7 nights/8 days
All year round
Bangui, Central African Republic
If the mysterious tropical forests of Africa fascinate you then this is the expedition for you, a journey into the untouched rain forests of Central Africa. This vast region, spanning three countries sparsely populated with Bantu tribes and nomadic groups of Pygmies will not disappoint the adventurer and wildlife lover. Sangha Trinational Protected Area connects three crucial protected areas in Central Africa: Lobéké National Park in Cameroon, Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in Central African Republic and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in Republic of the Congo. Largely unpopulated, this region supports a range of pristine eco-systems and is abundant in life.
Dzanga-Sangha is in the northern section of the Congo Basin. In the reserve are large populations of Forest Elephant, Lowland gorillas, 16 of the country’s primate species (such as De Brazza’s Monkey with its distinctive white beard), hundreds of bird species, reptiles, frogs etc. You can visit a village of the Ba’aka pygmies and if you want, you can join them in a hunt for food into the forests. The women will share some traditional knowledge of the plants and you learn about their lifestyle in the forest. The Lodge works with the Ba’aka in establishing conservation, especially of Pangolins, but also other small animals common in the bush meat trade. The next few days, may be spent visiting Dzanga Bai, tracking lowland gorillas and hunting with the Ba’aka.
The tour begins in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your charter flight and head down to Dzanga Sangha for the first night at Sangha Lodge. If time permits we will venture out in the afternoon to visit the only habituated Black bellied pangolin in the world, followed by a short afternoon sundowner cruise on the Sangha River.
The lodge consists of 7 well appointed bungalows, each with it own ensuite bathroom, with hot and cold running water and flush toilets. There is a well stocked bar with cold beer and drinks, ice is made with Bottled water and is safe to add to your drinks. A small kitchen produces simple yet tasty Western and African foods.
Gorilla tracking. Today you head down to Bai Hokou where you will spend time tracking a group of Western Lowland Gorillas. Dzanga Sangha and its neighbors in Congo Nouabale-Ndoki National Park and Odzala are the only places in the world where you can find habituated Lowland Gorillas.
Visit to Dzanga Bai. Dzanga Bai is large mineral rich clearing in the middle of the rainforest where forest elephants gather in large numbers to indulge in drinking the mineral rich waters that bubble up in places in this Bai. The interaction between so many different groups of Forest elephants ensure that no one can ever get bored at this place, while the possibility of some of the other normally shy forest creature like Bongo, Giant Forest Hog, Red River Hog, Sitatunga and Forest Buffalos visiting the Bai keep us alert.
Guests head out with a group of Ba’aka net hunters as they go about their daily hunter-gatherer lifestyle. It is fascinating and a joy in itself to see how well adapted and comfortable the Ba’aka are in the forest while you may find it overwhelming and almost intimidating. You will be shown several of their medicinal plants while the hunt goes along in the background, and the excited cheers will alert us if they do catch something.
THIS ACTIVITY IS NOT CONTRIVED AND THE HUNTERS ARE THERE TO CATCH THEIR FOOD SO PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SOME ANIMALS MAY BE KILLED DURING THIS TIME
Heading upriver by boat you will hike to a series of waterfalls in the area. These will take us through the best examples of prime rainforest that you would ever see. Apart from the amazingly beautiful waterfalls, you will see some of the most spectacular trees imaginable. Climbing to the top of the falls will provide vistas over the canopy of the forest while the possibility of seeing the extremely rare and endangered Grey-necked Rock fowl will excite any birders.
In the evening you may do a night walk near the lodge with the hope of finding some of the more elusive nocturnal animals such as Potto, Thomas’s Galago, Tree Pangolin, African Palm Civet, Frazer’s Eagle Owl, Vermiculated Fishing Owl and several more.
Back into the park today with picnic lunches and you will do a walk around a series of clearings in the forest. The chance of finding buffalos, elephants and several monkey species on this trek are good. You will also visit a group of habituated monkeys called Agile Mangabey and spend some time photographing their interesting antics.
This group of habituated monkeys has over 150 members and their fascinating behavior is part of a long term study in the region.
Leisure day for optional activities, you have this day for optional activities…. These can range from repeating any of the earlier activities done at Sangha lodge such as Gorilla tracking, or visits to the Dzanga Bai, or alternatively just relaxing or walking on the several hikes you have laid out in the forest around the lodge.
NO OPTIONAL EXTRA ACTIVITIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE TOUR COSTS.
Today, sadly the tour to Dzanga Sangha comes to an end. Following breakfast, guests check-out and we take a charter back to Bangui where the tour ends.