Exploring Tourism in Gabon
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Ivindo National Park

Makokou, Gabon

Perhaps the most remote of all the national parks, Ivindo is also one of the most important in all of Central Africa for the work being done for biodiversity conservation. The river is the main feature of the area, running through the rainforest and creating an unbelievable series of rapids and waterfalls. Ivindo national park listed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park covers nearly 300,000 hectares crossed by a network of picturesque black water rivers. It includes rapids and waterfalls bordered by intact rainforests, making it a landscape of great aesthetic value, according to UNESCO. Physical features of the park include the Ivindo River, the park is the main tributary to the Ogooué, and Mount Kingué (749 m). Most famous for the spectacular Kongou and Mingouli waterfalls of the Ivindo River, known as the “wonders of Ivindo”, the park also includes the Ipassa Makokou Biosphere Reserve and Langoué Baï, one of the 5 most important forest clearings in Central Africa.

The park covers 300,000 ha, almost all of which is forested with a mixture of Atlantic coastal forest of Lower Guinea, and semi-deciduous forest typical of central Congo Basin. Wildlife includes western lowland gorilla, common chimpanzee, African forest buffalo, red river hog, sitatunga, as well as one of the last relativity intact populations of forest elephants. Notable bird species include grey-necked rockfowl, while more than 430 bird species have been recorded within the park.

While the site is almost untouched, a UNESCO World Heritage designation ensures more legal protection as well as funding for its conservation, aside from increased popularity among visitors. There are adventure packages that will allow you to camp in the rainforest and around the falls as well as enjoy a pirogue lesson and day excursion on the river. Bird lovers will enjoy the 430+ bird species that include African grey parrots.

Don’t forget to check out Langoué Bai. Bai is the Pygmy word for forest clearing, and this gorgeous stretch of land is rich in mineral water.

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