Expedition overland to Chad, Cameroon y Central African Republic – February 2020

From the desert to the jungle. The best of Africa in a single expedition. We will travel from the north of Chad to the jungles of Cameroon and Central African Republic where we will leave in search of the lowland gorillas in Dzanga Sangha. On the way we will stop at Zakouma National Park, a remote safari destination away from the big tourist groups.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
  • Price: 3.750€ base price + 1.000€ local payment
  • Travel style: Participatory, 4×4 truck expedition, safari, desert, landscapes, ethnicity, navigation, gorillas, jungle, adventure.
  • Departure: N’Djamena, Chad, February 1st, 2020
  • Arrival: Yaounde, Cameroon, February 29th , 2020
  • Duration: 29 days
  • Group size: 6-12 passengers
  • Accommodation 20% catholic missions – hotels – lodge; 80% free camping – camping

Desert, safari in Zakouma N.P., tribes, jungle and gorillas in Dzanga Sangha

Can a month-long trip to Africa concentrate many of the continent's highlights? The answer is yes! here you have it!

In this complete and pioneering adventure expedition through some of Africa's most unknown and attractive countries, you'll discover a variety of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife truly out of the ordinary. 

Ennedi Plateau

We will begin our trip in N'Djamena, capital of Chad. We will travel to the Ennedi plateau, one of the most spectacular deserts in Africa and the world.

For three days we will explore the incredible rock formations of Ennedi. Imposing stone arches, deep gorges such as the Archei Guelta, rock labyrinths and some of the rock art that many of its caves hide, will be some of the wonders we can visit in Ennedi. We will also see the camel caravans guided by the Tubu nomads.

Zakouma National Park

We will spend two full days in one of the most remote reserves in Africa. Zakouma has become a stimulating alternative for those looking for "sensations" different from others conventional safari in East or South Africa. In Zakouma National Park we can find large mammals in privacy, far from the crowds of other parks on the continent.

Ethnic trip

In this expedition you to see and know the culture of one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa, such as the Baka pygmies with whom we will track the Dzanga Sangha reserve in the Central African Republic. But we will also visit and meet other ethnic groups such as the unmistakable Wodaabe, the nomads Tubu who travel the desert with their herds of camels, the Arabic or different subgroups of Fulani.

Ethnic groups, all of them that conserve much of their original culture, since they live in really very isolated zones of Africa.

Congo jungle and lowland gorillas

We will enter the Congo jungle in search of lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

The tropical rainforests of the Congo Basin make up the second largest area of tropical forest after the Amazon. These forests are vital for the survival of our closest biological relatives: gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos.

We will spend several days in the Dzanga Sangha reserve, where besides seeing gorillas, elephants, buffaloes and bonobos, we will make some cultural visits with the baka pygmies.

These are some of the main reasons why we think that this expedition to Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic, is one of the most complete and interesting trips you can go in the African continent.

From the desert to the jungle. The best of Africa in a single expedition. We will travel from northern Chad to the jungles of Cameroon and the Central African Republic.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrival in N’Djamena

  • Arrival in N’Djamena, capital of Chad.
  • Transfer to the hotel in local taxis, free day to visit N’Djamena.
  • Night at the Catholic Mission in N’Djamena.

Days 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 N’Djamena – Bokoro – Abeche – Oum Chaluba

  • We will go back to N’Djamena, where we will change the Toyota 4×4 for our truck to continue our journey to Ennedi. On the way visiting markets and the interesting city of Abeche, we will still see different ethnic groups of Chad,.
  • We will cross the beautiful and lively region of Guera, dotted with granite peaks (La reine du Guera), its traditional houses and its rich market. We will stop at the village of Ab Toyour, dominated by a granite peak known as “the mountain of the vultures”.
  • On the way back, we will stop in the Guera mountains to visit the Dangelaet ethnic group. Korbo is a very hospitable village that will welcome us wonderfully and where we will spend a night.
  • Camping

