Dubbed ‘The Last Eden’, Loango National Park in Gabon is a tantalising glimpse of how the world once was. It contains some of the most pristine virgin forest remaining on the African continent and is home to gorillas forest elephants water buffalos and hundreds of other species of birds, reptiles, and mammals.
The park is famous for its ‘surfing hippos’, captured on film by National Geographic photographer Michael Nichols. Indeed, watching unlikely beachcombers emerge from the forest as the sun sets is the undoubted highlight of any visit.
The Park is situated between the Nkomi and Ndogo Lagoons and covers an area of 1550 km². The vegetation is mainly savannah, pristine beach, forest and mangroves. A unique feature of the area is the opportunity to see the wildlife not only in the forests but by venturing onto the 60 miles (100kms) of uninhabited white beaches.
Historically, visiting the park was an expensive exercise, but the emergence of local eco-tourism community projects means that a visit is now more affordable.