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Monte Alen National Park/Equatorial Guinea

Introducing Monte Alen National Park

Monte Alen National Park is one of the hidden gems of Central Africa. A protected area covering 1400 sq km, the tropical forests are home to gorillas, chimpanzees, forest ele­phants, crocodiles and many other species of wildlife.

The excellent Hotel Monte Alen (r from US$35) offers an affordable way to spend a few days seeing the rainforest up close. Situated on a jungle ridge with a sweeping view of the valley below, the rooms are beautiful and clean with running water and private baths. Meals are good but expensive, as supplies are hard to come by; it’s worthwhile bringing some food and water to avoid the high costs.

Excellent guided day treks by trained villagers cost US$10. You’ll see monkeys, a host of birdlife and butterflies, and, if you’re lucky, some larger mammals.

To get here, take a route taxi in Bata headed for Evinayong (US$6; two to three hours). They’ll drop you at the entrance to ‘EcoFac’.