Cental African Republic: Nature

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is part of a larger protected area, that crosses the border to Congo and Cameroon. It is the second largest rainforest area on earth.

Sangha River Tri-National Protected Area

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is part of the Sangha River Tri-National Protected Area (STN), an  initiative of the Central African Forest Comission (COMIFAC).

Dzanga Sangha Reserve

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is made up of several areas, that each have a protective status:

  • Dzanga-Ndoki national park, comprised of two sectors, Dzanga (495 square kilometers) and Ndoki (725 square kilometers),
  • Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Special Reserve (3,359 square kilometers)

Crossing borders

Apart from Dzanga Sangha and Dzanga-Ndoki, the protected area consists of :

  • Nouabalé Ndoki park in the Congo;
  • Lobéké park in Cameroon.

Dzanga Bai

The word “bai”, from the Aka language of the pygmies, means according to some,

“where the animals”
or, in the case of the Dzanga Bai,

“the village of elephants”
Dzanga Bai, measuring 250 by 500 meters and consisting of a sandy salt lick, is traversed in the middle by a small stream, the Dzanga.

Several trees that border the Bai are characteristic of the area:

  • In January and February, the Mokole (Lophira alata), also known as red ironwood, azobé, or ekki in English, has bright red young leaves that progessively turn orange-pink. In the light of dawn or at the end of the evening, they form astonishing fiery bouquets.
  • Flowering from April to June the Epopolo (Berlinia grandiflora) is covered with balls of large white flowers recalling giant rhododendrons.

Nature

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is part of a larger protected area, that crosses the border to Congo and Cameroon. It is the second largest rainforest area on earth. The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is part of the Sangha River Tri-National Protected Area (STN).

Wildlife

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve in the south of the Central African Republic  is the only place where it is possible to go gorilla tracking in central Africa. Not to forget the elephant bais – clearings in the jungle – where it is possible to view 30 – 100 elephants mudbathing and feeding.

Climate

The Dzanga-Sangha Reserve has a tropical climate, with lots of rainfall throughout the year. However, it does not limit tourist activities, as there are sufficient periods without rain.The best travel period is between December and March.

People

Due to its status as a special reserve, Dzanga-Sangha presents an experience rarely offered by protected areas in Africa: the discovery of the traditional way of life of human forest populations.