Gabon

Gabon  Safari-Tours
Lope Gabon De Luxe              11 days  From   Request
The Reserve of Gabon               9 days  From   Request
The Exclusive Gabon                11 days  From   Request
Invindo Land Forgotten Time  11 days   From   Request
 
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                                                                         GABON

Gabon is tipped to be the Costa Rica of Africa in recognition of the large percentage of land recently designated to 13 new national parks and the extraordinary variety of wildlife on offer. Straddling the equator, this rainforest nation is situated on West Africa’s Atlantic coast. Animals are abundant – Gabon is the continent’s least densely populated country – and is 85 per cent covered in tropical forest, with more than 800 species of trees.  This, along with savannahs, mangroves, lagoons and beaches makes it an ideal habitat for varied species of animals and reptiles including 20 000 western lowland gorillas, 64 0000 forest elephants – the largest population in Africa, buffalos, antelopes, hippos and leopards,  700 types of exotic birds, 3 000 humpbacked whales, 70 species of reptiles, and 320 species of orchids.

Elephants, antelopes, hippos, and leopards are also present in the parks of southern Africa, but if seen in Gabon, it awakens a new interest and recreates completely different emotions, thanks to the environment in which they are observed.  Have you ever seen hippos surfing or have you ever seen  the elephants on deserted beaches. Gabon is also one of the favorite destinations for lovers of sport fishing. The capital Libreville is the doorway to the country

Today  10 of the 13 parks created in 2002 by President Omar Bongo are open to ecotourism.

On the beaches of Mayumba  you can admire thousand of nesting turtles every year.  

Loango offer breathtaking panoramas and the unique opportunity to observe elephants, buffalos, hippos, gorillas and leopards venturing onto the white sand beaches, thousands of whales come to join them every year with spectacular acrobatics in the sea.                                                                          

Lopé, with its archaelogical sites,  has a patchwork of open savannah and dense rainforest. It is famous for its large numbers of elephants, gorillas and multicolored mandrills that can be viewed in troops of hundreds. The main lodge sits above the Ogooué River.

Ivindo,  with the lowland gorillas in Langoue Bai, myriads of monkeys, and elephants has the most beautiful waterfalls of 'Central Africa.                                                                                                                           

 

Wonga Wongue Reserve - Nyonie 

The Wonga Wongue Reserve is located on the northwest coast of LIbreville and Port Gentil. The presidential reserve of Wonga-Wongue is an outstanding model for its wildlife and its landscapes. Its  covers an area of 500 000 hectares. A vast sand plateau with a softened hillside of dunes that are reaching varying of 200 - 300 meters, where there are all the biodiversity of Gagon. The Atlantic coastal has magnificent beaches of fane white sand, inside of the reserve lies Lake Eliwawanyé, and in the south the valleys are crossed by rivers and Ouango Ogooué. We can see magnificent scenery, natural amphitheatres – or cirques – rare in Central Africa, created by erosion of  white clay and red clay . A dense humid forest covers about two thirds of the territory, the rest is savanach, mangrove forest and wetland vegetation. The animals are protected against poaching, so there are many elephants, buffalo, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, mangabey, colobus monkeys, panthers, sitatungas, antelope, , red river hogs and numerous birds on the edge of the reserve and turtles laying their eggs on the beach.

 

