Situated overlooking a forest glade and stream, and surrounded by primary rainforest, Ngaga Camp is a wood-and-thatch build and consists of a main area and six sleeping rooms. The shared areas include a lounge, bar, dining area, decking, and fire pit. Raised on a wooden deck, one side open and leading out to a viewing deck, the domed and low-hanging roof is constructed using raffia palm panels, the main building borrows from traditional ba’aka building designs, and is characterised by polished floors, comfortable seating, a large and beautiful blue rug, a dining table made from reclaimed wood, and ornately carved dining chairs. There is no Wi-Fi. A laundry service is available.
Food & service
A great deal of attention is paid at Ngaga Camp to not just the quality of food, but also to the dining experience, which is relaxed, communal and unhurried. Early pre-trek breakfast consists of range of European and cooked breakfasts. Lunch is buffet, so salads, pastas and a range of meats. Dinner’s a three-course affair and the recipient of much praise from returning guests. Private dining is available. The service is wonderful, the guiding especially so.
Approached by means of a raised walkway, sat high on a wooden platform, the sleeping rooms at Ngaga Camp use the same traditional design-and-build methods as those used for the main area, and include a double or twin bed, private veranda, shower and plenty of storage. With palm panels for walls, wooden floors, and the use of materials like wood and brass for the likes of the sink and shower, they lack fuss, feel very natural, and possess real character.
Everything at Ngaga Camp centres around trekking three groups of Lowland gorilla, whose territories intersect the camp’s location. Neptune and Jupiter are habituated, while a third non-habituated group is observed for research. Other activities include visiting the nearby village. Please be aware that the camp does not accommodate children below the age of 15.
‘It’s Kamba’s founder, Sabine Plattner, life’s vision to ensure a balanced coexistence between man and nature, and she is enabling this specifically not only through low-impact eco-tourism but also through education and by contributing to preserve rainforests in Africa, particularly in the Congo basin. Kamba’s charitable sister organisation SPAC works all over the Republic of the Congo promoting and enabling all stages of education, focussing on child welfare, early childhood development, curriculum development as well as primatology and related research. Furthermore, this vital research on the region’s native lowland gorilla has thankfully protected them from extinction. Magda Bermejo is also actively engaging and bringing Congolese biologist postgraduate students on-site to learn about the rainforest ecosystem and its primate inhabitants.
‘The salary of a single local staff member can feed up to 20 family members; this is essential for a region where hardly 10% of the population have a regular income from paid labour. Apprenticeships and additional jobs such as eco-guards and administrative work also provide a meaningful alternative to poaching and deforestation.
In 2011, Sabine Plattner’s vision of an Early Childhood Development programme was launched with the opening of the first flagship centre, Sanza Mobimba, in the village of Mbomo on the periphery of Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo. The programme offers children between the ages of 3 to 5 years old the opportunity to learn fundamentals in a fun way and in clean and safe surroundings. The programme saw a rapid expansion with the establishment of five satellite centers in villages bordering Odzala-Kokoua National Park – i.e. Ebana, Mbanza, Miele-Kouka, Mokouagonda and Lango as well as a centre in Bomassa bordering Ndabali-Ndoki national park.’