Days 6 – 7 – 8 Ennedi

  • We will first stop in the village of Kalait to stock up on its lively market, before continuing our journey on the majestic plateau of Ennedi. We will spend some time exploring numerous rock formations of sandstones modelled by the wind as erosive phenomenon. There are spectacular and wonderful shapes.
  • We will also visit a number of rock art sites, some of the paintings are on the rock outside and others hidden inside caves. It is possible to see paintings of cows, camels, warriors and even to see ancient graves almost intact.
  • Following our circuit, we can find nomadic people with their mat tents that are grazing with their camels that collect water from a well.
  • We will enjoy the pleasure of exploring sublime landscapes with natural arches, deep and isolated gorges, water wells…
  • The highlight of this area is undoubtedly the Guelta d’Archei, the only point where water is found all year round. It is situated in spectacular and imposing rocky gorge where it is common to find hundreds of camels drinking. Its roar echoes on the rocky walls. The Guelta is also refuge of some of the last crocodiles of the Sahara, with a little luck we should see some of them.
  • The landscape in this region is truly spectacular and we will set up the campsite in unique natural spaces.

Days 9 – 10 – 11 Ennedi – Zakouma National Park

  • We’ll head towards Zakouma National Park.
  • As we head south the landscape changes, this being a more “African” landscape with sedentary villages, with clay huts replacing the nomadic mat tents. We will pass through the cities of Arada and Biltine before arriving in Abéché: the largest city on the itinerary until the moment after N’Djamena.
  • Abéché is the capital of the province of Ouaddaï, the seat of a former sultanate who played a very important role in the Sahara trade linking tropical Africa with the slave markets of Tripoli.
  • Camping

Days 12 – 13 Zakouma National Park

  • Two whole days visiting the Zakouma National Park.
  • Zakouma National Park, widely regarded as one of the most important protected areas not only in Chad, but in all of Africa.
  • Zakouma has two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The wet season extends between June and November, in these months the terrain of the park is flooded in a large part making impossible any visit to Zakouma. The dry season runs from November to May.
  • Bordered to the north by the great Sahara Desert and to the south by the tropical forests of Central Africa, Zakouma is the great sanctuary of Central and West Africa for much of the region’s fauna. The reserve is home to 66 species of mammals of which 16 are large mammals. Species such as the Kordofan giraffe stand out, of which 50% of its African population resides in the Park.
  • In terms of predators the larger species include lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, striped hyenas and wild dogs while smaller species of predators include algalia, caracal, jackal, serval, African wild cat, pale fox, honey badger. Famous Zakouma are its large herds of buffaloes and elephants. As for birds Zakouma is an authentic paradise with a total of 388 species of birds.
  • In the limits of Zakouma there are local communities that we will have the opportunity to visit.
  • Two nights camping in Tinga camp

Days 14 – 15 South Chad

  • We will travel through southern Chad through the cities of Sarh and Mondou.
  • At this time of the year, we may have the opportunity to see some nomadic tribes such as the Bororo on their way to northern Chad.
  • Camping or Catholic Mission

Day 16 Chad-Cameroon Border

  • We will pass Cameroon through the Touboro border.
  • We will continue our journey to the Cameroonian town of Ngaoundere and then continue 40 km further south to the Ngaoundaba Ranch.
  • Camping at the Ranch

Day 17 Ngaoundaba Ranch

  • Free day to rest in one of the best camps in this part of Africa or sign up for one of its activities.
  • http://www.campementranchngaoundaba.com/
  • Camping at the Ranch

