Ogooué-Leketi National Park - A New Park in the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the birthplace for wildlife conservation in Africa, successfully demarcating forested areas as protected parks for more than 100 000 rare gorillas. The addition of a new national park in the Congo offers hope for the future of gorillas. The Congo's fifth National Park aims to offer further sanctuary to gorillas, forest elephants, and other threatened wildlife. This is an incredible accomplishment for wildlife conservation in the Congo and around the world as the new Ogooué-Leketi National Park which borders with Gabon’s Batéké Plateau National Park, will collectively offer more than 1 359 080 acres of protected river valleys, forests, and rolling savannahs. The Ogooué-Leketi National Park will strive to protect critically endangered western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzee, along with forest elephants, forest buffalos, red river hogs, and several species of monkey. The park will also play a vital role in the conservation of bird species. The primary reason that this national park is such a huge win for conservation in the Congo is because the land which now forms part of the national park used to be earmarked by the government for logging companies. Now, these precious ecosystems will be protected for generations to come.

Ogooué-Leketi National Park

Currently, there are approximately 200 individual gorillas that live in the mountains of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, whilst Bwindi Impenetrable forest which is also located in Uganda’s South Western part; is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. Virunga is Africa's oldest national park and is home to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and the spectacular Nyiragongo volcano which is still active. Gorilla trekking is by far the ultimate adventure in Africa – bringing you within close range of mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking is offered in small groups and the time spent with the family group is restricted to 1 hour. Although Virunga is currently closed to visitors until 2019, additional activities offered to visitors in the park include Nyiragongo hikes, nature walks, and chimpanzee habituation experiences.

Visitor observing a mountain gorilla family

A gorilla trekking experience will generally get you as close as 7-meters to a family of mountain gorillas, sometimes even closer.The Ogooué-Leketi National Park is another incredible step forward in the conservation and tourism journey of Congo, and in time will provide another incredible Gorilla Trekking destination in the Congo for those visitors that are looking for something slightly more off the beaten path.

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