Things to do in Sangha Department

Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Sangha Department: Address, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Nouabale-Ndoki National Park

Nouabale-Ndoki National Park
4.5
National Parks • Nature & Wildlife Areas
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More than 3 hours
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4.5
5 reviews
Excellent
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MaartenB68
Leiden, The Netherlands6 contributions
Uniquely beautiful and mesmerizing place; away from it all.
Feb. 2017 • Friends
Our stay in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park was great in many ways. We spent a night in tents on the platform at Mbeli bai listening to the nearby elephant 'traffic' under a full moon. It was magical to see the forest elephants coming and going in the mist of early dawn. Visiting the pool, bottoms up to suck up the mineral rich mud, playing with each other. And briefly afterwards, silverback Buster turned up, just below the platform, for an early breakfast of water hyacinth. Munching peacefully while at the other side of the bai a family of seven gorilla's appeared to fill their bellies too. Getting to the bai was a feast in itself, we were mesmerized by the canoe trip on Ndoki river.

We also visited Mondika camp, close to the CAR border, for another close encounter with gorillas. Buka's group was nearby and he allowed us a most wonderful view into his family life. His smell, breathing, size, gaze: so impressive!

We hugely enjoyed staying in Mbeli, Mondika en Bomassa camp. Visiting nearby villages of Bomassa and Bon coin is also greatly recommended. We enjoyed talking to the international and Congolese staff during meals and over a beer, and were greatly moved by the dedication of the local staff to the animals and to their (tracking or research) work. All in all, getting to Bomassa by boat, getting around in the park (by car, canoe, on foot) and just being there were already great experiences. Our very friendly guides (Arnaud and Zanne), the smiles of the Ba'ake trackers, and the talkative and proud researchers made our stay even better. And last but not least, the wildlife cooperated greatly to a most wonderful experience. This is such a unique, pristine and amazing place on this planet!
Written 25 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elizabeth O
Denver, CO4 contributions
Glorious forests, gorgeous gorillas
May 2017 • Business
I recently spent several days in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, as part of a work trip. I was fortunate to include an overnight trip out to the Mondika research and tourism camp to go gorilla tracking. If you need ease, all the comforts, AC, this isn't the trip for you. But if you want some of the most spectacular rainforest left on the planet, adventure, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is definitely the place. I've traveled throughout the tropics all over the world and can say that hands down, this is some of the most beautiful, intact primary rainforest left anywhere. To get to the camp involves a 5-mile flat hike, including a half-hour wade through thigh-deep flooded forest (bring your water shoes). Your guides include Ba'aka ("pygmy") trackers and an English-speaking Congolese ecotourism guide. Accommodations are large canvas tents with twin beds inside. Bathroom is a concrete shower space with a warm-water bucket bath and a sit-on pit toilet. Meals are served in a large screened-in dining room built on stilts. Food was really good (but again, don't expect gourmet). This is a true nature-based adventure where your needs will be more than met. You go for the forests, gorillas, and cultural experience and it is so, so worth it.
Written 25 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

montydoiel
Littleton, CO1 contribution
A brief and happy vist.
May 2017 • Solo
I ended up cancelling a trip to the Atlantic Coas of RoC at the last minute because of the good things I had heard about Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Specifically the WCS station at Bomassa and Mondika Research Center.
The night I spent at Bomassa I dined and slept in screen enclosed rooms on the banks of Sangha river. Monkeys filled the trees towards sunset and spending time with the WCS staff was joy. People on the front line of conservation and research. Dedicated and serious about their work and fun to while away an eveing with.
The river lulled me to sleep and forest birds woke me in the morning.
At Mondika I spent time in a lush, almost cool forest with two different gorilla groups. Observing the gorillas and learning about their behavior and history from my WCS host and the professional trackers was amazing.
If you arrive at Mondika anything other than over the top passionate about wildlife conservation, that will change if you spend a little time with Mondika's manager. She's absolutely passionate about her work and it rubs off on you.
A bush baby came to investigate me as I turned in the second night I spent there. And in the morning, before I left, a forest elephant wandered up the river to the camp. Not bad for a day and a half visit.
The food and accommodations were much better than I expected.
The only thing that could have made it better would have been a longer stay.
Written 20 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