Day 18 – 19 -20 Garoua – Bertoua – Yokadouma

  • We continue our journey to the south of Cameroon.
  • In Bertoua we will leave the main road to take the track that leads to Yokadouma.
  • We go to one of the most virgin and biodiversity-rich tropical rainforest regions left on the planet.
  • Free camping / basic hotels
  • Day 21 Yokadouma – Libongo – Shanga River- Bayanga, Central African Republic
  • We will leave the truck to continue in cars, canoes and again cars to reach the Doli Lodge.
  • In Libongo we will carry out the border procedures and take a canoe to Lidjombo, in the Central African Republic. We will continue our trip to Bayanga and Dzanga Sangha National Park.
  • This reserve is home to large mammals such as elephants, buffaloes, wild boars, gorillas and bongos (forest antelopes). These species can be found in Dzanga Sangha in densities described as unique.
  • Accommodation at Doli Lodge

Day 22 Lowland gorillas in Dzanga Sangha

  • Guided by pygmies and in small groups we will go out in search of the lowland gorillas We will spend the whole day in this activity.
  • Doli Logde

Day 23 Elephant lookout at the Bai de Dzanga

  • Today we will approach the Bai de Dzanga, famous for its high concentration of elephants and buffaloes.
  • In the Dzanga salt solution (a forest clearing), more than 4.000 elephants have been counted and identified in recent years. From a platform at the edge of this saline solution, visitors often have the opportunity to observe between 30 and 100 elephants feeding on mineral-rich soil.
  • Doli Lodge

Day 24 Baka Pygmies

  • We’ll spend the day with the Baka pygmies. We will have the opportunity to know their way of life, they will show us how their houses are built, their hunting methods and they will share with us their knowledge about the medicinal plants they use.
  • Doli Logde

Day 25 Embarking to Cameroon (car, canoe and car)

  • We will leave behind the reserve of Dzanga Sangha in canoe to return on our steps towards Libongo and Yokadouma. We will return by truck.
  • Border formalities.
  • Basic hotel in Yokadouma

Day 26 – 27 Yokadouma – Bertoua – Yaounde

  • In these two days we will travel to Yaounde.
  • Accommodation in a simple hotel on the way to Yaounde
  • Yaounde Catholic Mission.

Day 28 Yaounde

  • Free day to visit Yaounde on your own and do some shopping.
  • Catholic Mission

Day 29 Yaounde

  • End of trip at 9:00 a.m.
  • Transfer to the airport
  • There’s no lodging for tonight. You can extend your stay by paying the cost of the room.
  • The route itinerary is provisional and could be modified on the spot.

IMAGES GALERIE

THIS TRIP INCLUDES

  • Overland 4x4 truck transport
  • Official permits for travelling in Chad
  • Invitation letter to apply for the Chadian visa
  • Spanish driver, guide and coordinator
  • Local Chadian guide French speaking for Chad
  • Airport pick-up and return service
  • Camping tent for 2 people. 
  • All accommodations, all camping rates
  • Ventilated rooms in Catholic missions. The religious guests have priority of lodging in the Catholic Mission. When the rooms are occupied, we will camp in the Mission garden.
  • All the entry rates of the programmed places we visit
  • 1 Breakfast in the N’Djamena Catholic Mission restaurant
  • 1 Dinner in N’Djamena
  • 3 meals en route: we will eat at local places or when there is no of facility we will cook.
  • Local water purified with bleach drops suitable for human consumption
  • RESERVE OF DZANGA SANGHA, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, INCLUDES
  1. Canoes from Cameroon to the Central African Republic and local cars to get to the Doli Camp and activities in Dzanga Sangha
  2. Lowdown gorillas trekking rates.
  3. Visit the Dzanga Bai spot the elephants and buffalos.
  4. Day of cultural visits with the baka pygmies
  5. Four nights at the Doli Lodge (double or triple rooms)
  • ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK, CHAD (INCLUDES)
  1. Entrance fees in the National Park
  2. Two nights camping in Tinga Camp
  3. Two morning safaris in adapted vehicle with wide vision (3/4 hours per safari)

THIS TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Flights
  • Photos rate
  • Taxis
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Sleeping mat for camping.
  • No meals are included when we camp outside the hotels with a restaurant available or in towns and cities where we are staying.
  • Drinks and meals are not included in Zakouma National Park and Dzanga Sangha Reserve

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