Gabon in detail

Sights

National Parks

Gabon has magnificent national parks encompassing coastline, rainforests, rivers and savannah. Animals including western lowland gorillas, forest elephants and chimpanzees, as well as richly diverse birds, insects and plants are there to be discovered in this little-visited land. However, some of the parks are challenging to reach unless you are involved in conservation research. Some have no infrastructure for visitors yet. The Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux has an excellent website (in French).

Permits cost CFA5000 per person per day and are available from the Parks Board office in the town closest to the park. In theory, eco-guards and guides will be allocated to you on site. If you book a tour with a travel agent or stay at a hotel in a park, the cost of your permit is likely to be included in the rate.

Independent travel in Gabon can be a challenge: waiting can be involved, flights are infrequent and roads terrible (especially in the rainy season), so start planning early for trips to the national parks. You will probably be able to make best use of your time if you book tours through travel agencies in Libreville.

Table of National Parks

National ParkRegionSizeMain AttractionsAccessibility
Akandanorth of Libreville, Estuaire Province540 sq kmRamsar Wetland of International Importance; birds; mangroveseasy
Batéké Plateauxsoutheast of Franceville, Haut Ogooué Province2050 sq kmsavannah, canyons; elephants, buffaloes, gorillas, rare birds, butterflies, arachnidsmoderate
Birougousouthern Gabon bordering Congo690 sq kmcloud forest, ancient savannahs; flora; rare sun-tailed monkey; cavesno infrastructure, but possible
Ivindonortheastern Gabon3000 sq kmWestern lowland gorillas; elephants; waterfallsmoderate with advance planning
Loangosouthwestern coast1500 sq kmforest, savannah; western lowland gorillas, elephants; game fishingmoderate
Lopécentral Gabon, Ogooué Ivindo Province4970 sq kmUNESCO World Heritage Site; rainforest, savannah; elephants, buffaloes, cave arteasy
Mayumbamarine park, southwestern Gabon80 sq kmhumpback whales, turtlesmoderate
Minkébénorthern Gabon, Woleu-Ntem & Ogooué Ivindo Provinces7560 sq kminselbergs; elephants, rare antelopes, apes; huge trees, orchids, ferns, insectsvery difficult, no infrastructure
Monts de Cristaleast of Libreville, Estuaire Province1200 sq kmhigh rainforest; orchids, rare plants, butterflies, apes, elephantssouthern section moderate; northern section very difficult, no infrastructure
Moukalaba-Doudousoutheastern Gabon, Nyanga Province4500 sq kmrainforest, savannah and coast; birds, apes, elephants, antelopesmoderate
Mwagnanortheastern Gabon, Ogooué Ivindo Province1160 sq kmlargest baï (forest clearing) in Gabon; elephants, apes, antelopes; snakes, arachnidsvery difficult, no infrastructure
Pongarasouth of Libreville, Estuaire Province870 sq kmestuary and coast; hippos, buffalo, crocodiles, turtles, birdseasy
Wakacentral Gabon, Ngounié Province1070 sq kmhigh savannah and forest; rare flora and the only endemic palm forests; elephants, apesdifficult, no infrastructure

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