Loango National Park

Iguela  is located on the Atlantic coast about 300 km southern of Libreville in the Maritime Ogooue province. The Iguela Lagoon (Ngove), that in the myene language means "passage" is a natural  reserve of approximately 155,000 hectares, including  the  Loango National Park,  and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and unusal places, ever seen. Lguéla Lagoon  is the only significant example of a typical Western African  Lagoon system. The 'Land of surfing hippos', hundreds of miles of golden sand of deserted beaches inhabited only by animals (elephants, hippos, buffalo, gorillas, panthers and leopards love to get on these deserted beaches and swim in the ocean) in the background of a lush dense rain forest, and a thousand shades of green colour that  are mirrored in clear crystal waters. A sense of absolute tranquility that seems to be almost alone in the world, broken in the distance by the frangipani ocean waves that penetrate down to the depths of the jungle, by  the strong singing of the birds, or by the cries of monkeys hidden among the treetops, or some elephant trumeting, breaking the air and the stillness of the lagoon. This is the most beautiful spot on Africa's western coast, the place where forests, savannas, wetlands, lagoons and ocean come together, and how mangroves have created extraordinary canyon of shadow and silence over the centuries, through this magnificent ecosystem that exists nowhere else in the world, where  undisturbed wildlife, shellfish and fish live and breed,  while thousands of birds dominate the sky. Temple consecrated for sport fishing lovers. Loango is renowned worldwide as a site for tarpon of record size, as well as many other large saltwater fish and its the ideal place for watching whales, aparkles and dive into the waves during the dry season.

 

Fernan Vaz   

Fernan Vaz lagoon (Nkomi lagoon) started to become famous, for facilitating, since the nineteenth centuary. Thanks to its many rivers, the trade and in particular the timber transport from the hinterland to the sea as well as the first colonial settlements of Omboue and St. Anne Village founded Gabon. An enchanted Eden where nature reigns supreme and unchallenged, a beautiful scenery made of savannas, mangrove forest, reed lagoon where losina ourself in contemplation and in the magic of the ceaseless chirping of hundreds of birds and in the baritone croaking of frogs and of cfickets chirping.

A charming 19th century St. Anne mission with the church built by Gustave Eiffel, the same age landmark tower in Paris (1889). Its red facade offers the perfect accompaniment to a backdrop of lush tropical forest and slate colored swells of the lagoon.

If true solitude is what you are seeking for, take a dugout canoe along the Mpivié at dusk or twilight. A river of immeasurable beauty, where basking crocodiles compete with overhanging trees to cast their image on its mirrored surface. Visitors can explore the world of tropical plants at Nzaloungou botanical garden - being hailed as the first of its kind in Gabon. Learn why hallucinogenic Iboga is making headway in the U.S. research field, how medicinal plants influence our well-being and discover a vast array of exotic and endemic fruits and flowers. For the birdwatcher, the area is paradise boasting no less than twenty rare or restricted range species; heading the list are the Black-Headed and Rosy Bee-Eater. For fishing enthusiasts, the lagoon is famous for tarpon but also for saltwater fish-scale records.

 

Sette Cama and Ndogo lagoon  - also called PETIT LOANGO

 Sette Cama is an ancient village, which literally means "seven graves” after the sinking of a Portuguese ship off the coast and the subsequent discovery of seven bodies located in the tombs of cemetery village. It is  situated between the lagoon and the sea at southern  Loango National Park, a stretched strip of land  separating the lagoon Ndogo from the ocean.  A magical place, not comparable to any other , a beautiful lagoon that flows into the ocean. with an incomparable treasure: the largest density of lagoon island in the world, containing about 400 small islands between the mainland and the mouth.   Hippos, as well as elephants and buffaloes swim in  the ocean and bask on the shores, monkeys and varios small amphibians glimpsed among the huge, impenetrable mangrove branches, gorilla and myriad colorful birds and butterflies refuge there.

The magnificent marine fauna includes three varieties' of crocodilians: the dwarf crocodile, the crocodile of the Nile and the long-nosed crocodile; dolphins, and turtles, as well as in season between July and September are the whales that offer a grandiose spectacler off the cast.        

The lagoon is a legend for sport fishing, you can fish barracuda, carrangue, redfish, captaine, tuna and tarpon and many other kinds of fish.

The  mainland is accessible only throught the lagoon. The landscape scenery , dominated by forest and savannah and river tributaries of the lagoon, is the habitat for a rich wildlife including forest elephants (axle) monkeys, chimpanzees. the forest red river hogs (of the warthogs family), antelope, herds of buffalo, but also some rare lowland gorilla and leopards.

