Lopé National Park
Located in the center of Gabon, it is the first protected area in Gabon when the Lopé-Okanda Wildlife Reserve was created in 1946.
Terrain is mostly rain forest, in the north the park contains the last remnants of grass savannas of the ice age, 15,000 years ago. These savannas constitute a rare 'island' habitat in the rain forests and represent a unique record of biological evolution during that time.
Trackers and guides are available for walks in the forest which are limited to groups of three people (max). Two groups can go into the forest at the same time.
Transportation: by train from Libreville, by 4x4 vehicle in the park, by motorised dugout canoe along the Offoué river, and on foot for wildlife viewing
Accommodation / catering
La Lopé Hotel
15 air conditioned and comfortable bungalows. A restaurant serves European food.
Lodge Mikongo 90min drive from Lope and 12km inland from the main road by forest track
Forest lodge of 6 wooden bungalows. Air conditioning is not necessary on the forest where temperatures are much cooler. European food is served.
Situated at the junction of offuee and Ololo rivers, is 2hours drive from Minkongo and 4km from the main road by access road
Breakfast and dinner at the hotel or in the camp, picnic lunch.
Security and level of fitness required
Walking in the forest is not especially arduous but clients should nevertheless be in reasonably fit and enjoy walking. Conditions are sometimes very humid which some people may find uncomfortable.
Offoué river trips are for a maximum of 6 people at a time.
All participants must know how to swim.
Warning : to protect the gorillas from the possibility of catching human diseases, clients suffering from an infectious illness will not be permitted to visit the gorillas. No refunds will be given. Visitors must be vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus, polio and measles.
Walking in the forest can be dangerous if simple rules of common sense and security are not observed. Follow the instructions of the guides at all times when hiking in the forest.
It is strongly recommended to obtain insurance for medical evacuation.
January, February : short dry season, good for tourism : few rain showers, comfortable temperatures. Low water on rivers for boat trips.
March, April : short rainy season. Many rain showers, very hot. Good light for photography.
June, July, August : long dry season. Little rain, very comfortable temperatures (22/25 °C) but not much sun, overcast skies and less good light for photography. Low water in the rivers slowing down speed of dugout canoes..
September, October, December : long rainy season. Very wet, high water level in rivers, and very hot. Plenty of fruits in the forest which makes animal observations easier.
Vaccination against yellow fever is compulsory
Anti-malarial treatment is essential.
Check that your vaccinations against polio, tetanus and B.C.G are valid.
Vaccinations against Meningitis (A+C), Hepatitis (A+B) and Typhoid are recommended.
Formalities, language and currency
Valid passport (at least 6 months) and visa (currently £50)..
The official language is French. Most common local language spoken is « fang »
Local currency is the CFA franc : 1 Euro = 656 F CFA. Credit cards are little used. It is recommended that visitors bring Euros which are readily accepted in hotels and restaurants.
Flights and local time
Same time as UK in summer; 1 hour ahead in winter.
From Europe Gabon's capital Libreville is served by : Air Gabon, Air France, and Royal Air Maroc.
Day 1: Arival Libreville
Day 2: Libreville - Lope
Day 3 & 4: Game walk in the Park
Day 5: Lope
Day 6: Lope - Libreville
Price: As from 480'000frs CFA