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.

Permits are available from the ANPN office in Makokou.

The park forms part of a TRIDOM area administered by WWF.

There are two ways to access Minkébé, which is 700km from Libreville: fly from Libreville to Oyem, take the road from Oyem to Minvoul (106km) and then a boat from Minvoul to the village of Doumassi; or fly (or drive) from Libreville to Makokou, then walk 11km to the site of Grand Bois (you'll need a guide here). As you need to get your permit from Makokou, this route makes the most sense.