Combine Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve with Odzala National Park, thanks to new flight and boat connections. Staying at Sangha Lodge, visit the incomparable Dzanga Bai, venture into the forest with the Ba'Aka and meet pangolin researchers.
- Journey up the Sangha River, travelling deep into the Congo Basin
- Watch forest elephants dig for salt-rich soil in Dzanga Bai
- Join the Ba'Aka - the traditional inhabitants of this dense forest - on foot
- Add on a lowland gorilla or habituated mangabey trek
This trip is not designed as a standalone experience, but rather as an extension that complements time in Odzala National Park. For example, it fits perfectly with our Congo - Western Lowland Gorilla Trekking holiday idea. Both of these trips can easily be extended or tailored, within the confines of what logistics allow.
The highlight of any visit to Dzanga-Sangha is undoubtedly time spent at Dzanga Bai - renowned as one of the largest and most active bais in the Congo Basin. This ancient bai - or forest clearing - is visited by a number of jungle species, including forest buffalos, sitatunga, red river hogs, bongos and western lowland gorillas.
But it is forest elephants for which the bai is most famous. The soil, rich in mineral salts, attracts them in significant numbers, making Dzanga Bai one of the best places to spot forest elephants in Central Africa. A research platform (with a thatched roof) faces the bai, perfectly placed for you to sit and wait for the wildlife to come. If you're lucky, you will get a chance to meet researcher Andrea Turkalo, who has dedicated her life to monitoring these threatened elephants.
Time in Dzanga-Sangha also offers the chance to spend time with Ba'Aka people, who are the original inhabitants of Central Africa's forests. Surviving in hunter-gatherer communities, their lifestyle has changed little over the past few millennia. Joining them on a hunt and exploring the forest with them is a privilege and a chance to learn about their way of life, which is - sadly - fast disappearing.
Gorilla and Mangabey Trekking
This five-day extension makes the most of the limited time, focussing on the bai, the Ba'Aka and the forest. However, it is also possible to trek for either western lowland gorillas or agile mangabeys. A further three days can easily be added to include these activities, and still tie in with the scheduled flights. Or we can look at replacing one of the forest walks with a gorilla or mangabey trek. Time at Sangha Lodge is flexible, so it can be tailored to fit your interests.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.