Loango National Park is on the Atlantic coast of Gabon, in Central Africa. It protects wilderness areas of beach, forest, savanna, and wetlands around the Iguela Lagoon. Mammals in the park include forest elephants, lowland gorillas, buffalo, leopards and hippos. Large pods of humpback whales, orcas and dolphins swim offshore. Rare bird species include the Loango weaver and African river martin.
Loango National Park is Famous for its beachcomber forest elephants and surfing hippos that roam its wild coastline, the national park is also brimming with other resplendent guises; mangrove forests, mirrored waterways, speckled tidal lagoons and a vast track of savannah — epic locations that are always picture-ready for thrilling wildlife viewing. Vast herds of forest elephant, forest buffalo, monkeys, chimpanzee, red river hogs, hippo, sitatunga, duiker, crocodile and hundreds of bird species that sweep across the landscape. On a gorilla trek, you will also have a breaktaking introduction to a troop of habituated western lowland gorillas that thrive in what is considered one of the world’s most intact primate habitats.
What is the best time to visit Loango National Park
Loango National Park has distinct dry [December to January and May to September] and rainy seasons [February to April and October to December]. Yet each season in unveils its particular brand of magic with plenty of opportunities to come face-to-face with wildlife.
November to March: The arrival of nesting turtles and hatchlings. November to April: Elephants and hippos venture on the beaches; July to September: Migratory whales arrive during the breeding season; November to April: Best time for sports fishing; March to May: To view the Atananga gorillas; September to June: Best time to view the wildlife in the northern end of the park during the rainy season: June to September: During the dry season, wildlife migrate to the southern region of the park.
The arrival of migratory whales and dolphins hits its stride from mid-July to mid-September. You can enjoy a day on a chartered boat viewing playful bottlenose dolphins or humpback whales from any vantage point — especially when they breach at great heights or as they encircle or swim beneath your boat.
If you arrive between October and February, you can head out at night and view the largest population of leatherback sea turtles nest on Loango’s beach. Also joining them on the move during the migratory season are hundreds of olive ridley and hawksbill sea turtles. The nightly tours are conducted by eco-guides who safeguard the turtles and their hatchlings throughout this epic cycle.
Things to do in Loango National Park
A ribbon of waterway intersects Loango National Park; an expansive lagoon dotted with pocket islets with each begging to be explored. From any rippled space along the water you will view an abundance of animated wildlife on the banks; several different species of monkeys and many rare bird species — rosy bee-eaters, quail finch, Loango weaver and Congo River martins. As you pass Iguela lagoon, you will also hear of great sports fishing tales including the park’s catch-and-release program and record catches of barracuda and tarpon. Even the occasional shark.
But for many guests, the long-standing tradition is to view wading hippopotamus, forest elephant, forest buffalo and if you’re game, three different species of crocodile.
Take part in Conservation activities
At the forefront of our park activities are a series of conservation programs, which we tailor for guests. Leading the Loango Gorilla Project is The Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, which we partner in association with Agence Nationale Des Parcs Nationaux Du Gabon [ANPN]. Our eco-tourism safari includes an educational presentation at the research centre and visiting the Atananga troop — a family of protected western lowland gorillas and the first to be habituated in Loango.
To safeguard them from minimal disturbance, visitation is restricted to four times a week and you will be required to be in good health and wear a mask. No more than four guests can visit the troop at any given time.
Very few places offer spectacular and exclusive sports fishing experiences with a variety of catch that could fill an entire ocean. Just 10-minutes from Loango Camps is the point where the estuary empties into the ocean — a prime fishing spot that contains some of the largest game fish in the world including gargantuan-sized barracuda and cubera. But to catch the fish, you must be ready to cast off before dawn.
Loango Camps guests also have exclusive access to the park’s smaller lagoons and superb fly-fishing. Our catch-and-release packages include accommodation, fly and tackle gear, fishing guide, fishing permit and extended overnight and multiple-day safaris at any of our other satellite camps on Loango’s safari circuit.
Spend days trekking a diverse landscape of intersecting savannah, rainforest and dense mangrove swamps where you will spot forest elephant, chimpanzee, forest buffalo, red river hogs, assorted monkeys, birds and sitatunga.
Gorilla trekking in Loango National Park
Another safari highlight during your visit to Loango National Park is a gorilla trek, where you will see a troop of habituated gorillas in their natural forest habitat just as nature intended. You will be trekking through dense jungle and travelling by boat or pirogue through the wetlands. Often requires long hikes. Guests over the age of 65 are required to produce a current medical certificate confirming their physical well-being.
Where to stay during your visit to Loango National Park
Akaka Forest Camp
Akaka Forest Camp is nestled deep in the jungle at the crossing of the Ngowe and Echira rivers and is just 60 kilometres by boat from Loango Camps.
Located in the northern end of Loango National Park on Iguela Lagoon, Loango Camps‘ exclusive setting offers the perfect location to begin an in-park safari or sports-fishing holiday.
Louri Wilderness Camp
Louri Wilderness Camp is an intimate but low-impact safari-style tented camp that nestles in the forest on the banks of Louri Lagoon. Separated by a narrow strip of beach that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, the camp was the first to be constructed by using the exclusive skills of nearby villagers.
How to get to Loango National Park
After an overnight stay in Libreville, you will be met at your driver and taken to the airport for your short, 30-minute flight to Port-Gentil. Upon arrival, another driver meets you for the three-hour drive to Loango National Park in a luxury, air-conditioned 4 x 4 wheel drive.
You atleast need to spend one night upon arrival in Libreville then after you will drive the next day to Loango National Park.
Why book your Safari to Gabon Loango National Park with Eco Adventure Safaris
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