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’.