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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Gorillas in Gabon ?

Hi,

we will travel north from Luanda soon.

Does anyone know good places to see gorillas?

In Gabon? Cameroon? Congo?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Not sure about Cameroon, but it should be possible in both Congo Brazzaville and/or Gabon. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is very difficult to arrange.

We came from the opposite direction than you and went to Lopé national park in Gabon. Seeing gorillas wasn't a big thing for me and I quickly gave up trying to see them when I heard the cost of the tours you have take. You aren't allowed into the area without a guide and a permit. These tours are operated from travelagencies in Libreville. And are usually booked for months in advance. It is a habituation project, so they don't just let hundreds of people go visit the area. It is not possible to just turn up in Lopé and arrange a tour from there to see gorillas (believe me, we tried for 4-5 days to arrange it.And in the end it fell through because of overbooking). You can however arrange for a tour to see mandril. Other local guides will take you out to see forrest elephant and buffalo at a reasonable price. There are two places to stay inside Lopé national park. The very expensive lodge and the not so expensive motel. The motel doesn't have a restaurant, but the owner can send out in the village for food. Ask the manager (can't remember her name) about a guide.

S 00 06.438 E 011 36.637 is the location of the cheaper motel inside Lopé national park.

We were told by two girls from a wildlife society (I forget which one) that it was possible to see gorillas at a project just outside Brazzaville in Congo. These were however not "wild" gorillas in their natural habitat like in Gabon. In my case, even the last option was not possible due to the safety situation on the road to Brazzaville at the time. I hope it has improved.

I know this wasn't the answer you were looking for. But what I am trying to say is that you should try to arrange a gorilla tour in advance and not just turn up and hope things work out. Libreville seems to be the place to arrange these things with a tour operator. If you are unable to spend a lot of time on the phone and send faxes back and forth, the Brazzville project seems to be your safest bet.

I hope I at least gave you a direction in which to search for a solution.
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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In Cameroon the Campo Ma'an national park has chimps, gorillas and pygmies. At Limbe there is a Primate Rescue Centre with a couple of dozen Lowland Gorillas as well as many other varieties of primates.
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  #4  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Many thanks for both your answers.

Reserve de Lopé looks like a relatively quick side-step from the main road.

How about the other one? Is it possible to enter the Reserve de Camp Ma'an from the Equatorial Guinea side? Would be a nice short-cut ... just driving north from Libreville through Bata.
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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I can certainly recommend Lopé national park as a side step. Absolutely beautifull area. Even if you don't get to see gorilas. Oh, and I understand from another thread that you somehow miss the "bad" roads. All I can say is...have fun in Lopé. Especially if there has been rain recently.
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  #6  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Thank you McThor !

From your Cameroon expertise: is it a good trip to enter CAR via Yokadouma and Nola and then to continue to Bangui?

The Michelin map doesn't even show this road.
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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I came from Nigeria (crossed at Ekok) and went straight through to Gabon. So I don't know about routes to CAR. Sorry.

By the way; crossing at Ekok can only be done if the road is relatively dry. If there has been recent rainfall, you simply cannot cross here. Some of the holes we drove through are man deep. Fun driving when it's dry, but when there has been rain, you will need a boat more than a bike. No kidding.

Edit: Congo is going to be tough enough as it is. You've got some pretty interesting roads ahead of you. And that's just the main route.
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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Many thanks.

We'll do a sidestep to CAR via Nola/Bayanga (Gorillas!) to Bangui (saw this route described by slep_africa on Routen, Schlafplätze, Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten, Botschaften, Länderinformationen von Reisenden für Reisende), then up north to Ndjamena and straight west into Niger.

If Ndjamena doesn't work, we'll have to go through Northern Nigeria, a country I wanted to avoid, if possible.
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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Hey Travelbug,

have a look at this thread for some further advices.

Cheers Peter
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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Peter,

I studied your 2 Transafrica trips.

Impressive! Very good information.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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Unfortunately most of the people do not realize that this is an open platform where everybody might post fast and easy (and if it'is just one little thing) some information . But I keep on working on it.

Cheers Peter
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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Hi Peter,

I just wrote my first posting on your site traveller-tracks.com.

Angola: Ruacana Falls - Cahama. Didn't have GPS positions, though.

Regards,
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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Wow, thanks,

doesn't matter the next one can add it.

cheers Peter
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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My pleasure.

Got your message.

Will try a new route posting.

Cheers,
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  #15  
Old 27 Apr 2008
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Hello,
About 3 months ago we came up through Angola, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, CAR, back to Cameroon, Nigeria......etc.
Seeing Gorillas in the wild is very very difficult except in Bayanga CAR, where you are literally guaranteed to see them. We had an absolute amazing experience. A gorilla trek costs about $150 per person so far cheaper than in Uganda and the beauty is they only let groups of two go so you have the experience all to yourself. There is also a great German guy who works there named Phillip. Also there is a great elephant viewing, on the salt pan we counted 120 elephants at one time.
The route we took was Yaounde, Abong Mbang, Lomie, Yokaduma, Nola , Bayanga. The route for the most part is really good, except for the washboard from the logging trucks. You do have to take two ferries that cost about $10 piece before you reach Nola.
Be warned though CAR is not for week of heart, we found it to be the most difficult country of the 26 we have visited in Africa. For the most part the people can be friendly but the police checkpoints are the worst in Africa. I would recommend the route we took because there are few checkpoints and if you had farther north in the country there are far more checkpoints.
Cheers,
Josh
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