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SPECIAL OFFER (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

On the 1st of May, our co-founder and Pro-Guide will be returning to CAR with a group of enthusiasts/adventurers. You can join this group and benefit from the wealth of knowledge of Ethan, share the cost of the (costly) charter plane, and enjoy this experience with a group of like minded souls.

Scroll down for a more detailed description of what the trip itinerary looks like. There is limited space, so please let us know if you are interested!

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Travel to Central African Republic Dzanga Sangha National Park with Inspired Journeys

Central African Republic, often referred to by its acronym CAR, is a remote and exciting jungle destination.

If there was only one reason to visit the Central African Republic it would be the magical clearing in the forest called Dzanga Bai. Dzanga Bai, or “the village of elephants” is an opening in the forest where Forest Elephants regularly visit to supplement their diets with the minerals in the soil. Researchers have counted over 4,000 individuals visiting this clearing in a year. It is also one of the prime locations to see Bongo, a beautiful spiral-horned antelope, as well as other forest specials, like Forest buffalo, Giant Forest Hog.

 

Yet, the rain-forests of CAR are also home to a great diversity of other species- birds, mammals, butterflies, not least the Western Lowland Gorilla.

Central African Republic travel inspired journeysSangha Lodge in Dzanga-Sangha National Park is the only place in Central African Republic where we currently organize trips. It is a unique experience and offers some incredible forest wildlife viewing and genuine jungle experience. A 1 week itinerary will allow you a good experience of what the forest holds. If you are a mammal twitcher or nature enthusiast do not hesitate to consider a longer trip. Because of its remoteness, do not expect the standards of traditional safari destinations.

 

Central African Republic travel elephantGetting to Dzanga-Sangha involves a 1.5hr charter flight from Bangui, the capital of CAR. From there you travel in vehicles to the camp and to the sites from which activities begin. The roads are terrible, but experiencing Dzanga Bai, seeing Lowland gorillas, and the forest is well worth it. A great network of trails from the lodge allow you to wander the forest appreciating an incredible diversity of butterflies and birds. Getting out on the river is also a highly enjoyable and relaxing way to end the day watching the sun go down with a cold drink in hand- and maybe a glimpse of a great bird like grey practincole or Egyptian plover.

 

Bai Hoku is the location of a research station where Western lowland gorillas are being habituated for tourism (while they are still being habituated, they are already habituated enough to make this experience worthwhile). In addition to the amazing creatures, this part of the forest is also generally very beautiful and will take you through a series of smaller bais with great birding and chances of seeing other wildlife.

 

Climbing pangolin Jungle Wildlife adventure central african republic with inspired journeysSangha Lodge is situated in the heart of the forest on the picturesque Sangha river.  It is a great location to venture into the forest in search of birds and mammals that many have never heard of. Night walks reveal some of the forest’s nocturnal creatures- Potto’s, Galagoes, Anomalures and if you’re lucky White-bellied pangolin. A pangolin rehabilitation project also gives you a great opportunity to see habituated Black-bellied pangolins that have returned to the wild, but are monitored daily by Ba’aka trackers.

Central african Republic Ba'aka Experience

 

The Ba’aka are the indigenous peoples of this region of the Central African rain-forests. While much of their way of life has changed and been assimilated into western influenced culture, they are still people of the forest and exude the joi de vivre of traditional egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies. Spending a morning with them as they travel through the forest on a traditional net hunt, and gather medicinal plants and demonstrate how to build a house gives a glimpse of what life in the forest was like.

The basics

 

Capital: Bangui

Area: 622,984 sq km

Population: 5.6 million people

Languages: French, Sangho, other tribal languages

 

Climate

 

The Central African forest is generally warm and humid between 24C and 29C.

There are two wet seasons Oct through November and May & June.

The annual rainfall is 1500mm

 

Seasons

 

Birding is best in August through October when the rains begin.