A A
1 contribution
Lac Tele - What ah corker!
Jun. 2015 • Solo
Like its first discoverers I stumbled upon Lac Tele from a satellite image of north-eastern Republic of Congo (RoC). Lying amongst the finest primary rainforests of Congo, as well as boasting weird magnetic fields and a resident dinosaur (Mokele-Mbembe), I decided Lac Tele was something worth walking to. What's more Attenborough and his BBC have not been there - the gold standard gold-seal for any new-age explorer.

I later found that 'Congo Travel and Tours' were running expeditions to the Lac http://congotravelandtours.com/lake-tele-expedition. Unlike the BBC they had not missed the big blue dot on the map. Whats more they knew how to help my solo expedition. Chris, the director, immediately got back to me with all the transport and logistic details I needed. I was in Brazzaville at the time and he set me up with his lead guide, Omar Badji who knows all the major players in the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and, importantly Boha village. Having travelled from the U.K. to Congo-Brazza by motorbike I'd had some experience in organisational difficulties in Africa, but Chris and Badjie ensured things ran smoothly.

To visit the Lac you need to give the Lac Tele branch of the WCS a heads up well in advance of your visit (Email and Telephone contacts work well: http://programs.wcs.org/congo/WildPlaces/LacTéléCommunityReserve.aspx or just speak to Chris from Congo Travel and Tours).

The WCS have headquarters in Epena. From there it is a 3hr motorised boat ride down the brown waters of the Likouala aux Herbes river before turning off onto the clear waters which run to Boha village, the the start point of the trek. There is an option to paddle down (and back) to Boha. It's a couple of days easy paddle and the perfect way of acclimatising/getting knackered before the hardest walk of your life!

Boha , with its magic wielding chieftain, fruit laden trees and fleshy green river banks was one of the highlights of my trip. For the inevitable melee between heads of family about spirts&pay&porters make sure you empty a few bottomless mugs of Uncle Armel's "Cafe de Boha". Intermittently holding up a copy of Redmond O'hanon's "No Mercy: a journey to the heart of the Congo" on the page with the photo of the chieftain helps the whole discussion nod the right way. My WCS guide (Sylvester Ebethas, a native from Boha) acted as an effective mediator and the next day I was off.

The trek follows a 50km 'piste' from Boha to the Lac through ancient forests. It a proper walk. Minimum taking two days if your fit and flooded sections don't hold you up. (June-October is dry the season, the rest of the year you are in it!).

Wildlife seems to gravitate to the Lac (Lac Tele national park is famous for having the highest density of western-lowland gorillas in the Congo basin), so if you've spent the entire trek staring at the ground to avoid the roots or searching for your the lead porter, you are in for a treat when you arrive. Crocs, chimpanzees, gorillas (as well as bonobos according to my guide) all live by the Lac's banks which you can explore by foot or canoe. Take a day to enjoy the lake and then make the 2-day trek back (and 2-day paddle if you skimped on the motorboat).
Written 16 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Afrique2015
Amsterdam, The Netherlands9 contributions
Beautifull experience but never ever again with Congo Travel and Tours (CTT) - Blue Latitude Travel (BLT)
Mar. 2015 • Family
We (family of 4) visited the Ndoki park in March 2015. We paid 4.000 dollar per person.
Summarized: bad organization (Congo Travel and Tours (CTT) and Blue Latitude Travel (BLT), bad transport, bad (or no) food, bad facilities.
All of this may have been acceptable at a suitable price level. Backpacker accomocations (or even less....) demands bakcpacker prices.
Premium prices demands premium quality.
Tip: do visit Ndoki (it is a must see) but arrange it yourself. Just google in Ndoki and you find the information about WCS. You can make your booking and arrangement through them. Cost in total when you arrange it yourselfL app 1250 dollar per person and it saves you a lot of dealing and irritation with Congo Travel and Tours (CTT) and Blue Latitude Travel (BLT).
Written 17 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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