dana Allen, originally from California, has lived and worked in southern, central, and east Africa for the past 25 years and currently resides in Zimbabwe. Acquiring his first camera at an early age, Dana studied photography at Arizona State University and was awarded both a Bachelor and a Masters Degree in Fine Arts with the highest honors. He has taught photography in universities both in the United States and Zimbabwe, where he was the head of the Photographic and Printing & Graphic Arts Department for five years. Dana has been a safari guide in Africa for many years and has led many Wilderness Travel safaris. His keen knowledge of not only wildlife and environmental issues but also of local cultures and customs make him uniquely suited to the task. Dana's work with gorillas includes several visits to photograph the mountain gorillas of Rwanda as well as a two-week stay in Odzala National Park to document the wildlife and ecosystems of the area, including the magnificent population of western lowland gorillas in the park.
Dan was excellent. He has a masterful eye in composing the right conditions for a great shot on a photographic safari.
Steven W., San Diego, CA
Dana is always a pleasure to learn from. I especially enjoyed evening technique lectures.Petra W., Cincinnati, OH
Botswana Photo Safari
Dana knows his stuff and was able to convey that knowledge and experience in a very helpful and friendly way.Luis C., Burnaby, British Columbia
Zambia and Zimbabwe Photo Safari