 

Lope National Park

Lopé National Park located on the north side of the Massif Chaillu, in the heart of Gabon, it is a varied ecosystem, combination of vast expanses primary and secondary virgin rain forest with the Pleistocene savanna mosaics,  gallery forests and rich rivers that bordered on the north (Ogooue) on the east (Offoue ') and on the west (Mingoue). It was the first protected area in Gabon to be declared a national park in 2002, and declared World Heritage by UNESCO in June 2007.   

The ideal place for nature lovers who want to see gorillas, chimpanzees and mandrills in their natural environment. In more than 5,000 square kilometers of protected area, there are from 3,000 to 5,000 gorillas, as well as  many  other  animals, like the population of 4,500 forest elephants, 1,000 panthers, red buffaloes, sitatungas, yellow-backed duiker, black colobus, sun-tailed monkeys, red river hogs, 400 species of birds and many other types of animals. Also the flora its very rich; flowers and leaves are bright colors, almost violent, as in a picture of Douanier Rousseau.                                                                                

Mount Brazza (big hill would be more appropriate, since it is only  about 450 m. high "stands" on other reliefs and owes its name to Savorgnan de Brazza, the explorer who arrived here in 1875.                            

The Chaillu Massif is in the centre, culminating at 1575 m with Mont Iboundji .   Mont Iboundji, known as two-storey forest, has a mesa-like form – an elevated plateau bounded by steep slopes, overlooking a forest landscape 400m lower down. Spectacular waterfalls on the steep slopes of Mont Iboundji are a special attraction for natural walks. In the conservation centre of Mikongo visitors discover the tropical forest of Central Africa, with numerous primates, mammals and birds, including species in danger of extinction, black colobus monkeys, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, mangabeys, mandrills, the rare and endemic sun-tailed monkey, elephants, duikers and red river hogs, as well as a rare very discreet bird – the rock fowl.  Ololo is better known for its river routes, whereby visitors go along the Offoué River in a traditional motorized dugout canoe, seeing on the riverbanks elephants, crocodiles, monitor lizards, primates and the incredible variety of birds.

Numerous prehistoric sites attest the human presence backdated at least 350,000-400,000 years and constitute a unique cultural heritage of Central Africa: the rock engravings of the Lope are amoung the oldest in central Africa.

 

Ivingo National Park

Ivingo National Park was instituted in 2002, but since 1963 research stations have set up where groups of biologists and scientists have been studying the watershed. The park is preseving luxuriant and pristine rainforest.

This is a place of extraordinry biodiversity with the nickname "The wonders Ivindo". In 1971 and 1988 the efforts of scientists were recognized with the creation before of Ipassa Reserve declare UNESCO "Biosphere Reserve" in 1983 and subsequently with the Minaquoli Reserve to safeguard the forest ecosystem in the region and the Konguo Falls, the largest and the most beautiful waterfalls of Central Africa.

But the raports were on wildlife photography of Mike Fave (fauna here is an impressive concentration of gorillas, monkes and elephants) immortalizing Langoue Bai in the the southern part of the park, which has matures, The president of Gabon's idea to create national parks in order to safeguards this World Heritage Site.

The landscape of the park, from the sky is an ocean of trees and shades that dot the endless vally, wher there are many windina streams of the Dijdji River, Ivindo River and Lanagoue River, waters which sometimes calm, sometimes tumultuous creep into the forest, creating vast wetlands and island of crystalline rocks covered with dense vegetation.

The access to the park is possible only by canoe starting at Makokou, the capital of Ogooue Ivindo region, with its rainforest and beautiful mountains. In this region many pygmies are still living: ther villages are inaccessibly scattered in the forest Once arrived in Loa Loa, a small village inhabited by fishmen, you can embark on some small motor canoes, to arrive after about 4 hours of travel on the Windina River Ivindo, while monkeys very bold and talkative accompany you on your journey by jumping from the tops of the tress at the falls.

The forest of this region of Gabon are the habitat for many animals including 131 species of mammals such as: elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills, buffaloes, antelopes, hyenas, leopards, pantheres and red hog waterhogs, but especialy for the rare: Bongo and the Cephalophu blu, as well as a myriad of birds: 397 species have been classified, as well as fish and amphibians.

