S E E U S O N T H E W E B AT wildlifeworldwide.com 35 Africa / Gabon Evengue Lodge This small island makes a convenient entry or exit point to the park. A safe haven for birds, mammals and reptiles, the Mpivie River has a classic 'jungle' feel to it and is an excellent place for bird and crocodile viewing (Dwarf, Slender-snouted, and Nile Crocodiles occur along the river). The island is also the base for an interesting gorilla rehabilitation project, and the knowledgeable staff will share their experiences with guests. Akaka Tented Camp (dry season) A two hour spectacular boat trip from Loango Lodge, this camp is right at the riverside, overlooking papyrus swamps and high forest. Forest Elephants are frequently in the area along with many other species of animals including (with luck) groups of gorillas. Tassi Bush and Beach Camp (wet season) One hour’s drive from the main lodge this small camp is spread out along a beach ridge, with views of endless forest to the east and the Atlantic to the west. Forest Elephant, Forest Buffalo, Red River Hog and Sitatunga are regularly sighted in this area and in the rainy season many animals regularly feed on the beach, including (occasionally) gorillas. Point St. Catherine Beach Camp Imagine miles and miles of empty beach – perfect for relaxing, taking extended walks, shell collecting or swimming in the sheltered bays. From October to February Leatherback Turtles come to the beach to nest, and from June to September Humpback Whales, Orca and Sperm Whales pass close to the shore with their calves. Lope National Park Lope National Park offers a wonderful patchwork of open savannah scenery and dense rainforest. It is particularly famous for its large numbers of Mandrills, other primates and bird sightings. The main lodge at Lope sits in a beautiful location high above the mighty Ogooue River, with air-conditioned en-suite chalets, but the highlight of a visit to Lope is a visit to the satellite camp of Mikongo - a research station for the study and habituation of gorillas which is run by the Zoological Society of London. Although gorilla-tracking as a specific activity has been suspended until more progress has been made with habituation, the highlight here is wonderful forest walks with knowledgeable local guides. Apart from about 50 local gorillas, other primate species which are regularly seen include Moustached, Putty-nosed and Crowned Monkey and Grey-cheeked mangebey. Other mammals that you are likely to encounter include Forest Elephants, Forest Buffalo, Red River Hogs, Red, Yellow-backed, and Blue Duiker, and perhaps Civets. There are many Leopards here too but they are hard to see. We recommend at least two nights here to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities. Ivindo National Park No trip to Gabon is complete without visiting Ivindo and the fabulous Langoue Bai. This vast swampy clearing in the primeval rainforest has been the feeding and drinking place for Forest Elephants, Forest Buffalo, Sitatunga, Western Lowland Gorillas, and other primates since time began… and it feels like it. The Bai itself is surrounded by towering forest and steep-sided hills, and behind the constant chattering of the birds and insects is the distant rumbling of waterfalls and eery call of the elephants from deep within the trees. This is a place that very few people have ever visited, and which was in fact only discovered two or three years ago. Here you are invited to live alongside researchers in their camp and observe the animals from platforms set up around the edge of the Bai. You may sometimes spend the night on the platform itself and there can be few more wonderful experiences than sitting at the Bai as the sun is setting watching the elephants bathing and the Sitatunga foraging, knowing that at first light this magical landscape will reveal more secrets. This truly is a unique experience to be found nowhere else on earth and despite the overnight train journey and forest trek to reach it, this is considered by most to be the highlight of their trip to Gabon. To fully appreciate this area we recommend three or four nights here. Sâo Tomé & Principe Off the coast of Gabon lies the Democratic Republic of Sâo Tomé and Principe, a handful of small islands and one of the smallest countries in the world. The two main islands are heavily forested and mountainous with idyllic palm-fringed beaches and mangrove swamps. Tourism is still limited to one resort on Principe so the islands are very much off the beaten track. The main draw for most visitors is the chance to relax and the unique flora and fauna, with many endemic species, including 26 endemic birds and 120 plants; among them some of the world’s rarest such as the Dwarf Olive Ibis, the Sâo Tomé Fiscal and Sâo Tomé Grosbeak. Itinerary Suggestions All of our itineraries to Gabon are tailor-made and we know the country well so please do call us to discuss the options. There are a couple of important factors to bear in mind when planning a trip to Gabon. Flights to Gabon are generally with SN Brussels accessing the country by flying into Douala (Cameroon), from where we will organise a light aircraft transfer to Port Gentil (Gabon) and then directly to Loango National Park. It is also possible to fly to Libreville with either Royal Air Maroc (via Casablanca with an overnight stop) or Air France (via Paris). Your length of stay at certain locations may be determined by train schedules, and may involve overnight stops in Libreville. Don’t let this put you off – it is a truly wonderful country! Loango Special Day 1. Depart London for Loango via Douala Day 2. Loango Lodge, 2-nights Day 4. Tassi (October to April) or Akaka (May to September), 3-nights Day 7. Point St Catherine Beach Camp, 1-night Day 8. Evengue, 1-night Day 9. Depart Port Gentil for Douala & London Day 10. Arrive home Loango & Lope Combination Days 1 to 7. As ‘Loango Special’ Day 8. Evengue, 2-nights Day 10. Lope National Park, 2-nights Days 12 to 14. Mikongo, 3-nights Day 15. Port Gentil Day 16. Depart for Douala & London Day 17. Arrive home Highlights of Gabon Days 1 to 6. As ‘Loango Special’ Day 7. Evengue, 1-night Day 8. Langoue Bai, 4-nights Days 12 to 14. Lope National Park, 3-nights Day 15. Port Gentil Day 16. Depart for Douala & London Day 17. Arrive home Sâo Tomé and Principe add-ons are available for all our Gabon itineraries. Mikongo Forest Camp, Lope
RWANDA BURUNDI UGANDA TANZANIA KENYA Samburu Meru Aberdare Maasai Nakuru Mara Serengeti Lake Manyara Mt. Kenya Tarangire Selous Ruaha Saadani Game Reserve Mikumi Mahale Mountains Kitavi Amboseli Tsavo East Tsavo West Pemba Island Zanzibar Island Kidepo National Park Ngorongoro Conservation Area Queen Elizabeth National Park Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Lake Victoria Parc National des Volcans Budongo Forest Reserve Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve Kibale Forest Kampala Nairobi Lamu Great Ri ft Vall ey Mt. Kilimanjaro Mombasa Dar es Salaam East Africa 36 F O R R E S E R V A T I O N S C A L L U S O N 0845 130 6982 The Migration The migration of millions of White-bearded Wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of Burchell’s Zebra is a sight to behold. Following the rains, these mammals are regularly on the move between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and the Serengeti region in Tanzania, enabling visitors to observe this amazing spectacle at various times of the year in different places. Zebra usually lead the way, with gazelles accompanying the herds for short distances. They move by instinct, nature dictating when to move where, and with grazing taking up some sixteen hours each day, the grass plains are left bare within a matter of days. It is a hazardous journey, with Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Wild Dog, jackal and countless birds of prey constantly on the look out for their next meal, and of course Nile Crocodiles lying in wait at the fast-flowing river crossings such as the Grumeti and the Mara. Rutting occurs along the way, with a peak in births occurring in January and February in the southern region of the Serengeti and the north-western region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Although this further debilitates the herds of wildebeest and zebra, it is known that less than half a percent of new born calves are taken at this time. So although many a life is lost, millions live on, offering us what probably remains the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet!