Gabon: Adventure in the heart of the African jungle

Other Destinations

Trip Duration Days - 12 Days

Gabon: Adventure in the heart of the African jungle

Price Starts from € 4000

Route to understand Gabon. We will explore the unknown interior, with colonial towns stopped in time, unexplored caves and traditional tribal societies. We will combine the visit to human groups with excursions to national parks and reserves to observe jungle fauna.
Date: 3 - 14 September 2021

Duration: 12 days - 10 nights

Guide: Joan Riera, graduated in anthropology and sociology from the University of Richmond (UK). He has been working in Central Africa since 2005 and explored Gabon and its potentials in 2008 for the first time. On this trip he will bet on visiting the most interesting places in the country and discovering new areas of the Gabonese interior.

Individual supplement: 540€

Group: 10-12 pax.

The price includes:
-
All transfers
- Domestic flights
- First class train
- Transportation by bus coaster with a / c.
- Spanish specialist guide
- Meal regime according to itinerary. BB = Accommodation with Breakfast, HB = Half Board, FB = Full Board
- 2 bottles of mineral water of 1.5 liters per day, per person
- Accommodation according to itinerary
- Tickets to the places detailed in the itinerary (museums, natural parks, towns, etc.)
- Excursions mentioned in the itinerary

Price does not include:
- International flights with air taxes
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Drinks at meals
- Visa + management. Cost: 90 euros and it is managed 3 months before. The agency will pass on the information necessary to carry out an online pre-visa, paying at the airport upon arrival at LBV.
- Tips
- Cancellation insurance / Basic travel insurance
- Any service not indicated in the itinerary
Day 1: EUROPE - LIBREVILLE
Flight to Libreville. Arrival in Libreville. The guide will come to pick us up at the airport. We will spend the night at the Onomo Hotel. BB

Day 2: LIBREVILLE - LASTOURSVILLE

Breakfast. Tomorrow to visit the National Museum, with interesting Bantu art objects. We will continue to the center of the capital to admire the carved wooden columns of the Africanist church of Saint Michel. We will travel with the minibus the most iconic places of the Gabonese capital and we will have lunch in a restaurant to taste the local gastronomy. At 5:30 p.m. we will go to the central railway station to catch the train that will take us to the jungle interior of Gabon. Night on the train in first class with seats and BB.

Day 3: LASTOURSVILLE - CAVE - LASTOURSVILLE (2h)

Arrival in Lastoursville at 6 am, a colonial city in the middle of the Gabonese jungle located next to the Ogooué River, the largest in Gabon. We will use this town to explore the fascinating prehistoric caves found in the area. After taking a shower in the Catholic mission (a building built in 1890 and renovated after the Second World War) we will start the excursion to visit one of the most important caves in the region. Inside we can admire natural formations (stalactites) and remains of the prehistoric societies that inhabited them thousands of years ago. After the excursion we will have lunch (picnic) and in the afternoon we will visit one of the Bantu villages near the caves to learn about aspects of their daily life. We will return to downtown Lastoursville for dinner and overnight at the Catholic mission. Accommodation in the Catholic mission. FB

Day 4: LASTOURSVILLE - KOULAMOTOU (2h)

Breakfast and route to Koulamoutou, a town located further into the jungle, where the Bouenguidi and Lolo rivers pass and meet. In this area the traditions are still very much alive and the Pouvi ethnic group maintains their ancestral and orally transmitted customs and they have a great knowledge of the jungle, its plants, trees, bark, etc. In our stay we will have the opportunity to visit a Bwiti temple where ceremonies and rituals of initiation, healing, and funerals are still practiced. Unique occasion to delve into the music, songs, dances, fire, objects, amulets and rituals of the Bantu peoples of the Gabonese jungle. Accommodation at the Hotel Paul Ndama or similar. HB (breakfast and dinner)

Day 5: KOULAMOTOU - LASTOURSVILLE - MOANDA - BAKOUMBA (6h)

Breakfast and mid-morning departure to Bakoumba, a small town near the Congo with a pleasant temperature thanks to its 800 meters of altitude. Walk through the town in the late afternoon. We will spend the night in a simple accommodation but in a natural environment of great beauty. Sodepal Guesthouse. HB (breakfast and dinner).

