While Central Africa doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a safari-region, travellers should not disregard packing their bags for this part of the continent. Those prepared to get off the beaten track will discover some hidden gems that are sure to delight.
This region teems with national wonders to satisfy the lovers of all things wild and wonderful. These include rainforests, remote beaches, endless grasslands and havens for a good number of endangered species. Safari-goers eager to explore this region should, however, make sure about any travel advisories before departure. It is wise to heed caution as a foreigner when it comes to safety.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, straddling the equator and bordering no less than nine countries, is dissected by the mighty Congo River that ends in the Atlantic ocean and is dominated by tropical rainforest, the second largest in the world.
Captivating wildlife encounters abound, including coming face to face with the mountain and lowland gorillas in Virunga National Park, the first national park established in Africa. Geological wonders like active volcanoes and one of only four continuous lava lakes in the world on Mount Nyiragongo should also not be missed.
A leisurely cruise on the Congo River will give safari-goers a different wildlife perspective, while a visit to the Kisantu Botanical Gardens is a feast for the soul.
Gabon is located on the west coast of Central Africa, on the equator. This Eden of Africa is covered in Atlantic Equatorial Coastal Forests. When visiting, travellers can choose from numerous national parks and nature reserves. Loango National Park is home to forest elephants, lagoons with whales and manatees. Lopé National Park, Gabon’s oldest protected area, is home to gorillas, chimpanzees, and many other large mammals.
The Republic of the Congo has claimed a spot in the top echelons of safari experiences in Africa. It lies in the Congo Basin with three-quarters of the country covered in the lush, dense Congo rainforest. Unspoilt and genuinely wild safaris can be undertaken in Odzala National Park, Louana National Park, Conkouati Douli National Park, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, and Lefini Faunal Reserve.
The most priceless of wildlife experiences are beyond question getting a glimpse into the unique world of the endangered western lowland gorilla.
Situated on the west coast of Africa and sharing borders with the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola offers an authentic experience. Aided by other wonders like several emerging national parks and countless untouched beaches along the 1,650-kilometre coastline, safari-goers are in for an adventure.
Beyond the wildlife landscape and accompanied game viewing in the national parks, desert and tropical beaches in spots like Musulo Island, Restinga Peninsula, and Arco Lagoon make for a laidback approach. The thundering water of the Kalandula and Ruacana Falls respectively is even more spectacular.