Gorilla Tracking in Dzanga-Sangha Reserve
The Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve lies in the extreme southwest of the Central African Republic, bordering Cameroon to the southwest and Republic of Congo to the southeast . It was established in 1990 and covers 6865.54 km2 and is one of several areas within the Dzanga-Sangha Complex of Protected Areas (DSCPA), each within its own protective status. Other areas within the DSCPA include the Dzanga Ndoki National Park which has two sectors, the 495 km Dzanga park and the 725 km Ndoki park. The main river running through the reserve is the Sangha River, and the tri-park basin area is often referred to as the Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area (STN).
The average annual rainfall is about 1500 mm and the average temperature is between 24 and 29 °C. The most precipitation in the reserve area falls in the long rainy season from October to November and in the short rainy season between May and June.
Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve is ecologically rich and contains a variety of mega flora and fauna such as western lowland gorillas, African forest elephants, bongo antelopes, African forest buffaloes, white-nosed and mustache monkeys, grey-cheeked manga beys, bush pigs, duikers, and many different bird species.
Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve has one of the highest population densities of gorillas in the world with an estimated 2000 of them living within the reserve’s precincts. Since the establishment of the reserve it has been an important location for research into the western lowland gorillas and forest elephants in particular. There are thousands of insect species and Rodent species include cane rat, giant rat, and porcupine. The reserve is also noted for its dark-crowned forest eagles which have an average wingspan of 1.55 meters and the blue-breasted kingfisher.
Activities in Dzanga Sangha Reserve
Travelers to Dzanga Sangha Reserve have a variety of activities to do depending on their travel interests and time. With no doubt, the park is Central African Republic’s most visited tour destination for most if not all travelers to the pearl of Africa and below are popular activities to do in Dzanga Sangha Reserve
Dzanga Sangha is one of very few locations in the world where you can track a group of habituated western lowland gorillas with two habituated groups in the park, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll see them on a trek
Visit Dzanga Bai which has a large, mineral-rich, clearing in the rain forest where forest elephants and other wildlife gather to drink. As well as the large herds of forest elephant, you will also have the possibility of spotting other unique wildlife species such as bongo, giant forest hog, red river hog, sitatunga and forest buffalo.
Explore the of local Ba’Aka people and join them on a net hunt within the forest. This is a fascinating opportunity to experience the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the Ba’Aka, and you will be given a lesson in some of the uses of the medicinal plants that can be found in the reserve.
Hike through pristine rain forest to some of the scenic waterfalls found in the reserve. Climb to the top of the waterfalls for extraordinary views over the forest canopy, looking out for bird life such as the endangered grey-necked rock fowl. In the evening, take a night walk in search of the more elusive nocturnal wildlife, including tree pangolins, pottos, African palm civets and several owl species.
Pi rogue ride
Take a ride along the Sangha River in a dugout canoe (pi rogue) and enjoy the park from a different, tranquil perspective. On some trips, you will meander through swamps to palm trees and watch as palm wine is extracted.
The reserve has over 370+ bird species,and is also noted for its dark-crowned forest eagles which have an average wingspan of 1.55 meters and the blue-breasted kingfisher, African grey parrot is native to these forests and can be spotted in the treetops, while the rare picathartes can be spotted nesting under waterfalls and uncommon species such as the red-necked picathartes, go searching at night for vermiculated fishing owls and Frazer’s eagle owls