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.
Bata is a town under construction. The influx of American oil money has finally reached Rio Muni’s shores, and electricity, new roads, streetlights, a manicured (and somewhat sanitised) waterfront, and plenty of American oilmen are there to prove it. Dozens of new buildings are going up in expectation of a richer, more Westernised future.