Dzanga-Ndoki National Park
The rainforest creates an environment that is perfect for the population of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants. To protect these, the Sangha Trinational group of national parks was listed as a UNESCO site in 2012.
Of the national parks included in the group, Dzanga-Ndoki National Park consists of the Dzanga Sangha and Ndoki Reserves. At roughly 400 hectares, the Dzanga Sangha Reserve has many forest clearings, known as bais, which attract the forest elephants and a number of other animals that are looking for the forest clearings for grazing and water. Wildlife that can be found in this area includes forest elephants, forest buffalo, western lowland gorillas and giant forest hog. Many more species of monkey are present, as well as some large cats and a wide range of birds. There are habituated gorillas in the park, and these can be tracked and visited.
The B’Aka tribe is also found in the forest. Defined as a pygmy tribe by anthropologists, the average height of the men is usually no more than 150 cm.
Activities in the park include learning about the traditional medicine, dances and methods of hunting from these ancient people.
The educational programme the people have built up for visitors is incredible, and not to be missed in a trip to the area.
Wildlife is attracted to various bais by the mineral-rich mud that is present. The salts that animals require are found here, and are a gathering point for a wide variety of species. Visits to these saline areas are a daily occurrence. For those who are not content with trekking through pristine jungle and viewing the incredible animals, it is also possible to go for a ride down the Sangha River in a dug-out pirogue.
Tourism in the Dzanga Sangha Reserve is limited to the experienced Africanite, adventurers and specialists. The trip is expeditionary and off the beaten track, and is not suitable for first-time visitors to Africa. For those who do make it into the forest, photography and bird-watching is second to none, and you can guarantee you will be among a select group of unique people who have visited this area.
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