Expedition Gabon: a wildlife odyssey

Join a wildlife expedition into the vast expanse of Gabon's southern forests and beaches...

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12 days for £4,950 pp sharing

Other tour dates available on request

  • Includes all transport and domestic flights
  • English speaking expedition guide throughout
  • Deposit £1,200.00 pp.
  • Single supplement on request
  • Maximum group size of 6
  • Excludes international flights

Download our 2013/14 Tours Guide for information on booking your flights and FAQs about our tours

Our friends at Sette Cama Lodge

Gabon is an Eden of Africa. A remote country of great rainforests, coastal lagoons, and seemingly endless beaches, it is a haven for iconic African wildlife, including forest elephants, chimpanzees, and gorillas. With 13 National Parks, covering 12% of the country, this little-visited country is perfect for experienced African travellers and those in search of an authentic wilderness experience.

Our 12 day wildlife expedition is a journey to some of the least visited areas of Gabon, including the unexplored wildlife habitats of the south. Starting our journey in the coastal lagoons and forests of Loango, where elephants roam the beach and hippos play in the surf, we move inland to the forests and grasslands of Moukalaba Doudou National Park. Moukalaba Doudou National Park is known for the diversity of its landscape — from moist mountain forest to papyrus swamp and rainforest, from the watershed rivers of Lagune Ndogo and the Moukalaba and Nyanga rivers, to grassy savannahs – these areas represent an area of central Africa where few foreigners have visited.

Moukalaba is thought to have one of Gabon’s highest primate densities. Once-cut forests are now abundant with succulent Marantaceae plants, a major food source for lowland gorillas as well as elephants and other species, such as chimpanzee. This is also a remarkable area for birders. Many avian species that can’t be seen elsewhere in Gabon appear at Moukalaba, including Vermiculated Fishing Owl, Black-backed Barbet, Black-headed Batis, Fiery-breasted Bushshrike, Brown Twinspot, and rare swallows.

This tour is a pioneering expedition for those travellers wanting an authentic rainforest experience and adventure in the heart of Africa. Unlike the well trodden tourist paths across the rest of the continent, it represents a rare opportunity to experience a wilderness untamed by the modern world.

  • Search for forest elephants amongst the lagoons, forests and shorelines of Loango National park. Gabon has one of the largest populations of Forest Elephant in Central Africa.
  • Be one of the first adventurous visitors to the southern forests of Gabon and live amongst the wildlife in a rainforest camp.
  • Search for several species of monkey in the forests of Loango National Park, including Black Colobus and Red-capped Mangabey.
  • Observe some of Africa’s and the world’s most spectacular birds including African Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Hamerkop, Grey Parrot, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Great Blue Turaco. Other impressive birds to be found include Long-tailed Hawk, Vermiculated Fishing Owl, Black-headed and Rosy Bee-eater, and African River Martin.
  • Travel deep into the heart of the south of Gabon and to the forests of Moukalaba Doudou. This area is remote and contains populations of forest elephant, lowland gorillas, chimpanzee, hippopotamus, kob, sitatunga, and several species of other primates.
  • Explore Gabon’s coastal lagoons, with hippos, manatees, crocodiles, and tarpon all found within the protected waterways.
  • Look for turtles along the deserted beaches in Loango (December is the best time for this)

Day 1 – Arrival in Libreville. You will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 – After a tour briefing and breakfast, you will take a domestic flight to Tchibanga. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 3, 4, and 5 – Transfer to Mbani wilderness camp, inside Moukalaba Doudou National Park. This journey can take between 5 and 7 hours by car, pirogue (dug out canoe) and on foot. Mbani offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rainforest – the camp is basic, with dome tents and all meals cooked on a fire in the forest. The wildlife is all around you and we will spend these three days exploring the area with your expert guide, searching for the various large and small mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds that make up this diverse ecosystem.

Day 6 – Today you transfer back to Tchibanga, retracing the jounrey you took on day 3.

Day 7 – After breakfast at the Tchibanga hotel, you will be transfered to Gamba by bush taxi – a journey of approximately 5 hours. We may arrange a private 4×4 transfer if the conditions allow. Once you arrive at Gamba harbour, you will meet the Sette Cama Safaris team and head to the Sette Cama Lodge on the southern part of Loango National Park.

Day 8, 9, and 10 – You will spend these three days exploring the diverse landscapes of Loango National Park. This is one of the iconic parks of central Africa and there are a variety of wildlife and cultural experiences to enjoy, including; searching for forest elephants, gorillas, and hippos on the beach in the early morning and at sunset, looking for turtles along the beach, exploring the forests and savannahs of Akaka, where elephants, buffalo, and gorillas can be observed, and taking a boat ride through the waterways and coastal lagoons that stretch through the forests. You may also visit the St Benoit Catholic mission or take a half day excursion to the traditional village at Mabotso-Sounga.

Days 11 – After a leisurely breakfast at Sette Cama Lodge, you will be transferred back to Gamba. Overnight in Tchibanga.

Day 12 – Today you will transfer from Tchibanga to Libreville. Upon arrival, you will be transferred back to hotel for a nights rest before the journey home on the following day. 

  • Forest elephant
  • Western lowland gorilla
  • Leopard
  • Chimpanzee
  • Sitatunga
  • Waterbuck
  • Impala
  • Grey duiker
  • Hippopotamus
  • Forest buffalo
  • Red-capped mangabey
  • Red-river hog
  • Slender-snouted Crocodile
  • Manatee
  • Leatherback turtle
  • Humpback whale
  • African darter
  • Red-throated cliff swallow
  • Vermiculated fishing owl
  • Black-backed barbet
  • Black-headed batis
  • Fiery-breasted bushrike
  • Black-winged red bishop

Many of the photos you see on this site were taken by amateur photographers on our tours.

Please contact us at the office for reviews of this tour.

Encounter the wild are privileged to work with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Gabon.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Gabon is an internationally renowned conservation NGO that has a clear mission to save wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. WCS has been in active in Gabon since the 1980’s, and started by supporting pioneering studies of forest ecology. Please read our tour brochure for more information on how your participation supports their essential work.