Hunting Central African Republic

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Hunting Central African Republic

Hunters around the world have discovered what European big game hunters have long known: that Central African Republic, also known as C.A.R., is a legendary hunting destination. Central African Republic is to West and Central Africa what Tanzania and Zimbabwe are to East Africa. Over the years, Central African Republic has seen a number of political upheavals however hunting has continued on. Today, the presence of the French army provides this former French colony stability and peace.

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The diversity of game in C.A.R. is remarkable, 208 species of mammals are present, and among them are 23 species of antelope. This diversity, and high population densities, makes the Central African Republic one of the most interesting destinations of big game hunting in Africa. But among all these species present in Central African Republic, three of them are particularly well known. They are the Giant or Lord Derby Eland (Taurotragus Derbianus) named by the Africans "the ghost antelope", the Bongo (Tragelaphus Eurycerus Eurycerus) and the Greater Kudu of Western Africa (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros).

The largest trophies of Lord Derby Eland existing to date have been harvested in Central African Republic, and the hunting of the largest antelope in Africa is an unpredictable adventure, which demands patience and tenacity. Bongo has also greatly contributed to the reputation of the Central African Republic, and hunting of this magnificent antelope in the deep forests or in natural places where salt is found is also an opportunity for an unforgettable experience. The Greater Kudu of Western Africa, one of the most beautiful trophies of Africa, is hunted in the north of the Central African Republic, in extremely remote areas, wild and semi-desert. More than any other hunting, the Western Greater Kudu offers hunters nostalgia of the great safaris of the past.

Hunting in Central African Republic also offers the possibility of many other trophies such as Central African Savannah Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoctialis), Western Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus), Western Sitatunga (Tragelaphus Spekei), Defassa Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus Defassa), Buffon's Kob (Kobus Kob), Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca Redunca), Harnessed Bushbuck (Traglaphus Sciptus), Giant Forest Hog (Hylochoerus Meinertzhageni), six species of Duiker, including the very elusive Yellow-Backed Duiker (Cephalophus Silvicultor), Warthog (Phacochoerus Aethiopicus), Red River Hog (Potamochoerus Porcus). As for hunting big cats, Lion and Leopard are found on almost all of the hunting territories. Lions are hunted only by tracking, not with bait as in East Africa. Elephant hunting has been banned in Central African Republic since 1989.

The hunting areas are found in the central, eastern and northern part of the country. As in all of West and Central Africa, hunting areas are quite large in C.A.R. and are open territories, not fenced. Given the size of the country and hunting areas, ranging from 250.000 to 3.700.000 acres, the habitat is quite varied. Most of the Central African Republic consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas (dry and green savanna), broken up by areas of dense forest, but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanes zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south.

Given the long distances and impractical nature of road travel, hunting areas can only be reached by plane. Charter flights from the capital, Bangui (pronounced bong-ee) average 2 to 3 hours. Hunting concessions are rented and managed by hunting outfitters who are usually French professional hunters and members of the A.C.P. (Association des Chasseurs Professionnels - Association of Professional Hunters).

Hunting in Central African Republic is done by tracking on foot, sometimes directly from the camp, but more often by driving 4x4 from the camps, then tracking on foot once in the bush. In the Center and East part, the terrain is quite flat therefore hunting is not very physically demanding, but in the Northern part of C.A.R., where Greater Kudu hunting takes place can sometimes be physically demanding due to the climate and rugged terrain.

In Central African Republic the hunting camps are permanent. The bungalows are comfortable and have air conditioning. The French style cuisine is excellent with plenty to eat.
 

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