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Mayumba National Park

Mayumba, Gabon

Mayumba National Park is a national park in southwestern Gabon. It is a thin tongue of beach, dunes, savanna, and rainforest in the extreme south of the country, between Mayumba and the Congo border. This marine park is the domain of barnacled whales and shy sea turtles, and the land, if you listen to the locals, is hushed by the spirits of ancestors. It is contiguous with the Conkouait-Douli National Park in the Republic of Congo.

Mayumba National Park shelters 60 km of the most important leatherback turtle nesting beaches on Earth and is home to unique coastal vegetation and a variety of terrestrial animals, including forest elephants, buffaloes, leopards, gorillas, chimpanzees, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, and several species of monkeys. It also stretches for 15 km out to sea, protecting important marine habitats for dolphins, sharks, and migrating humpback whales. It is Gabon's only primarily marine park.

Extending 15km out to sea, it's home to dolphins and manta rays, too. Permits are available from the Conservation Office in the park.

There are flights nearly every day from Libreville to Gamba. A bush taxi goes directly from Gamba to Mayumba on Saturdays, otherwise, there are daily bush taxis from Gamba to Tchibanga, where, after a hand-cable ferry crossing at Bomé-Bomé, and a 10 minute trip down the Nyanga River on a second ferry, you can alight at the village of Loubomo and catch another truck going south to Mayumba for the last hour of the drive (5 hours total). Alternatively, continue on to Tchibanga and come down the following day.

During June, July, and August, any rain at all is extremely rare while from October to February, occasional downpours can be pretty much guaranteed. The weather changes during the annual dry season, which stretches from mid-May to mid-September. So, if you love marine life then this park is for you!

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