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This tour is conceived for nature and wildlife lovers. It seeks to explore the natural richness peoples in and around the Lobeke National Park in Cameroon and the Dzanga Sangha National Park in Bayanga, Central African Republic.
Lobeke National Park was created in 2001 and covers a surface area of 217 854 h in the south-east of Cameroon. It is located in the Congo Basin and form part of the Sangha Tri-national Protected area (STN) of the river Sangha, consisting of Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic and Nouabale Ndoki National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Wildlife such as Sitatungas, bongos, buffalos, giant forest hogs, gorillas, and chimps are observed in the Lobeke National Park.
The Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve on the other hand is located in the rainforest in the south-western part of the Central African Republic. It comprises a total area of more than 400 000 hectares. The two central parts of the Reserve, the Dzanga and Ndoki Sectors, constitute the Dzanga Ndoki National Park, covering 495 km2 and 725 km2 respectively.
Large mammals such as forest elephants, forest buffalos, giant forest hogs (large boars), gorillas and bongos (forest antelopes), can be encountered in densities described as unique in the world. At the Dzanga saline (a forest clearing), more than 4000 elephants have been counted and identified over the last years. From a platform at the edge of this saline, visitors frequently get the chance to observe between 30 and 150 elephants per time feeding on the mineral-rich soil, allowing at the same time observations of their social behaviour.
At the Bai Hokou section of the park, you shall meet with Makoma, a family of habituated western lowland gorillas. Note that Makoma is a polygamist silverback and a tanyi (father of twins) as one of the wives gave birth to a set of twins some five years back. We are allowed to be in their immediate vicinity for only an hour. They are other groups of habituated western lowland gorillas.
The Ba’Aka pygmies are the forest inhabitants and are common in the vicinity of these two parks. We shall have the opportunity for them to show us their way of life and the secrets of the rain-forest. We shall join them in practicing some of their daily activities like net hunting, hut building, hook fishing on canoe as well as an introduction into the world of medicinal plants. In the evening, they shall entertain their guests with spectacular traditional Ba’Aka music and dance.
Day 1: Abroad – Nsimalen International Airport – Yaounde
Welcome at the Nsimalen International Airport, transfer to Yaounde, installation at hotel, dinner, briefing of the trip and overnight.
Day 2: Yaounde – Yokadouma
Whole day long drive from Yaounde to Yokadouma, some 700kms. Cross dense equatorial rain forests, picturesque landscapes and the Ba’Aka pygmy and Bantou villages. Lunch on the way. Arrival in the evening by 7pm, dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Yokadouma – Mambele – Lobeke National Park
Departure to the village of Mambele at the entrance of the Lobeke National Park. Entrance formalities. Meet with the guides and porters. Drive for about an hour and park the car at the car parking of the park. Start of observation on foot until we reach the watchtower. Dinner and overnight in tents on the viewing platform.
Days 4 and 5: Wildlife Safari in the Lobeke National Park
Safari on foot in the dense equatorial forest. Climb on the watch tower and watch out for animals such as gorillas, elephants, buffaloes, bongos, leopards, chimpanzees and a wide variety of birds. Overnight in tents on the watchtower.
Day 6: Lobeke National Park – Libongo (Cameroon border with the CAR)
Departure from the Lobeke National Park and drive to the frontier town of Libongo. Arrival and overnight in small hotel at Libongo.
Day 7: Libongo – Dzanga-Sangha National Park (CAR)
Immigration formalities and take off to Bayanga in CAR via Bella (Cameroon) and Sokabo (the first control village of the Central Africa Republic) by crossing the Sangha River with a speedboat. Arrival at Lidjombo, the second control village of the Central Africa Republic and immigration formalities. Continuation to Bayanga, arrival, installation in an ecolodge, dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Bayanga – Dzanga-Sangha National Park (Dzanga Bai) – Bayanga
Departure to the Dzanga Bai (elephant village). We drive for about 45 minutes and walk for 30 minutes to the bai. Beside the elephants that are present on a permanent basis in this bai, you might also observe other wildlife like the Sitatungas, bongos, buffalos, giant forest hogs, etc. Return to the ecolodge in the evening, dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Bayanga – Dzanga-Sangha National Park (Bai Hokou) – Bayanga
Departure to Bai Hokou for an encounter with the western lowland gorillas with our pygmy tracker and ecoguide. Meet with Makoma, a family of habituated western lowland gorillas. Note that Makoma is a polygamist and a tanyi (father of twins) as one of the wives gave birth to a set of twins some five years back. We are allowed to be in their immediate vicinity for only an hour. Thereafter, we shall do some saline tour before returning to the ecolodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Activities with the Ba’Aka Pygmies
We shall set out in the morning to visit and spent time with the Ba’Aka pygmies as they show us their way of life and the secrets of the rain-forest. Activities include net hunting, hut building, hook fishing as well as an introduction into the world of medicinal plants. In the evening, they shall entertain the guests with spectacular traditional Ba’Aka music and dance. Return to the ecolodge at night, dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Bayanga – Libongo – Yokadouma
Early morning breakfast and boat ride on the Sangha River to Libongo by passing through Lindjombo, Bella and Sokabo. Continuation by car to Yokadouma for dinner and overnight at a small hotel.
Day 12: Yokadouma – Yaounde
Breakfast and long drive to Yaounde by passing through Batouri and Bertoua. Lunch on the way. Arrival at Yaounde, dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Yaounde – Nsimalen International Airport – Abroad
Breakfast and relaxation the whole morning. City tour of Yaounde and then Lunch in the afternoon. Transfer to the airport for return flight and End of tour.