Salonga National Park Expedition
This is a serious frontier expedition into Africa's largest tropical jungle reserve and one of its most remote reaches of rainforest. It does not take you into the dangerous areas of Kasai and rebel-held territories, and approaches from the mostly de-populated north from the equator and the Congo River.
This is not a safari. It is an expedition. It is to be taken very soberly and seriously.
Here are the first things that the adventurer should know about Salonga Park:
One guard stays at the shore with the captain to keep the boat, fuel, and engines. Animals circulate every night in search of food, and it is not safe for the captain to stay there alone.
The camp is always set up hundreds of meters from the river. Two other guards secure the crew for a ride in the forest.
The elephant's swimming pool (yep!) is ten kilometers from the camp site, which is about three hours on foot, round trip about twenty kilometers. Good walking shoes are needed as the forest has many dangerous little animals and insects which can harm.
The client needs a professional camera in order to take good pictures of animals, as they are very quick in the jungle, the trees are very high, and there is no good light from the sun as the forest has many and high trees. Good binoculars are also needed as some animals are high up in the trees, there is no way possible to see them clearly on the top.
Salonga is 750 km from Mbandaka, created in 1970, and still after all this time is the most remote park in Africa and requires 5 or 6 days of sailing upstream if the weather is good, and 3 days downstream. The whole park is 3600 square km divided into two sectors north and south. We go usually to Monkoto corridor which is in the district of Tshuapa Equatorial Province.
It has two river streams Loile and Luilaka that flow into the Ruki river then into Congo River in Mbandaka.
There are many villages along the river but only names of big villages will be mentioned here apart from those villages there are many fishing camps. The big villages are : Ingende ; Boteka ; Longa ; Lotumbe ; Imbonga ; Waka, Watshikengo ; Bokuma ; Nkasa ; Ikende ;Kombo ;
Bempumba ; Ikuwa ; Losako,
Monkoto Ville is the last big village where we get all the papers that allow us to access Salonga Post downstream about an hour to get there by motorboat.
Normally, when traveling we camp four times on the way, and we only choose small villages since we avoid crowds and other immigration services. What is important is not where we can camp, but how many times we can do that while traveling, it is dangerous to travel at night because of sand and branches of trees under water
If you do not have a flexible schedule and attitude, this trip is not for you. You need to budget a minimum of 3 weeks and be in good physical and mental shape to undertake this, be ready to get very dirty and to go with river water showers if any at all. After Mbandaka you will not stay in any hotels and it will be all rough and real wilderness.
Once a site of fishing and trading villages, Kinshasa is now a megacity with an estimated population of more than 12 million. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River, making them the world's second-closest pair of capital cities after Rome and Vatican City. The city of Kinshasa is also one of the DRC's 26 provinces. Because the administrative boundaries of the city-province cover a vast area, over 90 percent of the city-province's land is rural in nature, and the urban area occupies a small but expanding section on the western side.
18 April 2022
18D / 17N
Car hire for Zongo Falls Car hire Brazza City Tour
Kinshasa Brazza two ways Mbandaka –Salonga
Air plane Ticket
Mbandaka two ways
- Items of personal nature
- Special Drinks
- Special food for the expedition
- Hotel in Brazzaville
- Hotel in Kinshsa
- Food in Brazzaville
- Food in Kinshasa
Morning see Brazzaville, city monuments- the notorious Nabemba Tower, St Anne Basilica, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzaville Memorial, cultural and historical sites , Congo River and Congo art- visit the art market, Poto-Poto school of painting, and an independent artist who creates both contemporary and traditional art. Lunch and drinks. While witnessing the magnificient rapids of the Congo River
After finishing our Brazza City tour we will head to the Port to start our check-in to cross in DRC, this trip will take us around 15mn only to reach the other side of Kinshsa. Transfer to the Leon Hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Kinshasa - Zongo Falls
Water charges forth from the mountains of Bas Congo's equatorial forests, the former territory of Stanley's expedition, and falls on rocks 65 meters through the jungle canopy to the ground. Located 130 kilometers (c. 90 miles) from Kinshasa, an early morning pick-up will take you through spectacular scenery to the Zongo Waterfalls. Zongo Park provides a lovely setting. This goes deep into the Congolese rainforest and into the heart of darkness you've always imagined. Raw and real and wonderful... and relaxing. SELI SAFARI / ZONGO FALLS / WHY GO? An excellent break from Kinshasa with exceedingly beautiful scenery, merely 4 hours away by driving, but worlds away in feeling. Enjoy
Kinshasa – Mbandaka by Air plane
After breakfast at your hotel, we will take you to the airport where we shall board a plane straight to Mbandaka. Transfer to the hotel where you will have a break after this long journey. Dinner and overnight
Today is a rest day for you, but a busy day for the staff because as a special trip from Nbandaka to Salonga NP we will need to stay 2 days within the city to arrange our trip to the park. We will arrange the boat rent and fuel others things that we will need during long journey from there, sometimes it takes 3 days when fuel is difficult to find.
Mbandaka – Salonga National Park
This adventure and long boat trip will take us about 4 days before to reach the Salonga NP, during the journey you will have a magnific overview of the river and also of some villages where we shall have stopovers for eating and also for the night under our tents. We guarantee you a wonderful and unforgettable experience during this trip. You will experience the African life in the deep heart of the African tradition; and Congo is the place you deserve to go. With your camera you will get the best pictures that you ever taken. At Salonga you will explore the area like an expedition, not a safari. There is no "game drives" or anything remotely like that. You may meet some researchers who can help guide, but in general you will just explore and heed your guide's advice. There are a few rivers to get there diverting off the main River Congo, and its a long journey. Tents are supplied. You should bring your own sleeping bag and pad as this makes a big difference in our experience in the quality of sleep and you should try this bag and pad out several times at home for comfort before you select it. Some additional provisions and further supplies will be purchased in Mbandaka. This is a tough journey into the forest, so you should be prepared for it. Medical assistance will be days away so you should be well stocked on first aid equipment too that you think you may need and medicines. We will be doing the same. The main village you will head for is Monkoto. This is about 6 days from Mbandaka taking the rivers Ruki, Momboyo, and Luilaka. The Luilaka river brings you to the park entrance. We will use tarpaulins as makeshift shelters on the pirogue. In case of emergency evacuation, we can return to Mbandaka in 3 days by traveling day and night.
Mbandaka – Kinshasa
Kinshasa - Brazzaville