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Gabon

Experiences

Gabon: An Untouched Wilderness

Gabon, situated along the Atlantic Coast of Central Africa, is often referred to as “Africa’s Last Eden.” It stands as one of the few remaining untouched wilderness regions on Earth. Whether you’re exploring the dense forests, embarking on marine safaris across lagoons, engaging in top-notch fishing activities, or enjoying up-close wildlife experiences, this untamed nation presents a wealth of remarkable opportunities.

When to go
Nov-Mar
From price
£18,000 pp*
Ideal length
12 nights
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Gabon stands as one of the planet’s last regions of untouched wilderness, boasting an expansive array of landscapes. Here, around 80% of the total land mass is cloaked in forests that extend seamlessly to the unspoiled natural coastline, characterised by extensive stretches of sandy tidal beaches and secluded coves. Remaining relatively unexplored, Gabon serves as a haven for a diverse range of animal, bird, and marine species, making it one of the most biodiverse regions globally and a leading proponent of carbon positivity.

Both the land and water are alive with wildlife, highlighted by the Southern Hemisphere’s largest humpback whale population just off the coast. With more than 20 distinct species of whales and dolphins, alongside the world’s most significant populations of Leatherback and Olive-Ridley turtles, no other place on Earth offers a more profound immersion into true nature than this ecological paradise.

A particularly remarkable experience awaits visitors from November to March, just before the rainy season, when the opportunity to witness nighttime turtle nesting and morning hatchings becomes most favourable – an incredibly unique and captivating natural sequence.

Previously, accessing the remote corners of this far-flung nation posed challenges. Yet, through Pelorus, the chance to explore this paradise while contributing to conservation efforts across Gabon’s 13 national parks becomes a reality.

PONGARA

Pongara National Park boasts an unspoiled coastline and a rich variety of wildlife and vegetation, showcasing remarkable biodiversity. Upon arrival in Libreville, your journey will continue with a boat transfer to Pongara Lodge, a stunning eco-lodge that offers a unique experience centered on sustainability and exclusive access to a breathtaking stretch of coastline. Each bungalow features a private balcony that offers captivating views of the Atlantic Ocean and opens directly into the forest, immersing you in the jungle’s soundscape and allowing for frequent wildlife sightings as they traverse their way to the sandy beach.

Begin your first morning with a delightful breakfast hosted by the leading turtle research expert in Gabon, followed by witnessing a nest hatch and release event. Next, embark on a 4×4 safari adventure to encounter hippos, elephants, or buffalos within the forested areas. Alternatively, choose to set out on a marine safari, offering the chance to spot whales and other marine creatures.

Thanks to Pongara Lodge’s unparalleled location, savour beachfront dining while being surrounded by awe-inspiring prehistoric turtle species – some of the world’s largest and most majestic.

Gabon Gabon
Gabon Gabon

LOURI WILDERNESS CAMP

Embark on a picturesque helicopter journey to Loango National Park, a true natural gem situated along Africa’s western coast. Renowned for its diverse wildlife, the park serves as a vital sanctuary for endangered species such as the western lowland gorilla and forest elephant. Its landscapes encompass forests, savannahs, wetlands, and one of the last remaining wild coastlines in West Africa, offering a rich tapestry of ecosystems to explore.

Nestled deep within the forest, you’ll discover Louri Wilderness Camp, where your stay will envelop you in the embrace of Gabon’s woodlands. Surrounded by towering trees and pristine waterways, the camp immerses you in abundant wildlife. Each tent is elevated on a platform overlooking the lagoon, and you can venture out on kayak explorations while keeping an eye out for birds and wetland species.

Among the most thrilling experiences during your stay is a walking safari, allowing you to encounter wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat on foot. Following this adventure, share dinner with the team leading the chimpanzee rehabilitation programme. Evenings are equally exhilarating, with opportunities to spot duikers and chimpanzees from the restaurant’s terrace amidst the dense foliage. Later, embark on a nighttime safari or a sunset cruise across the tranquil waters of the lagoon. Return to camp, where you can unwind around a campfire beneath the starlit sky, waking up to the melodic symphony of birdsong the next morning.

NDOLA CAMP

Your next destination within Loango National Park is Ndola Camp, a hidden treasure nestled in the heart of Gabon. This splendid camp is embraced by lush vegetation and wildlife, situated within the depths of a dense forest overlooking the Iguela lagoon. Eight Meru-style tents are thoughtfully placed along the forest canopy, each featuring a private deck for relishing the surrounding vistas.

Venture out on guided game drives, guided by experts who keep watch for Gabon’s “Big Five”, while boat tours offer the opportunity to witness animals that are often concealed from view (you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive red river hog).

AKAKA FOREST CAMP

Your next destination is Akaka Forest Camp, a haven of natural beauty and biodiversity. This exceptional lodge is nestled within a lush rainforest, offering a serene and rejuvenating retreat. The camp boasts an exclusive setting by the riverside, surrounded by vibrant green landscapes.

Five tented suites, crafted from dark wood and canvas, are elevated on platforms with viewing decks, providing a vantage point to immerse yourself in the forest’s sounds. The restaurant offers captivating views of the surrounding waters, allowing you to observe elephants frolicking in the river as you dine. Additionally, the balcony offers an incredible vantage for witnessing breathtaking sunsets.

When not indulging in camp comforts, an afternoon boat safari is your best chance to encounter nocturnal creatures that inhabit the area, such as slender-snouted crocodiles and water chevrotains. There’s also a slim possibility of spotting the fabled African manatees rumored to inhabit this region.

For those who prefer exploration on foot, jungle hikes offer the opportunity to discover endemic flora while keeping an eye out for the remarkable animal species native to West Africa.

SETTA CAMA

Departing from Akaka Forest Camp, embark on an 18km trek through the National Park’s jungles, passing by forest elephants as you make your way to Setta Cama. Nestled on the southern fringes of Loango National Park, this location is an ideal conclusion to your Gabonese adventure. Setta Cama boasts an abundance of colossal and fierce game fish, including Threadfin, Cubera Snapper, Guinean Barracuda, and Senegalese Jaco Crevalle, making it a paradise for adventurous sports fishermen. The backdrop of Africa’s most pristine tropical rainforest adds to the allure of this unparalleled saltwater fishing experience.

When you’re not engrossed in waterside activities, take pleasure in mesmerising sunsets and panoramic views of the ocean and jungle from your private chalet terrace. Having spent most of your time in Gabon’s jungles, seize the opportunity to enjoy the remaining moments on the beach, where you can witness sharks hunting amidst the crashing waves.

*Prices vary based on number of travellers and level of experience. This experience is excluding flights.

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