Your journey to Odzala is the perfect start to your Congo adventure, but as you float in your kayak, binoculars trained on a palm-nut vulture or shy bongo, you might want to take a moment or two to reflect on the journey of the water beneath you.

The Mambili and Lekoli Rivers are ultimately tributaries of the Congo – just two of the many smaller rivers that it swallows on its journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

Another possible derivation of ‘Congo’ is from local words meaning a gathering or tribal assembly and we must confess that we rather like this one. The Congo River is very much a gathering of other rivers, and each day in Odzala ends with a gathering of our own ‘tribe’ around the campfires at Lango, Mboko and Ngaga. You’re very much invited, and we’d love to hear your stories of your time in Odzala and your impressions of encountering gorillas or walking through the bais while forest buffalo look on.

The statistics for the Congo River are mind-blowing. Suffice it to say that its (largely untapped) hydroelectric potential could power the continent, and it is so deep in places that species of fish have evolved in its underwater canyons that are genetically distinct from the fish in the next deep section.

Only the Amazon discharges more water than the Congo, but even that great stream doesn’t have a name as evocative as that of our river. The name of Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships; through our efforts in Odzala we very much hope that over time, the name Congo will launch a thousand trips.

Go on, say it one more time, slowly, savouring the final ‘o’, and then try and resist checking out our website or emailing and taking the first steps in your own Congo adventure. Trust us, it will be an adventure worthy of the name!