Odzala National Park is another of Congo Brazzaville’s national parks found in the Cuvette-Ouest region of western Congo. The park was gazetted in 1935 and occupies an area of 13, 600sq km being part of the central Africa habitat for the endangered western Lowland gorillas which are also found in Nouabale Ndoki National Park in the same country.
This Congo national park lies on the flood plain of Mambili river which drain in the south. There are densely forested regions for much of the south and eastern parts of the park. Other parts of the park are marsh swamps and dry savannah grasslands.
The savannah grasslands are home to several species of mammals like bush buck, spotted hyena, and Grimm’s duiker while the marsh swamps are often the place to find sitatunga, giant forest hog, sitatunga antelope, forest buffalo, hippo, chevrotain, dwarf forest crocodile, Nile monitor and forest elephants. The forest elephants in the park are hunted for ivory which has reduced the number of elephants recorded in the park.
The rain forests on the river banks are a habitat for several species of primates including the western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and other species of primates. The primates are threatened through increased poaching and economic activity in the sale of bush meats.
Since the park is located on the border with Gabon, flights from Libreville Gabon to Congo are suitable for tourist this is because travelling in the Republic of Congo is rather dangerous. There is an airstrip at Mboko camp within the park. The park is accessed by dug-out canoe rides or on motor boats on Mambili River.
The park is wet all through the year. The rainy seasons are March to May and September to December for the long periods. The best time to visit is during the warm dry season of June to August.
There are designated areas for camping in the park. There are 5 basic camps in the park offering self catering accommodation and several adventure items for hire. Most of the camps are closed in May and December due to heavy rains and the roads in the park are rather impassable at the same time.