If the mysterious rainforests of Africa fascinate you then this is the expedition for you - a journey into the untouched rainforests of the Central African Republic. Venture into the Dzanga Sangha National Park, a vast rainforest spanning three countries that is sparsely populated with Bantu tribes, Ba’aka tribes and nomadic groups of Pygmies. Explore the fascinating lifestyles of these hunter-gatherer tribes by joining them as they hunt and forage through the rainforest for their daily meals, learning secrets of the forest along the way. Take a boat ride along the river, before spending time hiking up pristine waterfalls for a panoramic view over the canopy of the forest while the possibility of seeing the extremely rare and endangered Grey-necked Rock fowl which will excite even the faintest bird-watcher. The Central African Republic is also home to the rare and unique Black Bellied Pangolin.
Exploring Dzanga Sangha is a privileged experience as it is one of only three locations in the world to track the rare Western Lowland Gorillas where the population was almost devastated by Ebola and is slowly repopulating. The Central African Republic is rapidly reinventing itself with ecotourism roots for preserving and observing unique and rare flora and fauna.
Whilst the country has had its civil confrontations, the Dzanga Sangha has been unaffected due to its isolation from the countries power bases, importance and UNESCO world heritage status and the tireless assistance of the WWF.
We look forward to welcoming you on this once-in-a-lifetime experience of education, conservation and otherworld wildlife and tribal encounters.
Day 1 – Arrive Dzanga Sangha
Welcome to The Central African Republic, the heart of Africa. You will be met on arrival at Bangui M’Poko International Airport and transferred to your charter flight to Dzanga Sangha where you will be driven to your hotel for check in. If time permits, 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. (L,D)
Dzanga Sangha Reserve is populated by Forest Elephants, Western Lowland Gorillas, 16 of the country’s primate species (such as De Brazza’s Monkey with their distinctive white beard), hundreds of bird species, reptiles and frogs, making it the perfect destination for any animal lovers.
Seven nights at Sangha Lodge
Day 2 – Western Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before heading out to begin a full day of Gorilla Tracking. You will proceed to Bai Hokou where you will spend time tracking a group of Western Lowland Gorillas. Dzanga Sangha and its neighbours in Congo Nouabale-Ndoki National Park and Odzala are the only places in the world where you can find habituated Lowland Gorillas.
Spend the day trekking through the magnificent Dzanga Sangha National Park in search of these elusive primates and learn from your local guide of the threats to survival that the gorillas face and what conservationists are doing to reverse the drop in their population. In the evening, return to Sangha Lodge for a relaxing dinner and rest after your day of trekking. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Dzanga Bai
Today, after breakfast is served at the lodge, you will head out to visit Dzanga Bai and witness an impressive gathering of Forest Elephants. Dzanga Bai is large 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 various spots throughout the Bai.
There are many groups of Forest Elephants that come to this clearing, watching the interaction between these groups will leave you amazed for hours. There is also the possibility here to spot some other normally shy forest creature like Bongo, Giant Forest Hog, Red River Hog, Sitatunga and Forest Buffalos. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Ba’aka community
Today is truly unique experience – one that must be experienced to fully appreciate it. Following breakfast in your lodge, you will head out with a group of Ba’aka net hunters as they go about their daily hunter-gatherer lifestyle. It is amazing to this see this fascinating group as they walk through the dense forest with complete confidence and are comfortable in this ever changing environment – see their eyes dashing, their ears listening to calls of birds and movement of animals – even those beneath the ground! Their hunting skills are incredible to witness in action.
The Ba’aka hunters will show you will several types of plants they use for medicinal purposes, as their hunt continues. The excited cheers of the hunters will alert you if they catch something.
Dinner will be served at your lodge and remainder of the evening is free for you relax and reflect on the incredible day you have just had. (B,L,D)
Note: 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.
Day 5 - River Activities & Night Trekking
Breakfast will be served at the lodge this morning, before taking a boat ride up river to witness some of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Africa. The boat ride will take you through some of the best examples of prime, untouched rainforests. Departing the boat, you will have the chance to take a short hike up to the pristine waterfalls, whilst enjoying the beautiful forest and contorted shapes of decade old trees. Climbing to the top of the falls will provide panoramic views over the canopy of the forest while the possibility of seeing the extremely rare and endangered Grey-necked Rock fowl will excite even the faintest bird-watcher. Return via boat in the late afternoon to the lodge.
Following dinner in the lodge, you will have the opportunity to 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 more. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Park Clearing Trek
Today is another full day of exploring the Dzanga Sangha National Park. A picnic lunch will be served in the park as you walk around a series of clearings in the forest in hopes of spotting some more animals. The chance of finding buffalos, elephants and several monkey species today are very high, so be sure to bring your camera with you for this one!
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 behaviour is part of a long term study in the region. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Optional Activities
Today is free for you to relax at the lodge or join in on some optional activities. These activities 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 laid out in the forest around the lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Departure
Your final breakfast before it is time to depart for Bangui. You will be transferred to your chartered flight and upon your arrival transferred to Bangui M’Poko International Airport for your onward flight connections. (B)
- Meet and greet service on arrival at Bangui M’Poko International Airport
- Transfers as per the itinerary
- Park entrance fees to all mentioned national parks and game reserves
- 7 night’s accommodation at Sangha Lodge on full board.
- All vehicles hire and landed costs while at Sangha Lodge.
- 1 gorilla tracking permit per person.
- 1 Mangabey tracking permit
- 1 Bai walk
- 1 Visit to Dzanga Bai
- 1 day’s net hunting and pygmy activities
- 1 Boat trip to the waterfall /Picathartes site
- 1 night walk
- Charter flights to and from Bangui.
- English speaking driver/guide
- Bottled drinking water on safari
- International flights
- Drinks unless otherwise mentioned
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
- Accommodation and transfers in Bangui if needed.
- Any park activities not specified here.
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.