Central African Republic
This is never an easy country to hunt, but there remain many very fine areas in central and western C.A.R. In general, the northern two-thirds of C.A.R. are savannah woodland—actually terminalia forest—of varying thickness, while the southern third is forest, growing ever thicker to the south-west of Bangui.
Two-week giant eland safaris are routinely successful, and bongo hunting is fairly successful.
In the north the game is much the same as in Cameroon: giant eland, western roan, Sing Sing waterbuck, western hartebeest, western roan, harnessed bushbuck, western kob, red-flanked duiker, oribi, and western bush duiker. The buffalo here are classified as Central African savannah buffalo, and the reedbuck are Nigerian bohor reedbuck. There are some lions, occasionally with very big manes, though a hunting moratorium is still in effect. There is also a small quota for some very big leopards (not importable into the U.S.). In the north there may be opportunities for blue and yellow-backed duiker, giant forest hog, red river hog and, once in a great while a bongo turns up, far from known bongo habitat. The forest game is essentially the same as in Cameroon. At their best C.A.R.’s bongo are bigger in body and horn, though not as numerous. Giant forest hog are more numerous, while forest sitatunga are elusive. True dwarf forest buffalo are found only in the extreme south-west corner and are scarce. Bates pygmy antelope and six varieties of forest duiker occur, with blue, yellow-backed, and Peters’ duiker probably the most common. The primary ‘savannah’ season is similar to Cameroon, late December through April, with later months very hot. Forest areas are best hunted after the rains start, generally late April through early July. As with Cameroon, April is a ‘crossover’ month, generally done with an area change, more akin to two safaris back-to-back. However, there are some transitional areas that hold habitat for both species, so true combination hunts, though difficult, are possible with some outfitters.