Perhaps the easiest place to get into the wild expanses of Gabon if you're only in the country for a few days, Pongara National Park combines forest, savannah and a sweeping expanse of empty beach that backs onto Pointe Denis.
Hippos and crocodiles inhabit the lagoons and beaches, while the mangroves hide a multitude of fish, crabs and frogs. Hundreds of leatherback turtles trundle up the beach to lay their eggs between November and March – this is one of the best places in the world to see them. Out at sea, dolphins and humpback whales visit in the dry season (July to October). In the savannah there are elephants, forest buffaloes, red river hogs and collared mangabeys.