 

Plateaux Bateke National Park

Established in 2002 with an hard working project involving equipe of biologists and researchers to safeguard and protect the gorillas and the chimpanzees, endangered by the Ebola epiemic in the Congo during the eighties. It is a harmonious compromise of dense tropical forest and wetlands, lush flora and gigantic dunes that have given life to vast fertile savannas (which in part resemble those of the Reserve Wonga Wongue on the coastal of Gabon, but these are much more extended), traversed by winding courses of rivers are often boardered by mangrove forests that are refleccted in clear water like the famous gallery of the  river Mpassa. A unique environment in the 'Central Africa, where lies a rich fauna, formed not only from large mammals such as buffalo and hippos, gorillas, elephants, antelopes, monkeys, mandrills butterflies but also many species of colorful birds and reptiles such as crocodiles and anphibies. Magnificent are the three circuses created by the erosion of ancient rivers on sandstone and granite formations called by the local people ” canyon”: The canyon Leconi also known as the canyon rose beautiful and evocative, whose meandering rocky slopes are surrounded by vegetation, and with the horizon lake Caymans. The Canyon Lewou, better known as the White Canyon, is an impressive formation of golden sand and the lush canyons of Edjangoulou  at the border of the Congo.

 

Lambarene and the lake's region

Lambarene is born as a "base camp' colonial explotation of Ogooue River, which subsequently, became in the middle of "the river trade" was scene of many ethnic wars for control of the trade routes-including  the route of the sleves. To now is famous thanks to the Nobel Prize for Peace Schwheitzer Alfred, Austrian doctor specialist in tropical diseases, a renowned musician, buried in the small cementery of the hospital he founded same 70 years ago. the hospital was set up by himself in the middle of the forest of ancient trees on the banks of the River Ogooue and was born as a leper colony: it is now a museum dedicated to him.

Le Moyen Ogooue  is a beautiful lake’s region surrounded by green area rich in folklore and fishing villages and ancient Catholic and Protestant missions. The lakes, are located mostly on north and on south of the Ogooue River between Lambaréné and Port Gentil, and can be visited in all seasons, with memorable canoe trips in the midst of hippos and other wild animals through beautiful scenery. The most famous lakes are certainly,  Evaro for its banks inhabited by hundreds of pelicansas well as a sanctuary for orphaned gorillas, Zile for his many islets, and Azingo bordering the reserve Wong Wongue for the hippos that can be spotted.

 

Mayumba National Park                                                                                                                         

Mayumba is a higher nesting density of giant leatherback sea turtles than anywhere else in Africa: one of the top two sites in the world... and where in the sea magnificent humpback whales leap into the air a stone's throw from research boats... where dolphins play in the same waves as local children, and a moonlight swim is made magical by glowing phosphorescence… where a walk on the beach can go on all day, interrupted only by monkeys, mandrill, , buffalo, antelope.  This is the land of  swimming, surfing, paddling and sailing… and abundant birdlife.                                                                                            

