Primates of Odzala National Park
Odzala National Park has a home for Primate Habituation that offers a unique opportunity to be involved in an extraordinary conservation projects , These include the research and protection of equatorial African primates.
The focus of the expedition is on ‘habituation’ of various primate-groups. This means that through repeated, neutral contact with humans, the animals exhibit normal behaviour when people are in close proximity.
While many of the guests will no doubt be attracted principally by the opportunity to observe Western Lowland Gorillas, this giant ape which shares more than 97% of its DNA with humans is not the only inhabitant of the forest and its bais. Below are short descriptions of some of the other 11 primate species that can be seen here.
This is one of the more visible primate species in Odzala and is seen in the Mboko and Lango areas, as well as along the Lekeni and Lekoli Rivers. It is also a regular visitor to the forest bais, including several that visited on a regular basis.
Another fairly visible species that is regularly seen in the forests around Mboko especially in the early morning.
Although difficult to observe for long periods of time, this colorful species is fairly regularly seen in mature forest.
Other Primates include Agile Mangabey, de Brazza’s Monkey, Allen’s Swamp Monkey, Crowned Monkey and Putty-Nosed Monkey are all regularly seen in their preferred habitats and visitors to Odzala should see a number of these species during their trip. Central Chimpanzees are regularly heard in the Mboko and Lango areas as well as along the Lekoli River but are not habituated and are therefore seldom seen.
Viewing of birds and mammals in tropical forests anywhere in the world can be challenging. The dense environment and slow-going through the undergrowth means that a skilled guide with a comprehensive knowledge of behaviour and calls is essential to get the best sightings.
Below are a few of the key species likely to be encountered on an Odzala expedition.
Bulls of this species are regularly seen in the M’boko area, both in the savannah and forest fringe as well as along the Lekoli River. Small family groups are less often seen.
This charismatic species is abundant and is commonly seen in the M’boko and Lango areas and especially at Lango and Mbouebe Bais, along the Lekoli River and in the savannah.
This exciting forest species is resident in the area around Lango Camp and although primarily nocturnal is regularly seen, either as single animals or in a small herd of about six animals. It is also occasionally seen at one of the bais that is visited on most expeditions to Odzala
This is a resident species in the area around Lango Camp and is regularly sometimes seen, especially at the bai near Camp.
This is the most regularly-seen forest duiker species since it visits the open bais and can therefore be more easily observed.
Other Mammals include Red River Hog, Harnessed Bushbuck, Grey Duiker and Peters’ Duiker are regularly seen in the M’boko and Lango areas while a number of other forest duiker are occasionally encountered but are difficult to observe (Blue, Yellow-backed, White-bellied and