The Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, in conjunction with the National Parks Board, offers an enthralling opportunity to observe a group of western lowland gorillas in the wild. Organised through Loango Lodge, you'll be taken by boat (45 minutes) to the sanctuary in the national park forest. Pygmy trackers, who are particularly adept at finding the gorillas, and a guide lead small groups, and the observation lasts about 1½ hours. The gorillas have become habituated to seeing humans. However, the researchers at the institute are working on finding another group of gorillas so that if the first moves on or members disperse, they will have another group to research and show to visitors.
The savannah and forests of Loango contain elephants, buffaloes, gorillas, chimpanzees, sitatungas and other antelopes, and a dazzling array of birds. Both lodges, Gavilo and Loango, have 4WD vehicles to take you on safari.
The northern section of the park is best visited during the rainy season (September to June) when the animals congregate here for the water and food. Elephants can be found on the beaches between January and April.
In the dry season (June to September) the grass and water holes dry up, and the animals migrate to the southern regions of the park accessed from Setté Cama.