We spent 3 days, in La Lopé, a UNESCO site in Gabon, featuring equatorial highly densed forest sourounding parcels of savanna. The site is located in central Gabon, in the district of Ogooué-Ivindo, and covers an area of about 5000 square meters, with on the North side the river Ogooué.
The site is accessible by the train starting from Libreville and ending in Franceville. It is a 8 hours journey, during night time, which can be subject to many delays. The area is protected and only a small portion of the park is accessible to public.
This probably, the most famous and accessible park in Gabon, nevertheless, it cannot be called a touristic place, to the extend that the tourism is very limited in Gabon. We only met one family of foreigners in 3 days.
We organized two hikes with one night camp in the forest and one car-safari with our local guide Saturnin, who has been working in the park for 10 years as a guide.
We went there during the long rainy season, but we have been pretty lucky with the weather, it only rained at night during our stay, the day before we arrive, and the day after. During that season, the herbs in the savanna are pretty high and poor nutritively, so the animals, don't go that much in the savanna and try to find food rather deep in the forest.
The biodiversity here is huge, both for the fauna and flora. Many animals can be seen in the forest : Forest elephants, mandrillus, colobus, chimpanzees, gorillas, potamochères, boas, ... However, those wild animals tends to hide behind the thick foliage of the forest and seeing them without being seen and smelled requires high discipline and knowledge about this harsh environment.
Instructions about the danger of the forest are mandatory here, to avoid being charged by an elephants, attacked by chimpanzee or bitten by a snakes. A constant vigilance is required.
Enjoy listening to this walk we recorded in La Lopé where you can here the melody of the forest, the birds singing, the monkey yelling, or cicadas singing.