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

Region

north of Libreville, Estuaire Province

Size

540 sq km

Main Attractions

Ramsar Wetland of International Importance; birds; mangroves

Accessibility

easy

Region

southeast of Franceville, Haut Ogooué Province

Size

2050 sq km

Main Attractions

savannah, canyons; elephants, buffaloes, gorillas, rare birds, butterflies, arachnids

Accessibility

moderate

Region

southern Gabon bordering Congo

Size

690 sq km

Main Attractions

cloud forest, ancient savannahs; flora; rare sun-tailed monkey; caves

Accessibility

no infrastructure, but possible

Region

northeastern Gabon

Size

3000 sq km

Main Attractions

Western lowland gorillas; elephants; waterfalls

Accessibility

moderate with advance planning

Region

southwestern coast

Size

1500 sq km

Main Attractions

forest, savannah; western lowland gorillas, elephants; game fishing

Accessibility

moderate

Region

central Gabon, Ogooué Ivindo Province

Size

4970 sq km

Main Attractions

UNESCO World Heritage Site; rainforest, savannah; elephants, buffaloes, cave art

Accessibility

easy

Region

marine park, southwestern Gabon

Size

80 sq km

Main Attractions

humpback whales, turtles

Accessibility

moderate

Region

northern Gabon, Woleu-Ntem & Ogooué Ivindo Provinces

Size

7560 sq km

Main Attractions

inselbergs; elephants, rare antelopes, apes; huge trees, orchids, ferns, insects

Accessibility

very difficult, no infrastructure

Region

east of Libreville, Estuaire Province

Size

1200 sq km

Main Attractions

high rainforest; orchids, rare plants, butterflies, apes, elephants

Accessibility

southern section moderate; northern section very difficult, no infrastructure

Region

southeastern Gabon, Nyanga Province

Size

4500 sq km

Main Attractions

rainforest, savannah and coast; birds, apes, elephants, antelopes

Accessibility

moderate

Region

northeastern Gabon, Ogooué Ivindo Province

Size

1160 sq km

Main Attractions

largest baï (forest clearing) in Gabon; elephants, apes, antelopes; snakes, arachnids

Accessibility

very difficult, no infrastructure

Region

south of Libreville, Estuaire Province

Size

870 sq km

Main Attractions

estuary and coast; hippos, buffalo, crocodiles, turtles, birds

Accessibility

easy

Region

central Gabon, Ngounié Province

Size

1070 sq km

Main Attractions

high savannah and forest; rare flora and the only endemic palm forests; elephants, apes

Accessibility

difficult, no infrastructure

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