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Central African Republic
Central African Republic
Marvellous Madagascar
Marvellous Madagascar
Gorongoza National Park
Gorongoza National Park

The Wino & Rhino Safari
The Wino & Rhino Safari

The Epic Elephant Expedition
The Exceptional Elephant Expedition

Seductive Swaziland
Seductive Swaziland

Trance Dance with the Ancestors
Trance Dance


Central African Republic
Tiger Fishing
Some things you have to imagine.....
and some things are just out there waiting for you!....


This incomparable expedition ventures into the extreme heart of the pristine rainforests of Central Africa. Here nomadic Pygmies share their utterly remote environment with lowland gorillas, chimps, forest elephant, bongos, forest buffalo and sixteen species of primates, which include mangabeys, galagos, and pottos that call eerily, day and night, from the towering tree canopy. For the enthusiastic birder, there is the possibility of sighting the extremely rare Picathartes while avid fisherman can drool at the prospect of catching a legendary Goliath Tiger!

Proposed Safari itinerary
Day 1

The tour begins in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Time permitting we will explore this delightful city.

Day 2

Welcome to Sangha Lodge
After an early breakfast we transfer back to the airport for our flight to Bayanga and then drive to Sangha Lodge, which will be our home for the next 9 nights. To familiarise ourselves with the rainforest environment we will take a forest hike and follow that up with a sundowner cruise where we will spotlight from the boat.

Day 3

Gorilla Trek
At Bai Hoku we track a group of western lowland gorillas - the smallest subspecies of gorilla. A full-grown silverback only stands full erectly at 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) tall but weighs almost 180 kg (400 lb) with the reputed physical strength of seven or eight Olympic weight lifters. Despite an estimated overall population of between 150,000 and 200,000 western lowland gorillas, Dzanga Sangha and neighbouring Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in Congo are the only places in the world where they have been habituated.

Day 4 Tracking Forest Elephants
The famous Dzangha Bai, which is a large mineral-rich clearing in the middle of the rainforest, is today's destination. We search for one of only three species of elephants in the world the critically endangered forest elephant. Though they spilt 2.5 million years from the African elephant it was only recently discovered through DNA analysis that they form a distinct species. At the bai these heavily poached animals gather in large numbers to drink from the nutritious springs that bubble up in different places. The interaction between the various groups of forest elephants will keep us absorbed while we wait in anticipation of the arrival of normally shy forest creatures like bongo, giant forest hog, red river hog, sitatunga and forest buffalos.
Day 5

A Day (and Evening) with the Ba'aka
Today is the Day of the Big Hunt when we head out with a group of Ba'aka net hunters as they go about their daily hunter-gatherer lifestyle. It is a joy to see how well adapted and comfortable the Ba'aka are in the forest. They will share their medicinal plant knowledge with us while the hunt takes place in the background, and excited cheers will alert us to a successful catch which could be anyone of the twenty eight species of game that they hunt. Please note that this is not a contrived hunt and that the hunters are there to provide food to their families and consequently animals may be killed.
Afterwards the women will show us how they gather food from some of the sixty three plant species and twenty insect species that they utilise. They may also harvest honey from any of the eight species of bees that occur in the forest.
That night we have the option of a forest camp to spend the night with the Ba'aka learning their culture and listening to their haunting music or, alternatively, returning to our lodge. rning their culture and listening to their haunting music or, alternatively, returning to our lodge.

Day 6

Waterfall Walk
Heading upriver by boat we hike to a series of amazingly beautiful waterfalls in the area. These trails will take us through prime rainforest with unimaginably spectacular tree specimens. 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 vulnerable picathartes oreas (the grey-necked rockfowl) will drive birders into a frothy of excitement.
In the evening a night walk near the lodge might reward us with the forest's 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.

Day 7 Forest Walk
Back into the park today with picnic lunches, we will visit a series of clearings in the forest on foot. The chances of finding forest buffalos, forest elephants and several monkey species on this trek are good. We will also visit the only group of habituated agile mangabeys in existence. This group numbers around 120 individuals and they will tolerate strangers to within three metres affording us a close-up encounter with one of the most poorly known primates in the world.
Day 8

In search of Goliath Tiger Fish
Be prepared! Today we go fishing for the monstrous goliath tigerfish which packs thirty-two razor-sharp teeth that can tear through solid steel wire and has been ranked by "In Fisherman" magazine as one of the top ten hardest-fighting freshwater fish on our planet. This toothy, scary-looking creature can measure up to two metres in length and weigh up to fifty kilograms and does pose a serious danger to humans. It is a difficult fish to catch and a fourteen to eighteen kilogram goliath is considered a great catch, while a twenty-two to thirty kilogram goliath would be a monster.