Day 6: BAKOUMBA - LEKEDI NATURAL PARK - BAKOUMBA (20 minutes)

Breakfast and visit of the Lekedi Natural Park, very close to Bakoumba. Lekedi is a fenced and closed park but with 14,000 hectares where chimpanzees, gorillas, buffaloes, leopards or the impressive and so difficult to see baboons, endemic primates that we only find between the Sanaga river in Cameroon and the Congo river. There are several groups of baboons that live between inside and outside the park, some individual in each group has a collar and they are searched with antenna and radio control. You have to be patient to find them but when you see them you can approach them a few meters and observe them very well. Return to Bakoumba to eat and free afternoon to rest and walk around the town. Sodepal Guesthouse. FB (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Day 7: BAKOUMBA - POUBARA - FRANCEVILLE (3h)

Breakfast and route to the capital of the Bateké Plateau. On the way we will stop to visit the Poubara waterfalls and the 52-meter bridge of lianas that we cross to reach them. Jungle landscape of great beauty in a territory hardly visited by international tourism. Arrival in Franceville, founded in 1880 by Savorgnan de Brazza. After leaving the luggage at the hotel, we will take an urban tour through the colonial center and the market. Accommodation at Hotel Masuku or similar. HB (breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: FRANCEVILLE - POBLADOS BATEKE - FRANCEVILLE

Breakfast. Anthropological conference. We will visit two villages of the local ethnic group the Bateké or Teké, a Bantu tribe ruled by a monarch who agreed with the explorer of Brazza to annex their territory to the French Empire at the end of the S-XIX. The bateké built their houses with adobe, reeds and straw. Currently there are few houses of traditional style but we will try to visit some and learn about aspects of the daily life of this hunting and farming town. In the town of the king we will organize a traditional dance to be able to see the traditional ways of dressing and the bateké art in full swing. Hotel Masuku or similar. HB (breakfast and lunch)

Day 9: FRANCEVILLE - LIBREVILLE - PONGARA NATIONAL PARK

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport to catch a domestic flight to Libreville. Arrival and transfer to the port of the capital to cross the estuary with a catamaran or boat and reach the Pongara National Park, famous for its virgin beaches, tropical savannas and gallery forests. The last populations of jungle elephants live here near Libreville and red buffalo, chimpanzees and sea turtles can be seen at certain months of the year. Accommodation at Pongara Lodge. HB (breakfast and dinner)

Day 10: PONGARA NATIONAL PARK

Breakfast and day to explore the park. Safaris are held in the morning and in the afternoon when there are more options to observe fauna. The rest of the day we can rest on the beach and enjoy walks through the nature surrounding the lodge (always with care since elephants and other animals can appear at any time). Accommodation at Hotel Pongara Lodge. FB

Day 11: PONGARA NATIONAL PARK - LIBREVILLE - FLIGHT HOME

Breakfast and last safari in the park. Lunch, farewell to the wild nature of Pongara and return to ‘civilization’. Transfer to the airport to catch the international flight to Europe. HB (breakfast and lunch)

Day 12: ARRIVAL HOME

END OF OUR SERVICES

Gabon Visa
A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Gabon. Applications for visas have to be made in advance in your country of origin or wherever there is a Gabonese embassy or consulate. Last Places assists all travelers that need any type of help applying for the visa. We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival.



Vaccines and Travel Health
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is essential for entry to Gabon. Malaria is prevalent in the country. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling to Gabon. Water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should drink bottle water. Visitors should also avoid eating unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables.



Security in Gabon
Gabon is one of the safest countries in Central Africa together with Sao Tome and Principe Islands. Possible petty theft in Libreville popular markets. Some police controls can be a long and tiring and sometimes officers might ask for a tip. The driver or guide will deal with this issue when the moment comes.



When to go to Gabon
Travelers can visit Gabon all year around. Last Places offers trips to Gabon all year around. Said this, one must plan the trip to Gabon according to its interests in fauna spotting.



Currency in Gabon                                                                              
The unit of currency is the Central African Franc (FCFA). Visitors should bring enough cash for their needs. Money can be exchanged at the airport or at the bank. Euros are changed without any problem. Credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels, and cash withdrawals are not possible. Few ATMs in Libreville accept foreign cards.



Time in Gabon
GMT +1




Electricity in Gabon
Electrical current in Gabon is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round pin attachment plugs are in use.




Communications in Gabon
The international dialing code for Gabon is +241. There are many more mobile telephones than fixed lines and the mobile coverage around Libreville and other main centers is much more reliable than fixed lines. Internet access is not easy out of Libreville or Port Gentil.


Language in Gabon
The official language of Gabon is French, sharing space with several Bantu languages. English is spoken by few people, mainly working in tourist sector.



Prohibitions in Gabon
Do not take photographs of government buildings, or use binoculars near them, as this could lead to arrest.