The Republic of Congo is another fantastic central African rainforest destination offering all the most exciting wildlife attractions unique to these ecosystems. Because of the infrastructure and terrain, safaris are mostly offered on fixed departure schedules and they focus on the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the remote west-central regions of the country.
Highlights include viewing western lowland gorillas, which occur here at the highest densities in Africa, and forest buffalo and elephant when they come to feed and drink in the bai’s. Afternoon boat and canoe trips up and down the numerous river systems that weave their way across these impressive forests are the best way to explore the wetland habitats, and for the birders, there are a host of endemic and special species to go after. The camps we use here are of the highest quality.
While it is true that this Central African country is best suited to the more hardened traveller, Gabon nonetheless offers a host of exciting wildlife and wilderness experiences. The highlights include the full variety of forest species, lowland gorillas, buffalo, elephant and chimps especially, which are all best seen within the huge rainforest systems of Loango, Ivindo and Lopé National Parks. And Loango has the added attraction of whale-watching during the summer months.
Others may choose the historical and cultural appeal of São Tomé, a short flight into the Atlantic Ocean from Libreville, or the stunning beaches of BomBom on the island of Principe. And wherever you go, the birding is prolific with a host of endemics and specials.
Those in search of the less-trodden destinations will certainly not be disappointed, but all visitors need to know that Gabon does not have a well-established tourism infrastructure.