Created in 2002 by Gabon's President, OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA, Mayumba National Park protects an area of coastal sea of approximately 900 square kilometers, and a narrow 1km x 60km strip of beach and coastal vegetation. The Mayumba coastline is characterized by long exposed sandy beaches and extensive freshwater, tidal or brackish lagoons. The beaches support a rich shoreline fauna including monitor lizards, genet, mongoose, ghost crabs and shore birds Buffalo, elephant and other forest animals, which  are frequently found on the beaches .Mandrill, gorilla, chimpanzee, and other primates inhabit the forest-savannah mosaic behind the dunes. The lagoons, some of which are extensive and extend for many miles inland, laced with islands, channels and rivers, are immensely productive systems supporting a wealth of fauna and flora, much of which takes advantage of major mangroves, flooded forests and swamplands. Hippo and crocodile are found here, as well as the rare and threatened West African Manatee. In the north of the park, the land is characterized by wild surf-pounded beach, pioneer vegetation on the dunes, and then a series of bands of shrubs, narrow coastal savanna, seasonally flooded forest and swamp, before meeting the lagoon. The lagoon itself boasts important mangrove forest at its lower reaches, while further up, extensive raffia swamps take over the fringes, stretching for miles into the interior – a land of freshwater turtles, crocodiles, birds, otters, and the West African Manatee. To the south, the thin peninsula of land broadens out. No longer bound by the Banio Lagoon, the forest here becomes drier, and is home to a full compliment of rainforest animals: monkeys, gorillas and chimps, elephant, pangolin, forest antelope and so forth. The coastline here is punctuated with small seasonally tidal lagoons, mangrove stands, island savannas and forest. Hippo and leopard tracks are found equally on the beach, bird life is abundant, and the density of nesting leatherbacks and olive ridley turtles at its highest. It is a remote land without roads, and further cut off by lagoon mouths. Gabon is likely to play host to the single largest population of nesting leatherback turtles in the world each year between November and April. If Gabon is the world capital for nesting leatherback turtles, then the turtle capital of Gabon is Mayumba. Upwards of 550 females may come ashore in a single night in the 80 km from Mayumba town to the border with Congo; in places a density of over 20 females per kilometer. The protection of critically endangered leatherback turtles is one of the main reasons the Park was created.  In addition to its notable turtle population, Mayumba sees almost 10% of the world's humpback whales pass through or remain in its waters each year on their annual breeding migration; rare and little-studied humpback dolphins have been found close to the coast, sharks and rays appear to be abundant in the area, and bony fishes are also found in large numbers.

Legends of forest and river ‘genies', stories of panthers in the night, and of the ubiquitous siren, Mamiwata, are alive and well in Mayumba. One local legend tells of an ocean siren who crept across the sandbar to steal the husband of another mermaid in the lagoon near the town of Mayumba, thereby incurring her wrath. Since that day, the ocean and the Banio lagoon have been separated by the Mayumba peninsula.

 

Akanda National Park  

The park was created in 2002 to protect the country’s natural environment, and to foster tourism in this oft-overlooked Central African nation. The resulting area – combined with Pongara National Park nearby – offers one of the few protected mangrove swamps in Africa, making it a place of great ecological value.  Akanda its site on a peninsula is situated 30 km north-east of Libreville and offers the lucky city dwellers a wonderfully green recreational resource. This 54,000 hectare coastal park crossed by the Ntsini river and the Moka river, fits snugly around Mondah bay – part of Corsico Bay,  the vast  expanse of oil-rich waters shared between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Inside Akanda National Park  sits Mondah forest an equatorial forest renowned for its ancient myths and legends that is sacred to the myene local people. Classed as a protected area in 1951 the forest has made an impressive recovery over the last 50 years and contains some spectacular trees including the mighty Alep tree one of the Africa’s biggest. This is the wettest of Gabon’s forest which is the reason why you can see plant not found anywhere else in the country including dwarf palm. Much of the park is covered by mangrove forests, ranging but bushy, scrub-like species to the red mangrove which can be easily identified by impenetrable tangle of its great stilt roots. The black mangrove, buttonwood and white also flourish locally. Canary Island date palms grow between the mangrove and the terra firma of the forested area, as do clusters of raffia palms. Other areas of the park are made of vast tract of highly saline mud which may not sound exciting but these salty intertidal environments contain a wealth of very specialized creatures such a shrimps, crabs and mollusks as well as fish. Importantly the tangle of stilt roots traps sediment and protect the coast against wave and tidal erosion. Hunter have destroyed much of the wildlife – a perhaps inevitable consequence of the park’s proximity to the city – but Akanda is still home to several types of monkey, notable the white-collared mangabey, an endangered species that can be spotted running along the shoreline or clambering inside the mangrovie system. There are no elephants or buffalo now but duiker, sitatunga, genet, mongooses and civet can still be seen. The forest flora is especially interesting with plants not seen anywhere else in Gabon. The extreme humidity has forested a profusion of epiphytes-plants that usually grow on another plant for support- such as mosses and ferns. Strangely, many types of orchid that normally grow high in the treetops are found here, living just a meter or two above ground. Akanda was not designed as a national park simply because of its forests and mangrove system. It’s most important environment in fact is its thousands of hectares of mudflats. These areas support an incredibly dense population of worms, mollusks and crustaceans that in turn attract tens of thousands of migrant birds. Arriving from northern Europe and Asia in late July, many of these migrants remain until April or early May. The biggest flocks can be seen between September and December and from February to March. Akanda National Park is an IUNC ( World Conservation Union Critical Site) and has been named as a zone of international importance for its migratory bird. A survey conducted recently revealed the presence of more than 30,000 overwintering birds. The park is the most important destination for mud-feeding bird in Gabon and is the largest site between Cameron to the north and Namibia to the south. Some of birds probably reach Gabon by following Africa’s Atlantic coastline but many seem to arrive directly from the eastern Mediterranian and the Red Sea, having cut diagonally across the continent. Mondah Bay is a magnet for hundred of Damara terns – an endangered species that nest on the beach of Southern Africa and overwinters on the coast of Gulf of Guinea as well as  African skimmers and the Eurasian big Curlews. The water of this park also attract other charismatic visitors such as the Atlantic humpback dolphin, which sometime swims up the network of rivers through the mangrove swamps along with the fascinating manatee, more commonly known as the  sea cow. The undersea pastures of Corsico Bay here are also important feeding zones for green and leatherback turtle, which come from as a far afield as Brazil. Akanda National Park is a very special place and there is nowhere else quite like it in Gabon or even in the gulf of Guinea.   Activities: Akanda National Park is an outstanding place for birdwatchers, especially the mudflats around the north of the river Moka and between the river and Pointe Akanda. Walks can be enjoyed along the northern shore f the park and in the coastal forest. Ecotourism tours guided botanical tours to see fishing, birding and historical places.

