The visit enables the visitor to dive into a spectacular nature. Tourists can enjoy the guaranteed spectacle of forest elephants occurring in large numbers in Dzanga Bai, a natural forest clearing. Forest buffalos and various antelopes, including bongos, can also be observed in this area. Visitors have the privilege of tracking gorillas and agile mangabeys who are used to the presence of humans, thanks to the Primate Habituation Programme (PHP).
Furthermore, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the life of the local populations, the BaAka in particular.
Development of the Primate Habituation Programme (PHP)
The Primate Habituation Programme (PHP) was officially launched at the end of 1997 to establish a controlled ecotourism program based on gorilla observation. This program has a key position in tourism strategy, as behavioral research deepens our knowledge about species and their role in the ecosystems in which they live.
This is an important prerequisite for further convincing the international community of the importance of these species.
Foundations of Tourism Development
Benefits for the Local Population
The local people benefit from tourism because part of the money that visitors bring to the region goes to the communities. For instance, new jobs as trackers or eco-guides are created in relation to nature conservation.
Successes in tourism development also have a positive effect on the country’s image and can in turn encourage national decision-makers to promote the conservation of protected areas.
Ensuring higher facility standards, to the extent possible for a location at the edge of the rainforest, is important to attract more tourists. The facilities at Doli Lodge, located in a quiet location on the banks of the Sangha River and near Bayanga, are continuously being improved.
Communication and marketing through international providers are also enhanced. In addition, the range of local tourism activities is constantly being expanded. New tours and experiences are being developed and adapted to the needs of the visitors, in addition to the existing excursions: Intensive learning about the BaAka culture during river trips on the Sangha with the BaAka, collection of medicinal plants with members of the BaAka, and experiencing their traditional music and dance.