Bongos are best in April but can be seen year round

Elephants and lowland gorillas are year round.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ITINERARY

DAY 1 (join the pioneering trip starting 1st May 2019)
Arrival in Bangui and travel to Dzanga Sangha
You will arrive in Central African Republic’s capital Bangui, from where you will board a charter to Dzangha Shanga. There you will be picked up and brought to Sangha Lodge. If time allows, you will have a chance to do a quick boat ride on the river before the sun sets and the jungle noises start.

At night (any night you stay at Sangha), you will be able to go on a guided night walk in search of the many nocturnal animals in the forest. You might be able to find a Potto a black or white bellied Pangolin, Anomalures and most likely some Galagoes. Normally the Night walks come at a surcharge, however they are included (any night you wish) if you join Ethan on our pioneering trip in May 2019.

DAY 2
The african jungle adventure starts
You will wake up with the birds and have breakfast around 7:00 before heading into the jungle on your way to one of teh highlights of this trip the Dzanga Bai. The drive is approximately 2.30 hours and over a rough road.

Once arrived you will find a clearing in the rain forest (called a Bai), where the forest animals gather, offering a unique opportunity to see animals otherwise hidden in the dense jungle. You are likely to see Forest Elephant, Forest Buffalo, Giant Forest Hog, Bongo and a multitude of birds and occasional other visitors.

You will be able to enjoy your packed lunch at the Bai enjoying the wildlife, before returning to Sangha Lodge for your sun-downers.

DAY 3
Western Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Wake up early again, and this time drive (yes another uncomfortable road unfortunately) to Bai Hoku research camp. From here you will start a beautiful walk through the rian forest in search of the western lowland gorillas. The walk is fairly easy walking, with no steep hills (especially compared to the tough hiking needed to see the mountain gorillas in Congo).

The Lowland Gorillas are quite distinct from their mountain cousins, this is most pronounced in their more arboreal behavior, making them a bit harder to find.

Once you find a lowland gorilla family, masks must be worn and a minimum distance of 8m needs to be maintained. You will only be allowed to stay with the Gorillas for 1 hour, which as is the international norm.

DAY 4
Lodge Day and a visit to Valley of the Giants
After two long and tiresome days, today is a bit more relaxed. After a more leisurely breakfast, you will hop on a boat for a short ride to the dropoff point in the jungle from where you will start your hike through the pristine rain forest.

The hike takes about 2-3 hours, and is a great opportunity to marvel at the jungle ecosystem, with its giant trees and its many small critters.

You will return to Sangha Lodge for lunch, after which for those interested another walk can be done to the Picathartes waterfall.

DAY 5
Visit the Ba'aka and join them on a net hunt (optional)
The ba’aka are the original human inhabitants of the Central African Jungle. Today will be a unique opportunity to meet a community of Ba’aka that still largely live their traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle.

Besides a chance to meet and interact with the community, you can also join them on a traditional net hunt. You will travel into the jungle with the hunters and cooperate with the community in catching their prey, by chasing them into the forest floor nets.

Be aware that the Ba’aka are proficient hunters and that most likely the hunt will be successful and the animals they catch will be killed for food.

DAY 6
Dzanga Bai sleepover
Now that you are an experienced jungle dweller, it is time to push the comfort zone a bit further. today you will return to Dzanga Bai, however thsi night you will not return to the lodge, but instead sleep out at the Bai.

This experience is a true immersion in the jungle and an incredibly exciting opportunity. This is only an option if you join our pioneering trip in early May.

DAY 7
A day of rest and recovery
After your jungle sleep-over you will wake with first light and make your way back to Sangha Lodge, for a well deserved shower and some relaxation. The day is free to use as you see fit, relax, look around and enjoy the environment.

In the evening, a sunset “cruise” will take you onto the river to finish a splendid day.

DAY 8
Your day of choice
Your last full day in the jungle and a chance to reflect on what you liked best of your experience, and do it again! we leave this day open for you to choose what you would like to immerse yourself in today, as we all have our own preferences.
DAY 9
Departure
Today you will say goodbye to the jungle and fly back to Bangui and on to your international destination. We are confident you will have a bag full of new experiences and impressions!

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC GALLERIES