Must see attractions in Gabon

  • Top ChoiceSights in Gabon

    Lopé National Park

    One of the most accessible of Gabon's national parks, Lopé offers rainforest and savannah teeming with apes, elephants and birds. Covering 4970 sq km, it is mostly rainforest with some ancient savannah in the north. Lopé is the best place in Africa to see mandrills – up to 1350 gather at a time. There are more elephants here than anywhere else in Africa, too: three per square kilometre. Permits are available from Conservation Officer Benoit at the ANPN office in Lopé (phone 07 37 05 35).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Gabon

    Loango National Park

    Coastline and estuary, savannah and rainforest make for a diverse array of animals and birds in this superb park. There's always something to see: elephants on the beach from January to April, crocodiles making nests in November and new grass sprouting in June that brings the sitatungas. Big-game fishing in the estuary and at sea is hugely popular, especially for the tarpoon from November to April. Permits are available from the ANPN offices in Omboué and in Gamba.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Gabon

    Pongara National Park

    Wonderful lodges, beautiful beaches and a wealth of animals makes Pongara the perfect escape from Libreville. Lodges provide excursions to see the leatherback turtles that lay their eggs on the beach from November to March, and to explore the region to see elephants, buffaloes, red river hogs and monkeys. In the dry season (July to October), humpback whales visit the region. Permits are available from the Conservation Officer on site. If you stay in the lodges, this should be included in the rate.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Gabon

    Mayumba National Park

    This marine park is the domain of barnacled whales and shy sea turtles, and the land, if you listen to the locals, is hushed by the spirits of ancestors. It is contiguous with the Conkouait-Douli National Park in the Republic of Congo. There are elephants and antelopes in the forest. Extending 15km out to sea, it's home to dolphins and manta rays, too. Permits are available from the Conservation Office in the park.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Ivindo National Park

    This 3000-sq-km national park provides the rare opportunity to view forest animals undisturbed in their own environment. The best location to do this is at Langoué Baï, a marshy clearing in the forest whose minerals act as a magnet for large numbers of forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, sitatungas, buffaloes, monkeys and rare bird species. There are also impressive waterfalls at Kongou and Mingouli.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Minkébé National Park

    The largest of Gabon's parks at 7000 sq km, Minkébé is the greatest refuge for elephants in the Congo Basin; there are said to be 30,000 individuals. You'll also find gorillas, forest buffaloes, sitatungas as well as other animals usually more difficult to find: antelopes such as the endangered bongo, leopards, pythons and pangolins. Inselbergs, formed millions of years ago, rise up above the forest canopy. There are enormous trees and a myriad plants including orchids and ferns.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Batéké Plateaux National Park

    Vast swathes of savannah cover 2050 sq km and reach heights of 860m. The land is almost desertlike and erosion has caused canyons to form (known as cirques). It's all a twitcher's delight with the rare Angola batis, black-collared bulbul and Finsch's francolin. Some birds exist nowhere else, such as the Congo moor-chat. Elephants, western lowland gorillas and forest buffaloes roam and there are brightly coloured butterflies, beetles and spiders.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Monts de Cristal National Park

    Botanists believe this park has the most diverse flora in Africa. Rare plants, butterflies and large mammals abound in the virgin forest. Almost constant mist and cloud provide the perfect environment for orchids and begonias, and for the tree Sirdavidia solannona, discovered in 2016. In the northwest of Gabon, the park covers 1200 sq km over two sections and reaches an altitude of 900m. Permits are available from the ANPN office in Kinguélé in the park section south of the N5.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Birougou National Park

    Situated on the Chaillu Massif, this park is known as a Pleistocene refuge, meaning that its ancient savannahs, forest and the caves date back at least 40,000 years. It is important to protect the river basins here, as well as the wide diversity of plants and apes. One ape in particular, the sun-tailed monkey, was first discovered here in 1984. Permits are available from the from ANPN office in Mbigou, but there is as yet no infrastructure for visitors.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Akanda National Park

