Odzala is remote; its location in the north-western Republic of Congo means that the human impact on the Park has been limited – vast areas of it are completely unvisited.
The Park lies within the catchment area of the Mambili River, flowing into the Likouala, which drains into the mighty Congo River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean. The Mambili River, the main artery of the Park, reaches 100 metres wide in places. It is fed in its turn by the Park’s smaller permanent rivers, the Lekoli and Kokoua.
The Odzala area receives an average of some 1 500 mm (60 inches) of rain annually, which falls mainly during the two wet seasons (March to May and September to November).
The southern part of the Park, where two of our three Camps are located, is a rich tapestry of savannah punctuated with forest islands, and divided up by ribbons of gallery forest following the river channels. These unique ecosystems represent the struggle for supremacy between the ancient savannahs and the currently expanding forest biomes of the Congo basin. Swampy clearings known as bais provide some of the best places to view wildlife that is drawn to these open areas by the availability of mineral salts, water, and lush grazing.