Central African bush is like no other. It is a vast land, where environments change in a matter of miles, from mountains, to low riverein valleys- from far stretched savannah, to thick secondary forest. It is perhaps one of the only places in the world, with such a drastic combination of completely different species in one place. It’s a place where Lions- King of the grassland, occasionally take down forest species like Giant Forest Hog, and on the rare occasion, even Bongo. Most tourists, or professional documentary watchers who stay at home, have never even heard of many of the animals here. Even many of the rivers have no names. It is as wild, and bizarre as
gets these days.
But if you come here expecting to see the vast amount of game as found in east
or southern Africa, you will be disappointed. The game
densities are so low, and the bush so thick, that a traveler here can go days
without seeing any big game. But when the mysterious animals reveal themselves,
the experience is that much more rewarding. And even with low amounts of game,
the success of the hunt is guaranteed, and most animals taken are true
trophies! No where else does one learn the habits, and the connectedness of
every living creature in an ecosystem, then when traveling the bush here.
Because of these circumstances, your African trackers are usually some of the most competent in the continent. Most of these guys are the best ex-poachers around, and when their skills are put to use in the professional safari operation, the best hunting teams come together for a grand safari. The Lord Derby’s Eland hunt is the finest example of a team working together; and perhaps few other hunts can justifiably be describes as true “hunting.” –One has to put in work for each animal. The hunts for other special species, like Yellow Backed duiker, Bongo, and Giant forest Hog, found in few other places in
Africa, are also unique in their own right.
Many times, during a hunt, one will have the opportunity to take a break for lunch in one of the many forest galleries dotting the land. It is nice to sit back with your feet in a crystal clear, spring creek, and sip on a cold beer, or walk the waters edge in search of Harnessed Bushbuck, or Red River Hog. Or if you’re like me, try and make fun with the small crocs found scattered in small pools.
Another feature of this land that will appeal to the keen naturalist/hunter, is the vast, and unique variety of colorful birds found only here- be sure to pick up a bird watching book before coming, even just for a bit of fun!
If you, the dreaming safari hunter make the decision to come to CAR, get ready to take it all in! It might not be the funnest safari of your life, but it will certainly be one of the most memorable. Pack your best gear, and get ready to explore one of the most wildest place left in the world- and whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.