    Of vital importance to migrating birds, juvenile fish and nesting green turtles, Akanda National Park lies along the bays of Mondah and Corisco, an easy day trip from Libreville. It encompasses 540 sq km of mangroves and glorious beaches backed by forest. See orchids and other epiphytes, along with enormous trees and ancient plants. Permits are available from ANPN (National Parks Board) office in Libreville. Access by pirogue (CFA100,000 per day) from the town of Ambowè or from Cap Estérias.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Moukalaba-Doudou National Park

    Encompassing both coast and forest, this park has a variety of terrain: rainforest, mountains, dry savannah, lakes and rivers. Here you'll find the highest population of primates in Gabon, along with elephants and hippos and the large waterbuck. Aquatic birds abound, including the egret and very rare black-winged bishop. Permits are available from the ANPN office in Tchibanga. The park's southern and eastern parts can be accessed from Tchibanga, for the western part you'll need to organise a boat from Gamba.

  • Sights in Lambaréné

    Lake Zilé

    Surrounded by dense rainforest, beautiful Lake Zilé is dotted with some 30 islands and is home to loads of birds (white cormorants congregate on one of the islands), a few fishers and the odd hippo. It's the smallest of the series of lakes around Lambaréné and makes a great 1½-hour boat trip (approximately CFA60,000 shared between a maximum of six people). You will also see the Albert Schweitzer Hospital and pass under a bridge where thousands of bats hang out.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Lastoursville Caves

    Occupying a 90-sq-km site, there are around 35 caves located in dense primary rainforest close to the town of Lastoursville. They were formed some 50 million years ago, and human activity has been shown to date back some 7000 years when the caves were used in rituals. They are on the Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Status. Guides can be found in Lastoursville: ask at the Hotel Ngoombi. Be sure to wear suitable boots and take a waterproof torch.

  • Sights in Ivindo National Park

    Langoué Baï

    Baï is the Pygmy word for a marshy clearing in the forest. Langoué Baï lies in the south of the Ivindo National Park and is about 1km x 300m. The earth here contains minerals that attract animals and you'll find the highest concentration of gorillas in Gabon, along with other apes and elephants. It lies 15km south of the Kongou Falls and is accessible by forest footpaths.

  • Sights in Lambaréné

    Schweitzer Hospital Museum

    Housed in the former hospital building, the museum's guided tour will allow you to view photos, paintings and the impeccably arranged house and artefacts of Schweitzer and his wife. There's also a small zoo, the animals of which include descendants of Schweitzer's beloved pelican Parzival. You're also able to see the graves of Schweitzer, his wife and colleagues.

  • Sights in Ivindo National Park

    Kongou Falls

    Gabon's answer to Niagara are the gushing falls at Kongou. Access is via pirogue for three to five hours through spectacular rainforest from the village of Loa Loa (17km south of Makokou). Grey parrots, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and red river hogs live in the forest.

  • Sights in Ivindo National Park

    Mingouli Falls

    A spectacular series of waterfalls on the Ogooué River, the Mingouli Falls are in the northwest of the park. Access is by pirogue from the village of Loa Loa, 17km from Makokou. The Mingouli Falls are a further four or five hours by pirogue from the Kongou Falls.

  • Sights in Lopé National Park

    Ecomuseum

    This simple ecomuseum contains artworks, archeological artifacts, cultural information on the people who live here, and more than 150 species of plants.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Waka National Park

    Waka contains ancient savannah dating back 40,000 years and forests known as a Pleistocene refuge, meaning it is of great importance as habitat for flora and fauna. The park lies on the Chaillu Massif in central Gabon, 450km from Libreville. With no infrastructure for visitors, getting here is a difficult proposition. However, there is a road to the village of Oghoubi where you can access the park. Permits are available from the ANPN office in Fougamou, the nearest town.

  • Sights in Gabon

    Mwagna National Park

    The rich mineral soil of the baï attracts elephants, apes, giant forest hogs and various antelopes. You'll also find the Gabon viper, fascinating spiders, stinging ferns and rare birds, but whether you'll see the dinosaur-like mokélé-mbembé of Pygmy myth is debatable. Bordering the Republic of Congo, Mwagna is in northeastern Gabon. It's pretty inaccessible and has very few human inhabitants, but there's a road from Makokou to Mékambo and on to Malouma, from where you have to walk 14km.