Operating in remote parts of Central and West Africa, Congo Conservation Company (CCC) is creating viable, low impact tourism ventures in a pristine natural region to protect it from other, potentially damaging, commercial enterprises.
To achieve this goal, CCC is initiating unprecedented journeys for the conscious traveller between camps and lodges within the Congo Basin.
Our Purpose & Story
The first of the camps in Republic of the Congo’s portion of the Congo Basin was Ngaga Camp in the early 2000s. Ngaga was founded to the south-west of Odzala-Kokoua National Park with one of the focal research gorilla groups under the guidance of the primate research team stationed in the area.
The Congolese government soon wanted to look into opportunities to grow tourism here and held a meeting of great minds to discuss the opportunities within the region. Sabine Plattner was one such mind and founded Congo Conservation Company (CCC) as an actor for true conservation within the region through the development of low impact tourism.
Research at Ngaga found a new approach with the support of SPAC (Sabine Plattner African Charities) and later CCC, joining communities, science and tourism on the grounds of conservation.
By opening up a second research gorilla family to tourism and establishing two more Odzala Discovery Camps within Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Lango and Mboko – each within a distinct biome – an incredibly unique and important destination was created.
Odzala Discovery Camps has been managed by CCC in the pristine ecosystem of Odzala-Kokoua National Park since 2012. During 2019, CCC pioneered the first journeys connecting Odzala Discovery Camps in Republic of the Congo with Sangha Lodge in Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve, Central African Republic.
Through these tourism developments, conservation has been given a higher value by the communities within and surrounding the region as a result of job creation and investment in the area. Together – community, research and tourism are working towards a stronger future for the Congo Basin and all its inhabitants.
Sabine Plattner African Charities (SPAC)
SPAC emphasises the importance of listening to voices of the local communities and using education, economic empowerment and conservation to meet their needs and aspirations. The goal is to help communities achieve their goals in ways that contribute to the greater good of the Congo Basin and all its residents, big and small.
SPAC’s core activities consist of increasing people’s capacity and supporting them in the struggle against poaching and exploitative use of natural resources. Around 70 villages are dotted around the borders of the National Park, meaning that although Odzala is remote, it still has an important human constituency uniquely able to play a crucial role as protectors of the rainforest ecosystem.
For the 80 000 people living in the Odzala-Kokoua region, education is the key a future as well as the conservation of the rainforest and its animals. SPAC’s projects focus on holistic education schemes, improving the limited access to infrastructure, driving local action to preserve the rainforest in a local context and both supporting and strengthening regional structures for environmental protection through tourism development such as Odzala Discovery Camps.
CCC is proud to support the efforts of SPAC and work together in creating a holistic approach to growth, development, conservation and balance.
FOUNDER & VISIONARY
Sabine Plattner is a German philanthropist who created the largest, privately funded conservation-commerce company in the Congo Basin, Congo Conservation Company (CCC). Mrs Plattner also funds Sabine Plattner African Charities (SPAC) which combines education, biodiversity research, skills training and job creation in a holistic, sustainable approach to conservation in the communities around Africa’s protected areas.
Paul Telfer Ph.D
DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION COMMUNICATION & PR (SPAC)
Paul Telfer has worked in various regions of Central and West Africa in collaboration with governments, researchers, communities and environmental organisations. He first came from the United States to investigate primate viruses and the origins of the HIV epidemic in Africa. Paul’s later work with LCA, SPAC and CCC has helped to lay the foundation of tourism in the Congo Basin, a key part of this extraordinary story.
GAËL R. VANDE WEGHE
"Spending eight weeks exploring the forests of Ngaga, Mboko and Lango are amongst the most rewarding rain forest exploration I have ever done, and I have done many. The diversity and quantity of wildlife in these sites are truly unique."
“Visiting Odzala is probably the closest I’ll ever get to travelling back in time. It’s a truly pristine, untouched wilderness which I feel very honoured to have experienced and filmed. To all of you out there working to protect it: keep up the great work!”
“Nowhere else in Africa have I felt as immersed in an experience as in Odzala-Kokua National Park. Photographic opportunities aside, the chance to walk, wade, kayak, and boat across a landscape as diverse and captivating as this is something hard pressed to beat.”
”I know that I cannot change the world – neither would businesses on their own, nor would politicians fighting for their own term of office. I have come to the conclusion that we, the ones who are visionary and see into the future (whether we are conservationists, educationalists, business people or politicians) – we who understand the value of long-term interventions, we have to stand together and bring about the change. Don’t rely on others to do it, simply take the responsibility upon yourself and like Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.'Sabine PlattnerPhilanthropist & Visionary