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Dzanga-Sangha, Central African Republic

Central African Odyssey

£9,950 pp sharing

At a Glance

Dates: February 24th - March 4th, 2024

Extension: We currently offer a 21-night extension to southern Cameroon, with details available on request.

Prices: £9,950 pp sharing (with a £400 single supplement)​, excluding international flights.

In a sentence: Quite simply some of the best wildlife-watching anywhere in Africa, with rare species, impressive densities and a knack for the unexpected.

Overview

Dzanga-Sangha is a stunning wilderness area - teeming with wildlife, with surprises around every corner. Perhaps most famous for Dzanga Bai, where forest elephants and forest buffalo descend into a small area to take advantage of the mineral riches here (often alongside a diverse cast of rarely seen rainforest wildlife), there is a wealth of options available to every visitor. You may choose to spend time with rehabilitated pangolin, or track western lowland gorillas on foot. You may choose to walk a bai in search of rare primates, or seek out the elusive picathartes deep in the forest. Even around the excellent lodge, mammals and birds can be seen at every turn, making this a truly magical destination.

Itinerary

Day One

Bangui

On arrival in Bangui, you will be met at the airport by your Pictus Safaris tour leader, and transferred to your local hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure, with a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening before dinner.

Day Two

Dzanga-Sangha

Our journey into the Central African interior begins in earnest today! After breakfast, we transfer back to Bangui Airport for our charter flight to the far south-western corner of the Central African Republic. The flight lasts around ninety minutes, above some of the most pristine and untouched rainforest on the continent and, before too long, we will arrive in one of the greatest mammal-watching destinations on earth.

On arrival at the airstrip, we will be met by the Sangha Lodge team and transfer directly the short distance to the lodge by road. Here, you will be warmly greeted by owners Rod and Tamar Cassidy, and there will be a chance to settle in to your basic but comfortable rooms. 

Depending on the time of your arrival, there may be time for an afternoon or evening walk on the network of trails around camp with your tour leader today, and it is here that you will likely begin to spy your first species of the tour, including numerous primate species, prolific birdlife and, if lucky, perhaps even black-bellied or white-bellied pangolin.

Days Three to Eight

Dzanga-Sangha

Six full days to spend in this, the legendary Dzanga-Sangha, is a truly exciting opportunity. Throughout your stay, walks around the lodge are a great way to boost your chances of locating smaller mammals. However, a real highlight is the chance to visit the world famous Dzanga Bai - twice. This vast clearing attracts extraordinary densities of forest elephant, forest buffalo, sitatunga, bongo, red river hog and plenty of other species, and is undoubtedly the best place anywhere in Africa for many of these species. Guests can also head out on foot to track a habituated group of western gorillas (two permits are included in this tour), or keen birders may seek out the elusive grey-necked picathartes. We highly recommend visiting Bai Hokou on foot, which offers a unique perspective on the park, and is often the best way to locate bongo in particular. There is the opportunity to meet the local ba'aka community, and perhaps learn more about the pangolin rehabilitation work done around the lodge. All in all, Dzanga-Sangha has something for all mammal-watchers, and all in comfortable surrounds with lovely hosts.

Day Nine

Bangui

Sadly we must bid goodbye to Sangha today, catching a return flight to Bangui. On arrival in the capital, we again transfer to our hotel with your final afternoon in the Central African Republic at leisure.

Day Ten

Tour End

This morning, guests are transferred back to the airport for their homeward flights.

Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may

occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.

Dates and Prices

This tour will run in February 2023, aiming to take advantage of the dry season when travel is at its least demanding. The tour will run from February 24th - March 4th, 2023.

The cost of this trip is £9,950 per person excl. flights, with a £400 single supplement. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Drinks are not included. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £2,985 plus any single supplement must be paid.

Flights and Visas

Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as skyscanner.net or momondo.com to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Bangui at the beginning or end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost. We strongly recommend booking flights leaving Bangui after 20.00 on your return, if leaving on the same day that we return to Bangui to avoid disruption to your plans.

British nationals also require a visa to enter the Central African Republic, and you must apply for this well in advance of travel at the CAR embassy in Paris. We recommend using a third-party visa service provider, being sure to use recorded delivery if sending your passport by post. The cost of an application is £130 and subject to change.

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Dzanga-Sangha in February is humid and oppressive, with maximum temperatures of around 32 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 20 degrees Celsius. It usually rains heavily on around two days during this tour.

A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars and Euros.

Safety and Security

The security situation in the Central African Republic is generally very poor. However, Dzanga-Sangha is stable and has avoided much of the trouble seen elsewhere in the country. We are in constant communication with our partners and suppliers and will respond accordingly to any unlikely deterioration in security levels in the reserve.

Book Now

To secure a booking on this fantastic holiday, please contact us at contact@pictus-safaris.com.

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