 

Crystal Mountains National Park

It is a national park in northwestern Gabon, situated in the Crystal Mountains, between Equatorial Guinea and the Ogooué River. Located  trees and just aboout 160 km from Libreville, the Parc National des de Cristal has lush vegetation, this reserve is crossed by the river M"bei. Presents the most areat diversity of flower of all Africa with unique varieties of archids and begonias, and other plants equally wonderful, and rare addition to a huge variety of mushrooms. At higher elevations, you enter a magical world where the clouds envelop the trees and lichens that arow around the trunks.

The region of Mount Crystal presents the landscapes are very impressive. In the heart of the park you can admire the Kinguele Falls formed by the river M'bei, while in the north the same river forms tha Lake Tchimbele, which is a natural dam on the river M"bei. This lake located in the most savage Monte Cristallo in a beautiful primary forest, is overlooking a landscape of grat beauty.

 

Minkébé National Park

Minkébé National Park ( the monolithic park ) was created in 2002 and it is located in the extreme northeast, covering an area of 7 ,560 square kilometers. As part of a much larger forest block of 32 ,260 square kilometers (bigger than Belgium), it is among the more intact and isolated forests in Central Africa. Well away from the park’s boundaries are two main town, the west Oyem  near Cameroon and the southeast Makokou, on the Ivindo River.

Minkébé is part of the second largest forest block remaining in the world, stretching west to Lopé National Park and east into the Republic of Congo. Its dramatically domed granite mountains called Inselbergs, emerged millions of years ago. Today the land remains barely touched by man. Great forest trees hundreds of years old, soar upwards, some crowned with wild gardens of orchids and ferns or supporting huge twining lianas, also centuries old.  Minkébé is known for its wildlife, which includes a high density of elephants , one of Central Africa’s great elephant areas , and other large mammals some very  rare  as the bongo and the giant forest pig.

Minkébé’s forest contains prime gorilla and chimpanzee habitat but few members of either species survive until today.  The trees have huge spreading crowns provide shelter and food for myriad canopy dwellers such as bees, monkeys, African crowned eagles, hornbills, turacos and more.

There were no man-made roads, no people and civilisation is a distant memory.

The primeval forest of Minkébé is part of the largest untouched area left in Equatorial Africa, offering great potential for adventure wilderness tourism.