Introducing Eastern Gabon
Eastern Gabon aint easy travelling. This isn't South Africa or Kenya where people have been sauntering around since the Union Jack first hung over the barracks, this is very much on the tourism frontier. Those who are up for a challenge however, will be greatly rewarded. About four hours east of Libreville by train is the Réserve de la Lopé, where among the elephants, buffaloes and countless birds you will more than likely catch a glimpse of a mandrill's colourful bottom. Further east is the Ivindo National Park, probably the best of Gabon's burgeoning eco-tourism destinations where you can observe forest elephants and western lowland gorillas and stay at the eco-camp. Further south is Franceville, the largest town in the east and a good spot to get some supplies before heading into the canyon country of the Bateke Plateau.
Réserve de la Lopé
Smack bang on the equator, Gabon's calling card doesn't disappoint. Undulating hills meet scrubby patches of savannah and enclaves of rain forest where elephants, buffalo, gorillas and some of the biggest mandrill troupes in the world can be found. There are vehicle and foot safaris (from CFA5000) on offer and there's an eco-museum near the park entrance.