Cymbopogon narduus is citronella - I use a product containing this and I find it very effective against insect bites (and my male has allegies so I'm always looking for things that will help him). I'm told lavender can also be effective in controlling the itchiness associated with bites but I've not tried it directly.
We attended another Rally event this weekend - entered in Rally Masters: Gossip (almost 11 y) achieved a 97 and 98 (personal best); Teddy (almost 8 y) achieved a 99 (personal best) and 86 (wouldn't do the right spin). That gives them their 5th and 6th legs respectively - just love the color green
Formal training is definitely needed - but you need to find a trainer that is familiar with a number of different breeds (one of my first trainers was an aussie-shepherd person and never worked with hounds before - what a mistake that was).
If there are dog schools that offer the AKC Canine Good Citizen classes in your area, I'd consider these after you've taken basic obedience. Or ask about a "manners" class.
Forget the walks in crowded areas and forget the off-leash parks.
I also would not suggest the head-halters ("gentle leader") on basenjis - these dogs will suddenly "take off" towards a squirrel or other prey animal and the gentle-leader/head-halter can damage the neck (it works fine for dogs that are more people oriented).