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Congo Basin Tri-National Park

Congo Basin Tri-National Park

There are two tri-national parks in Central Africa, and naturally this can lead to confusion amongst their names! To clarify, currently we only do safaris and expeditions to the Sangha Tri–National Park and Odzala- Kokoua National Park, TRIDOM, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). 

The Sangha Tri-National zone was created on the initative of COMIFAC, a conference of the ministers of forests from the countries in the Congo basin.The Sangha River Tri-national Protected area (STN) includes Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve in Central African Republic, Nouabale Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and the Lobeke National Park in Cameroon (with 2 sectors forming the Dzanga Ndoki National Park). 

The agreement between the parks was initiated to co-ordinate and police efforts against poaching, ivory/arms trading, illegal fishing and hunting. Financial support is provided separately by various bodies: GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) in Central African Republic and Cameroon, and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) in Congo (Brazzaville).

Walking safaris in the Congo

Not for the faint hearted or first time Africa visitors, this area offers intrepid adventurers stunning wildlife viewing.

Forest bais [clearings] attract numerous forest elephant; there are habituated lowland gorilla and strong populations of wild chimpanzee amongst numerous other species which include bongo and sitatunga. Many endemic birds are found in this area, amphibians, fish and swallowtail butterflies.

The Dzanga Sangha Reserve

Found in the rainforests of southern Central African Republic, the reserve covers an area of around 400 hectares. The two central sectors of the reserve, the Dzanga and the Ndoki, make up the whole of the park.

Large mammals seen include forest elephants, forest buffalo, giant forest hog, western lowland gorilla and bongos (forest antelope). Also seen are a good collection of sitatunga, warthogs, numerous monkeys, galagoes, leopards and wide range of birds and other species. The park is inhabited by the Ba'Aka [pygmy] tribe who have assisted in building an incredible tourist programme and assist with tracking and guiding.

Activities in this area include visiting the salines at least once a day; lowland gorilla tracking (there is a family of 16 habituated gorillas), bird watching, dug-out pirogue rides along the Sangha River and its tributaries, net hunting with the Ba’aka; medicinal plant examination with the Ba’aka and traditional dances.

Itineraries are set departure and include Dzangha-Sangha National Park, Mbeli Bai and Bai Hokou Research centre. All expeditions are accompanied by a full back up team of locals and specialist guides. Most trips start from Brazzaville, Libreville or Douala.

Traditional activities are available with the Ba'Aka tribe

Nouabale Ndoki National Park

Created in 1993, important populations of forest elephant, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and other endangered mammals live in this park. Over 1,000 plant and tree species and 300 bird species also make this their home.

There is an extremely low human population density in the surrounding area, and no human habitation in the Sangha Tri-national zone itself. The Park remains an intact forest ecosystem free of human disturbance or exploitation, with significant populations of large mammals. It is seen as a great success by conservation bodies.

Lobéké National Park

The Lobéké National Park falls within the south-eastern corner of the Republic of Cameroon. It is part of the larger Congo Basin forest block with a very low population density. There are a high diversity of plant communities almost untouched by human activity and the forests support high densities of forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, bongos and many other forest species. Primate species besides the gorillas include spot-nosed monkey and gray-cheeked mangabey, amongst others.

Forest elephant in the Tri-National Park

The forest clearings attract a high number of African grey parrots and green pigeons. The aquatic fauna is extremely rich with more than 62 fish species recorded in the rivers and streams. The rivers have very high populations of shrimp, which are harvested by native tribes.

Local communities include the Bagando and Bakwele, ethnic groups of Bantu origin, and semi-sedentary forager-farmer Ba'aka Pygmies. Small groups of Moslem traders and Congolese, Senegalese and other nationals from West Africa are involved in ivory and gold trafficking.

Forest products such as honey and bush mangoes are widely distributed and harvested by the locals. Mango harvesting mobilizes the entire local population.

More about the Congo Basin

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