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Loango National Park reviews

2 reviews

“Weather in Loango was perfect in July: no rain, temp in 60s/70s F.” - MaryM

Hornbill heaven

Views: 1198 Visited: Jul 2014 Reviewed: Nov 21, 2014

Overall our stay in Loango National Park was a very good trip, thanks to the birds and other wildlife, mild weather (July is the best month) and very pleasant ambiance and good French cuisine at the Lodge. Bob, the owner, had renovated Loango Lodge very nicely and we were quite comfortable there (although it would be good if they would put more screens on the bungalow windows so guests can sleep with fresh air and night sounds without fighting mosquitoes).  

The guides at Loango Lodge were excellent. Only Maurice knows the names of the birds in English, but the others are working on it, and it was fun for us to learn the French names of the more common birds. The lodge has a copy of Birds of Gabon on order, but it hadn't arrived yet.  

Unfortunately the hotel staff, with the exception of the chef de cuisine, left a lot to be desired. Our towels and bed linens were not changed for 5 days, and we had to ask for toilet paper and soap (no shampoo was provided) and to get the hot water turned on for showers.  One day we arrived back from an excursion at 4:30 in the afternoon and our room had not been straightened up at all, even though we had left the key at the Lodge. Also, the serving staff did not show up for early breakfast a couple of times, and in general those ladies did not have a hospitable attitude. Bob went off to Port Gentil for a few days, and we concluded that Mathieu, the very nice manager, had not yet learned how to manage all the staff, although he was good with the chef and guides. 

Far and away the best wildlife viewing in Loango is on the Ngove River en route to Akaka camp. We spent one overnight there and later went back on a day trip. The bird life was abundant and varied, and we saw sitatunga, forest buffalo, and many forest elephants quite close from the boat.  Akaka Camp itself is getting a bit dilapidated but it was fine for an overnight.
We also saw good birds, fruit bats, and hippos on the Iguela Lagune near the lodge. The savannah across the lagoon from the Lodge was a bit sparse, but we did see forest elephant, buffalo and Red River hogs there; late afternoon was best.  We had several sightings of mustached monkeys close to the lodge and saw red-capped mangebeys along the Ngove River. Also a good number of false gharials and a couple of Nile crocs on the Ngove.

Be prepared for a long transfer from Libreville to Loango Lodge: a flight on a plane primarily servicing the oil drilling industry from Libreville to Port Gentil, followed by a 4-hour trip in an open boat (bring a warm jacket) through the inland waterways to a landing, and about 1-1/2 hours by 4WD vehicle to the lodge. All part of the adventure, however.

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