Tailor-Made Holiday

Central African Republic - Dzanga Sangha Adventure

Explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site

10 days

from $5,495pp (excluding flights)

Follow in the footsteps of Africa's most illustrious explorers to the wilds of the Congo Basin, where lowland gorillas and forest elephants outnumber tourists, the dark forests are ablaze with giant butterflies and Ba'Aka tribes hunt and sing in the shadows.

  • Spot forest elephants and western lowland gorillas in the beautiful Dzanga Bai
  • Meet the Ba'Aka people - original inhabitants of these ancient forests
  • Track a habituated group of agile mangabeys
  • Trek to a family of western lowland gorillas - a subspecies unique to Central Africa

This is a true adventure in the rainforests of the Central African Republic and those that like their holidays devoid of surprises should travel elsewhere. Hard to reach, through wild jungle roads and remote villages, in 4x4s and wooden pirogues - getting there is half the fun. This journey visits the Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve, an ecosystem that harbours the world's highest concentration of lowland gorillas and forest elephants, found in natural clearings or "bais", also home to the rare bongo antelopes and flocks of grey parrots a hundred strong.

Not only will you explore the area alongside wildlife researchers for a unique insight into pioneering wildlife tourism, but you will also join the welcoming Ba'Aka tribe whose knowledge of the forests and tracking skills have been crucial in establishing eco-tourism in the area. Spending time with these incredible people you will hear their haunting singing as you join them on a thrilling hunt whilst learning to understand some of the challenges they face in today's Central Africa.

The price includes one gorilla tracking permit and one mangabey tracking permit.

Set Departures

Given the difficulty in reaching Sangha Lodge, this trip runs on a set departure basis, with scheduled charter flights operating between Bangui and Dzanga Sangha. These are timed to work with the incoming and outgoing Kenya Airways flights. It departs roughly once a month; please enquire for the exact dates. There is also a slightly longer 10-day itinerary that runs less frequently.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 7418.25 $ 1215

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Nairobi overnight

Day 2

Fly Nairobi to Bangui

Travel from Bangui to Dzanga Sangha (Air Transfer Journey)

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 3

Birding and Waterfall Tour
This morning head out on a birding tour in search of Picathartes and other rare forest birds. The owners of the lodge have recently discovered a hitherto unknown population of this extremely rare species, the Red-necked Picathartes, breeding in a small colony of three birds less than five Kms from the lodge. Further exploration, has turned up another three nests over a 500 metre stretch of cliff face. Even if not a birder, this hike following the path of the river in the shadow of huge forest trees, looking out for other primates, on the way to a remote, yet beautiful waterfall is a wonderful opportunity to explore this colourful forest.

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 4

Net hunting with Ba'Aka
Threatened by the modern world and an unsympathetic government, the Ba'Aka people are fast disappearing. After much of their traditional way of life was changed by the arrival of logging companies, many of the Ba'Aka are now instrumental in developing eco-tourism acting as guides and trackers for the wildlife found in the region. The Ba'Ka people are traditional hunter-gatherers and hunting with nets is a collective activity and the opportunity to join the large group of men and women whose subsistence hunting is a way of life.

Normally each family will bring with them their own long nets, made from strips of liana bark and you join the group as they depart on the hunt, with each departure preceded by joyous singing and haunting melodies. The spoils of the catch goes to whoever's net actually captures the animals, before the remainder of the meat is shared out amongst the group. On the way, the Ba'Aka will also guide through the forest in search of shy forest duikers, mangabey monkeys and raucous hornbills, pointing out the medicinal use of many of the plants found in the forest en-route. A fascinating and privileged insight into a remote and untouched culture.

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 5

Gorilla Trekking Bai Hokou
Several international researchers live permanently in the camp of Bai Hokou and who are responsible for locating and following the gorillas each day. Each morning at first light, a team leaves the camp with information on the location where the gorillas have slept the previous night. As soon as the nest site is found, the team then follows the traces the gorillas have left while moving and feeding. This task could not be achieved without the help of the Ba'Aka trackers whose senses are perfectly in tune with the forest. The tracking experience alone, searching for the gorillas by following their almost imperceptible signs on the forest floor, is in itself a thrilling adventure.

Following elephant paths and narrow trails that crisscross the forest (watching out for elephants on the way), can be strenuous as gorillas cover significant distances before finding a fruit tree of choice. Sometimes one or two hours pass before establishing contact with the gorillas and occasionally longer. At noon the tracking team is replaced, with the position communicated to the camp by radio so the relief team can leave in the right direction. Whilst sightings can never be guaranteed, the dedication of the local teams means there is a strong possiblity of spending time with these incredible creatures.

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 6

Dzanga Bai
Take the opportunity to enjoy two visits to Dzanga Bai, at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon allowing observation of the timid forest elephants in the wild - an experience usually reserved to a limited circle of researchers. From the specially built wooden platforms observe the elephants as they venture out of the forest to feed on the mineral rich soil, where they fight, play and occasionally mate in herds of up to 100 elephants, set against a backdrop of lush forests and flame trees, where flocks of African grey parrots hundred strong take flight. At the same time other animals will come to the saline such as the forest buffalo and the elusive bongo, one of the largest antelope to be found in Africa's rainforests, highly sought after by trophy hunters because of its beautifully shaped horns.

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 7

Mangabey tracking

Night walk

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 8

Second visit to Dzanga Bai

You will be staying at Sangha Lodge, all inclusive

Day 9

Travel from Dzanga Sangha to Bangui (Air Transfer Journey)

Fly Bangui to Nairobi

Used mainly as a quick stopover, Nairobi is an interesting city with some good places to visit. Central Nairobi is like many other African cities with traffic jams, noise and a hint of chaos. The suburbs, however, are quite different, with excellent markets, restaurants and great places of interest to visit, such as The Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the wonderful Giraffe Centre and the Karen Blixen Museum.

You will be staying at The Lazizi Premiere, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Fly Nairobi to London

Arrive into London Heathrow


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sangha Lodge

Sangha Lodge

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Chris Johnston, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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