This trip takes you on a journey deep into the untouched rainforests of Central Africa, perfect for anyone who has been fascinated with the mysterious tropical forests of Africa and expeditions of days gone by. This vast region, spanning three countries sparsely populated with Bantu tribes and nomadic groups of Pygmies will not disappoint the adventurer and wildlife lover. Dzanga-Sangha is in the northern section of the Congo Basin. In the reserve are large populations of African Forest Elephant, Western Lowland Gorillas, 16 of the country's endemic primate species (such as the De Brazza's Monkey with its distinctive white beard), reptiles, frogs, hundreds of different birds, and more. There is even an option to visit a village of the Ba'aka pygmies, where you can join them on a hunt for food, travelling into the surrounding forests. The village women will share their traditional knowledge of plants and you learn about their lifestyle in the forest.

ACTIVITIES

  • Dzanga Bai Visit

  • Ba'Aka Experience

  • Valley of Giants

  • Waterfall Hike

  • Bai Walks in the Park

  • Gorilla Tracking

  • Mangabey Tracking

  • Palm Wine Experience

  • River Cruises

  • Forest Trails around Camp

GAME VIEWING & BIRDLIFE

Unique Sightings:

  • Forest Elephants

  • Pangolin

  • Bongo

  • Red River Hog

  • Otters
  • Mangabey Monkeys
  • Western Lowland Gorillas

  • Chimpanzees

  • Guereza Colobus Monkeys

Birds:

There are around 411 species spotted in this area

THE GORILLA TRACKING EXPERIENCE

Bai Hokou camp is the departure point for gorilla tracking, and is a 1 hour drive from Bayanga (35 km). Accompanied by trained guides who speak French and some also English. At present there are 2 groups of Habituated Gorillas in Dzanga Sangha that tourists may visit. Each Gorilla group has a maximum of 2 visits per day, and each visit has a maximum of 3 tourists making a total of 12 persons able to track gorillas in any one day. The walk to find gorillas can be fairly strenuous and a reasonable level of fitness is required. It is also preferred that groups divide themselves up according to their level of fitness so as to walk at around the same pace. Contact with the gorillas can be very close, sometime closer than the recommended standard of 7 meters due to the dense vegetation in places. And the time allowed with each visit is strictly 1 hour.

 

 

Gorilla Viewing Etiquette applies to tracking Gorillas in Central African Republic. 

Gorillas are highly susceptible to most human diseases, so it is imperative their exposure to human respiratory viruses and other common ailments is strictly avoided. If you are knowingly carrying a contagious disease (especially the FLU). DO NOT attempt to trek. Park offcials have the right to refuse you access to the gorillas if they suspect you are ill. 

 

ABOUT SANGHA LODGE

Located 5 kilometres from the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve, Sangha Lodge is situated on the banks of the Kadei River. The lodge consists of 7 well-appointed bungalows; 5 are stand-alone with en-suite bathroom and 2 with a shared bathroom (bungalow 4 and 5). The main area has a well-stocked bar that always has cold beers and drinks. A small kitchen produces simple yet tasty Western and African foods. 

THE BA'KA EXPERIENCE

During this activity, you will 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.

THE HUNTERS ARE THERE TO CATCH THEIR FOOD SO PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SOME ANIMALS MAY BE KILLED DURING THIS TIME

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Your baggage allowance for the charter flights is generally 23 kilograms, which may vary depending on the number of people on the flight. Should there be any additional limitations, you will be notified in advance. Should you require additional baggage, you need to discuss this with Sangha Lodge at least a month in advance, in order to verify the possibilities, and make suitable arrangements if possible. 

WHAT TO PACK

As the African rainforest and the bai environment can be very muddy and wet, it is recommended that you bring enough suitable clothing (including socks) to allow time for laundered items to dry in the often humid and wet conditions. Ideal clothing is that which is quick drying, lightweight, in greens or browns and that has long sleeves/trouser legs. Shorts, t-shirts and sandals can be worn in camp however it increases the likelihood of insect bites. 

CLOTHING RECOMMENDATIONS

You will be entering an African rainforest that can be wet and muddy and it is recommended that you plan accordingly. Visiting Dzanga Bai you will complete an easy 2-kilometre walk, with a short section through clean river water between knee to thigh deep. It is recommended that you wear shorts or zip-off trousers for this activity. For other activities we recommend light trousers, though some prefer to wear shorts, as you will encounter different insects depending on the season, including amongst others: mosquitos, sweat bees, Filaria flies. Post activities can be completed in sandals (just ask the Ba’Aka), though you should be aware of certain days where there may be a rocky trail, thorny bushes and there could always be ants to navigate. Some people walk mostly in sandals or crocs, this depends entirely on you.

LAUNDRY  

Laundry is included free-of-charge, though ensure to hand it in at least 2 days before departure to ensure adequate time for drying. 

OTHER CLOTHING ESSENTIALS

  • A combination of fast drying shirts and t-shirts based on your preference, and note that light colours are optimal.

  • Bring one pair of closed walking shoes and 2-3 pairs of thick socks. Lightweight/quick drying shoes are ideal, as they can be difficult to dry.

  • Comfortable shoes for relaxing in camp

  • A hat

  • A poncho or rain jacket (specifically in the wet season)

  • One light fleece / jumper for cooler evenings

  • Casual clothes around camp 

  • You are able to swim in the Sangha or Babongo rivers, at your own risk. Thus, feel free to bring along a bathing suit. 

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT

  • Personal toiletries (remember contact lens fluid and personal hygiene products)

  • Personal medications (with adequate supply for entire stay and a few additional days in case of emergencies, remember to separate these)

  • Lightweight day pack for personal items during walks. Include some “Ziploc” bags or dry bag for electronic equipment and items vulnerable to moisture.

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen

  • Insect repellent (tropical grade) – those containing DEET work best, whereas natural products such as citronella and eucalyptus do not work very well.

  • Anti-itch / allergy cream, anti-histamine pills and an “EpiPen” for anyone with serious allergy to bites or stings.

  • Insect hats / masks as sweat bees can be a challenge at times.

  • Camera, with adequate chargers, batteries, flash cards, memory sticks and anti-fog for the lens

  • Binoculars

  • Two prong European Plug adaptors

  • Strong headlamp or flashlight for moving around camp at night and night walks 

VIEW OUR AVAILABLE TRIPS BELOW

8 DAYS - 'DZANGA BAI' ADVENTURE ~ SET DEPARTURE

7 Nights exploring Dzanga Bai ~ Gorilla & Mangabey Tracking, Forest & Night Walks, Ba'Aka Culture experience

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