EXPLORE’S True Africa Adventure Safari is unlike any safari you are likely to see offered anywhere else! This adventurous journey takes you to places few people ever have the privilege to see, and affords you unique, authentic cultural encounters. You’ll visit the fascinating county of Cameroon, touring its impressive palaces, some of which are 800 years old. You will meet one of the queens of the Bafut dynasty and the King of Bubonga. In the western forests of the CAR you can participate in an authentic hunt with the Ba’aka, or forest people (known as pygmies), who sing as they trap the animals in a handmade net hundreds of feet long, and visit Bayanga village for a private viewing of the tortoise dance. The highlight of the trip is certain to be the remote and mysterious Dzangha-Shanga National Park, where you will trek in search of rare lowland gorillas, forest elephants, bongo, chimpanzees and sitatunga. From start to finish, this will be an adventure into the heart of Africa that you never forget.
Explore the Congo Basin: Cameroon & the Central African Republic
Day 1 & 2 DOUALA
Upon arrival in one of Douala’s most tranquil districts, you will experience the french-speaking side of Cameroon featuring attractive grounds overlooking the Wouri River, the harbor, and a wooded par, an array of museums and an interesting wildlife reserve.
Day 3-5 BAFUT / KOUTABA / FOUMBAN
You will take a charter flight to Bamenda in the Anglophone, Northwest Province. Bamenda is located in the high grasslands of Cameroon, the heart of Cameroonian culture. Upon arrival you transfer to the Bafut Palace, the seat of power for one of the largest and oldest great kingdoms (referred to as “fondoms”) in all of Africa. The 800 year-old Tikar fondom is a complex of traditional buildings and courtyards, including houses for the fon’s numerous wives and children. You are escorted by one of the queens through the outer courtyard and ceremonial ground of the Bafut people, including the drum house and the inner palace called the Achum. You view the Nighaa Ni Bifh, an immense 300-year-old talking drum used to send messages around the Bafut fondom, particularly in times of war, as well as ancient stones where prisoners or disloyal subjects were put to a brutal death. You then have the opportunity to meet with the fon or king (if he is in residence) and view a traditional dance executed by the royal family. Dancers wear fantastic costumes indicative of their respective secret societies and move to the rhythms of drums and other traditional instruments. During your stay, you will also have a lecture on the culture and traditions of peoples of the West. The Bamiliki, a mixture of peoples, are now the country’s biggest and most economically dominant ethnic group.
Day 6 BANDJOUN / BAYANGA
You drive to Bandjoun and spend a day in one of the largest Bamiliki chiefdoms that contains one of the most impressive traditionally built palaces in West and Central Africa.
Day 7-9 DZANGHA-SANGHA NATIONAL PARK
The world-renowned Dzangha-Sangha National Park is in the remote southwest corner of the Central African Republic. You spend the next three days exploring the bai. Large viewing platforms called miradors allow you to watch the animals interact in their natural habitat. Avid birders find the occasion to identify numerous exotic species. One of the highlights of your stay in Dzangha is trekking through the mist in search of the lowland gorilla in one of only two places in the world where lowland gorillas are habituated to human presence. Mangebey tracking is also available to those who are fit to keep up with the agile and fast-paced primates. During your stay, you participate in an authentic Ba’aka (known as pygmies or forest people) hunt in which it is possible to see the animals lured by the magical music of the pygmy hunters. Moreover, Ba’aka women take you on a forest walk to teach you about medicinal local plants. You visit Bayanga village to observe village life and local customs; here you enjoy a private viewing of the unique tortoise dance. You also can visit the Dzangha bai for bird-viewing from the platforms and drop down to the Bai Hokou for your last chance to track gorillas and Mangabeys.
Day 10 DOUALA
Charter back to Douala and homeward.Note: This is just an example of custom itineraries that we can design for you. For additional itinerary options, please contact us.