Trips to Gabon, an explosion of wildlife
With more than 10% of the territory protected and 13 national parks, a trip to Gabon offers the traveler an exceptional natural heritage difficult to compare. Traveling through Gabon we will discover its great ecological treasure, an abundant wildlife that leads Gabon to have the largest concentration of elephants in all of Africa and a wide variety of wonderful landscapes, ranging from tropical forests and mangroves to savannahs and mountains.
Depending on the season, we can see humpback whales or turtles on its coasts, and hopefully also buffaloes, hippopotamuses and elephants. In the interior of its national parks, it is possible to see baboons and gorillas along with some of the 190 species of mammals, 70 species of reptiles and 600 species of birds that Gabon has.
Travel to Gabon depending on the season
The itineraries of the trips to Gabon that we offer will vary depending on the time of the year in which you travel.
From mid-July to mid-September (dry season) is a good time for humpback whale watching and exploring the Akaka jungle in Loango National Park where large numbers of elephants are concentrated, but also to go out in search of baboons in Lope National Park.
From November to February is the time of the turtles and at night you can observe them nesting on the beaches of Gabon. These months coincide with the rainy season and it is also the opportunity to enjoy the famous images that have made Gabon internationally famous: herds of large mammals that come for a swim or to eat on the beach.
The rainy months are also a good time to see the Kongou waterfalls in Ivindo National Park at their best.
Loango National Park
A mixture of forest and savannah, Loango is perhaps the best known of Gabon's national parks. Its main attraction lies in its beaches, where it is possible to find large mammals, whales and turtles, depending on the season.
Loango also has habituated western lowland gorillas, so it is usually quite easy to see them.
In the surroundings of the Loango National Park there are a good number of accommodations of different categories, some of them in the nearby beaches that serve as a base to explore Loango.
Moukalaba Doudou National Park
Gabon's third largest national park offers one of the highest concentrations of primates in Gabon. The small town of Doussala, 700 kilometres from Libreville, is the gateway for a visit to one of the park's resident gorilla groups.
Lope National Park
A mixture of open savannah of rolling grasslands with dense rainforest, Lope National Park is famous for the huge groups of baboons that inhabit the park. In 1996, a group of these baboons was recorded with 1,350 individuals, being the largest known gathering of wild primates. Although they are not easy to see, the best time to see them is during the dry months of July and August. In addition to baboons, there are large populations of chimpanzees and gorillas, but to date there is no habituated group that facilitates their approach.
The Kongou Falls are located on the Ivindo River, inside the Ivindo National Park. These falls are 45 kilometres downstream from the town of Makokou and are possibly the most spectacular waterfalls in Central Africa.
These waterfalls extend for almost 3 kilometers and have several gorges.
To visit Kongou Falls we will have to navigate by canoe on the river for 4 hours.
The waters of Ivindo flow slowly between the two walls of the virgin forest: the crossing of different types of forest offers a unique experience of navigation on one of the last African rivers not colonized by man. On the way we will be able to observe many species of birds and hopefully meet some forest elephants. We will sleep in the Kongou camp, next to the waterfalls, which will allow us to live the exceptional experience of a night in the equatorial primary forest.
Another interesting visit in the Ivindo National Park is the Bai de Langoue, an opening in the forest that attracts a good number of animals.
Bwiti initiation ceremonies in Gabon
These Bwiti ceremonies are a common practice in much of the country and are part of everyday life. Very few people in Gabon doubt the effectiveness of iboga, an extremely powerful natural psychotropic, which is banned in many countries and brings people who consume it into contact with "the world of spirits".
At night, by the light of the torches, the initiates with their faces painted white sing traditional songs accompanied by the rhythms of the traditional instruments.
Many of these ceremonies take place during the weekend in Libreville, capital of Gabon. It would not be surprising either, that during our trips to Gabon we coincided with some Bwiti ceremony since as we have said it is a quite extended practice in Gabon.
Travel to Gabon, what to expect?
Trips to Gabon usually focus exclusively on the impressive wildlife the country has to offer. The chances that the traveller will have short distance encounters with elephants, buffalo, gorillas or hippos are very high if you travel in the right season. A trip to Gabon is likely to see for example elephants on the tracks and roads or even in the villages. That said, when it comes to seeing animals, especially in forest ecosystems like those offered by Gabon, they depend on two essential factors: a good guide and luck. The eco-guards and guides working in Gabon's national parks are well prepared, but you have to bear in mind that luck is also key to this type of visit.
Due to the poor infrastructure, trips to Gabon often become windows open to improvisation, something we like. To travel in Gabon in general it is necessary to use a great number of different transports such as: vehicles, ferries, boats or trains. There will always be some change of plans as usually happens in the trips we offer in Central Africa.
Peoples and cultures of Gabon
Most of the inhabitants belonging to Gabon's 40 ethnic groups are of Bantu origin. The majority Bantu ethnic group in Gabon is the Fang, to which 35 per cent of the population belongs. In addition to the Bantu groups, originally from neighbouring countries, pygmy populations known as Babongo live in Gabon.
Gabón: the Last Eden
Trips to Gabon with Kumakonda
Write us to info@kumakonda to know our next trips to Gabon.
It is common for us to make trips in Gabon in our truck, combined with other central African countries such as the Republic of Congo and Cameroon.
Next trip to Gabon in 2021