Man, Woman & Ape in a conscious world
02 March 2021

Man, Woman & Ape in a conscious world

Do you ever think about the impact that we have as travellers?
Everybody (and their cousin) wants THAT 'instagramable' picture of the iconic gorilla. Many of us have done this, I did in Rwanda in 2019, but conscious travel is not about us. Getting a 'selfie with the Silverback' is not sustainable and it has taken Covid-19 to teach us that.

Did you know as humans we share a 98% DNA match with gorillas. Covid and other viruses are transmissible between us. And in remote parts of Africa we also impact vulnerable local communities. YES, we can test and vaccinate humans but we cannot do the same for our gorilla populations. Our responsibility is enormous and as such, we applaud ODZALA DISCOVERY CAMPS for putting conservation before commerce, at all times, during this pandemic. They first suspended tourism in March 2020 and have announced the postponement of their reopening to 2nd September 2021.During this period of suspended tourism the Odzala team has remained fully committed to the future of responsible travel in this region. From refurbishing camps and guide training to exploring new destinations, they have had time to explore this vast and remote wilderness in a responsible and respectful way. This is what we consider sustainable tourism and we could not be more proud to represent these visionary leaders.

Has COVID "infected" your thinking on our current tourism practices?
When travel does resume, will you consider selling more remote and wild destinations?


REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Re-opening Responsibly

Odzala Discovery Camps reopens for travellers from 2nd September 2021 and discoveries with Sangha Lodge resume.

While we all know gorillas are highly endangered and there are an estimated 1 000 mountain gorillas in Rwanda/Uganda, did you know that in the rainforests of the Congo Basin, west of the mighty Congo River, there are an estimated 100 000 western lowland gorillas left in the wild?

Odzala-Kokoua National Park and the surrounding area alone is home to a population of 50 000 of these magnificent great apes. As the only tourism player in the region, Odzala Discovery Camps take their responsibility to the communities and wildlife very seriously. They adhere to the IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for Health Monitoring and Disease Control in Great Ape Populations, and after consulting with the IUCN Section of Great Apes, it has been jointly agreed by African Parks, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), and WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature), that the Congo Basin will remain closed to visitors for an extended duration.

In preparation for reopening, Odzala Discovery Camps are investigating the possibility of an accredited PCR (or high-accuracy antigen) testing facility at Mboko Camp. This solution will support and benefit the local community first, but will also allow for all guests to be tested pre-gorilla tracking and again before their international departure.



Best practice for gorilla viewing?
1. Wear a surgical mask
2. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters
3. Avoid participation if you show any signs of illness or fever
4. Do not leave any human litter behind
5. Think gorilla before yourself.

These 5 key principles have been practiced by Odzala Discovery Camps for over 10 years.

SPECIAL RE-OPENING OFFER

Valid for all arrivals between 2nd September and 28th December 2021

7 night ODZALA DISCOVERY

PER PERSON
Get one complimentary gorilla track
US$ 10 405 per person sharing (SAVE $ 600)

GROUP TRAVEL
6 to 8 people on an adventure
Save 20% on the accommodation, plus one complimentary gorilla track
US$ 9 082 per person (SAVE $ 1 923)

Rates include:
Return charter flights ex-Brazzaville to Odzala, 7 nights accommodation between 3 camps, 2 gorilla tracks, all guided experiences, meals, drinks, road transfers, park fees, conservation and community fees.
Contracted agent commission applies

The last trip I did before lockdown last year was to Odzala and Sangha. I yearn to be back on an aeroplane, getting my passport stamped, jumping onto a charter flight and heading into the wild places across Africa.
When travel does resume I urge you to THINK about the impact you can make through travel and encourage you to sell off the beaten track experiences that need tourism support now more than ever before.
Warmest regards
Suzanne


Suzanne Bayly-Coupe
OWNER, Classic Portfolio

Picture on the right was taken in September 2017 after a deluge of rain as I watched the gorillas at Ngaga Camp with Mike Lorentz and Scott Ramsay. At that stage I thought wearing a surgical mask was a novelty. Those were the days :)

São Tomé and Príncipe

Príncipe is an adventure. A tiny island topped by a canopy of green broken by spires of primordial rock, join us to discover this magnificent lost world, offering fantastic beaches, jungle exploration, snorkelling, fishing and birdwatching.

As the smaller, northern major island of the country of São Tomé and Príncipe lying off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, Príncipe has an area of 136 square kilometres (53 sq mi) and a population of approximately 7,000. The island is a heavily eroded volcano speculated to be over three million years old. Here you will discover a place that time forgot and where you feel you have stepped off the edge of the world. It is distinctively West African with a very strong Portuguese influence and this gives it a rhythm of its own which sets it apart from any experiences in East and Southern African.

READ MORE

Chindeni

Walking time from Chamilandu is ± 4 hours and Bilimungwe ± 3½ hours. Drive time from Mfuwe Lodge: ± 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Located on the banks of an oxbow lagoon which is frequented by game all year round, Chindeni Bushcamp has four spacious canvas tents raised on wooden decks and a central dining area, deck and bar with stunning views towards the Chindeni Hills. The camp comprises 2 twin tents (queen size beds) and 2 double tents (king size bed each). Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with a wash basin, toilet and shower with cold and solar-heated water.

READ MORE