Day 9

Play it by Ear
A day set aside for activities at the guide's discretion and the decision will be made depending on the success rate with the previous activities as well as the desire of the group. We might trek gorillas, go fishing, try to find Bongos, visit a different bai or have another picathartes day.

Day 10

Morning Bird Walk and Fly Out
We take a final forest bird walk in the morning, have lunch and then we fly back to Bangui.

Day 11 A Day in Town - City Culture
Today is at leisure to explore the capital and enjoy Central African culture with Peter before departing for home.
Safari Description

This truly unique and unforgettable adventure offers a staggering selection of activities which range from trekking one of only two habituated western lowland gorillas groups in the world, to patiently anticipating the appearance of an elusive bongo or forest elephant while relaxing in a large covered viewing platform (mirador) that overlooks an open clearing called a bai.

Pygmy hunters will proudly demonstrate their net hunting and hut building skills as well as passing on timeless knowledge on how to prepare the forest's fascinating medicinal and food plants. A night spent with these Ba'aka people in a forest camp offers a dimension of music and dance that few westerners will ever experience.

Depending on the season there are opportunities to fish for the recently discovered goliath tigerfish (this 'evolution on steroids' monster fish can reach fifty kilograms) or search for the highly prized picathartes (rockfowl).

To close the day perhaps enjoy a sunset while decadently cruising down the river and sipping chilled drinks with ice or, alternatively, hit a forest trail for some bird watching. After dark, spotlighting can reveal unusual nocturnal species like genet, civet, golden cat, potto, hammer-bat and a range of owls.

The modes of transport that are on offer are as varied as the choice of activities - small fixed-wing planes, 4x4 vehicles, motorised pirogues, pirogues powered by tribesmen and, adventurously, on foot into the remotest parts of the jungle.

The delightful rustic camp that will be our base is welcoming, comfortable but just establishing itself so this is the ideal time to visit before it becomes commercially popular. The chalets are en-suite, the bar is stocked with cold drinks and ice and the meals are tasty.

Due to its remoteness logistics demand that the program remains flexible but this is the planned itinerary.

A Little More Information

The Capital
Bangui lies on the northern banks of the Ubangi River just below a series of rapids that limit major commercial shipping farther upriver. To the west the navigable Ubangi River turns sharply south below Bangui and connects to the Congo River just south of the Equator near Brazzaville as its chief northern tributary. The river marks the border between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Congolese town of Zongo sits opposite the river from Bangui.
It offers a museum, numerous archaeological sites, fine restaurants which offer French, International and local cuisine. There are no ATMs so you will need to travel with Euros or Dollars.

The Central African Republic is situated just north of the Equator and consequently the average temperatures hardly fluctuate throughout the year while daily high temperatures rarely fall below 30oC. The rainy season lasts from May until November with rainfall in June and November being markedly lower than the other wet months. As some rain tends to subdue the insect populations it is these two months that are recommended for travel, however keen fishermen should choose the dry season to improve their chances of bagging a goliath.

The Central African Republic does carry travel warnings and banditry occurs in the countryside. This is why we elect to fly between the secure capital and the remote rainforest rather than take a tedious and risky road trip. It is generally safe to walk around Bangui where locals are respectful and pushy hawkers and beggars are rare. The remoteness of the rainforest guarantees its safety.


Agile Mangabeys
In contrast to the grey-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena), which are closely related to baboons, agile mangabeys are closer to the mandrill. They are elusive animals, occurring in low densities, and favouring riverine and inaccessible swamp forest where they subsist almost entirely on seasonally available fruits and nuts.

The Rockfowl (or the Picathartes) of Africa are strange, elusive and wonderful birds. There are only two species and one of them the grey-necked rockfowl)is found here. They have unfeathered heads, and Rockfowl hunt on the forest floor like ground-cuckoos and like them are very shy and elusive. Yet they nest and roost in caves, building thick mud platters that are stuck to the inside cave walls like huge Barn Swallow nests. Picathartes are totally non-migratory, being dependent on their specialised rocky jungle habitat which increases our chances of finding them.

Pottos are nocturnal and arboreal sleeping during the day in the canopy of the rain forests and they almost never descend from the trees. Their maximum weight is 1.5 kg and their index finger is a mere vestigial stump although they have opposable thumbs with which they grasp branches firmly. They move slowly and carefully, always gripping a branch with at least two limbs. Pottos have a distinct curry-like odour and are quiet creatures. Their most common call is a high-pitched "tsic", which is used mainly between mother and offspring.
They eat mostly fruit, with some tree gum and a small proportion of insects. Pottos have relatively few predators, because they live too high in the treetops for large mammalian predators to climb, and the local raptors are diurnal.

The Details

Cost available upon enquiry.

Conditional Elements
Due to the nature of the area that we will be visiting and the remoteness of the terrain the order of the itinerary may be changed.

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