Visit Congo’s Upenda National Park : With an area of 1,830 square kilometers, Upendra National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the Congo. The park is located in the eastern Congo, bordering Uganda and Rwanda. The park is known for its abundance of wildlife, with elephants, giraffes, hippos, and lions all found in the park. It is also home to a number of rare bird species, including the Papyrus Gonolek and the Shelley’s Francolin. The forest at Upenda is home to over 1,000 plant species, including orchids and elephant grass. The park was officially opened in 1990, but dates back to the 19th century when it was first established as a royal hunting ground. Today it is an important source of income for local communities and supports ecotourism in the region. I spent a few days at Upenda earlier this month and can honestly say that it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
However, I had trouble finding information about the best way to see the park and its wildlife so I decided to write a blog post to help others make the most of their visit. Before embarking on your trip, it is recommended that you do some research so that you can make an informed decision about what kind of activities you would like to do. This will help you plan the perfect trip and give you an opportunity to make the most out of your time at the park. There are numerous tour companies that offer guided Congo safaris to the park. If you’d rather go on your own I would recommend visiting the park during a dry season when it is easier to navigate the landscape.
I stayed at the Galina Lodge, which was a great place to stay and located right on the edge of the park. The park is located six hours from Brazzaville so it is difficult to access by public transport so be sure to set aside several days for your visit. Make sure you bring enough food and water to last the duration of your trip as there are no shops or restaurants inside the park. If you plan ahead and pack wisely you should have no problem enjoying the park to its fullest!
Day one was spent traveling from Brazzaville to the village of Garoto, which is just outside the park boundary. The village is very remote so you will need to hire a private car to take you there and back again. Once you reach the village you will need to hire a guide from the village chief who will take your group deep into the forest to search for monkeys and other wildlife. If you are lucky you may even spot an elephant or two! On day two I took an early morning game drive around the park in search of some of the wildlife I had seen the day before. Once again I was successful and was able to see a number of animals including a large python. The landscape in the park is absolutely stunning and it’s very easy to lose yourself in the natural beauty of the forest. In the evening I camped out under the stars next to one of the waterfalls. It’s a great way to watch the sunset after a long day of exploring!