HAKING IN THE JUNGLE OF IVINDO IS ONLY FOR THE REAL HIKERS
Ogooué-Ivindo is the sixth province of Gabon in alphabetical order. It is indicated by the initials G6. Its chief town is Makokou and the secondary towns are Booué, Mékambo and Ovan. It is located in the north-east of Gabon and borders Congo-Brazzaville. Its surface area is the largest in the country with over 46075 km²
Thi province also house the Ivindo national Park which in east-central Gabon straddling the border of the Ogooué-Ivindo (Makokou) and Ogooué-Lolo provences.
This park was officially created in August 2002 and is 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 Institut de Recherche en Écologie Tropicale (IRET), a tropical research institute under the authority of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique et technologique (CENAREST), is found in the north of the park, 12 km from the closest city, Makokou, while Langoué Research Station, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is found in the south a few kilometers from Langoué Baï.
The park include the Ivindo River, the park is the main tributary to the Ogooué.
and Mount Kingué (749 m) and Mount Ngouadi (870 m).
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.
We organise an 8 day real adventure in this part of the country.
DAY 1: Towards Ivindo National Park - Departure by train to Booué. From Booué, a vehicle will pick you up at the station to take you to Makokou for a journey of about 5 hours through the jungle.
If you have to make this night ride - keep your eyes open! - Night is the ideal time to increase your chances of seeing a panther.Depending on your arrival time, you will have breakfast in Makokou.
And afterwards you will be transferred to the Loaloa landing stage where a dugout canoe will take you to the Kongou Falls where the Kongou Forest Camp is located. Along the way, you will be able to take a picnic on one of the many sandbanks visible in the dry season or on the small islets scattered over the river.
Kongou's camp is rustic and minimalist. It is composed of 5 platforms: two serve as dormitories (two single beds per room), one is reserved for the staff, and one serves as refectory, another one of terrace and the last one of bathroom. There is no electricity or hot water in this camp and there is no need for hot shower, the temperature is around 25 degrees all year around.
After lunch, you will leave for the canyon excursion which consists of a one-hour walk to the canyon. The tour lasts all afternoon before reaching the camp after another hour of walking. In the evening, you will enjoy a typical African dinner.
DAY 2: THE KONGOU FALLS - On this day you will enjoy the excursion called "Bouilla N'a Ngonde" (sun and moon).
After a morning breakfast, the guides will invite you to follow them to visit the most imposing falls in Central Africa.
This hike consists of a one and a half hour walk to the canoe below the hill. Downstream of the river, you will dock on an island. From there, you will walk again an hour to reach the top of the falls. After a short time, your guides will invite you to follow them in a course of the combatant which consists to reach the bottom of the falls where you will picnic. On the way back you can admire a colony of social spiders. You will spend the night in Makokou
DAY 3 TRANSFER TO THE BAI OF MOMBA - The Momba Salt is a forest quarry that acts as a natural zoo where various animal species such as forest elephants, gorillas, buffaloes, bongos and other species of animals and birds come together. It is possible to reach this saline from Makokou.
After 12 hours of canoe on the river Mouniandje until the camp of Milondo from which you will have to walk another 3 hours to reach the saline Or after 4 hours by car Followed by a 7-hour walk to the Milondo Camp, from which it is still necessary to walk 3 hours to reach the Salina.
Thus, this day will be long and exhausting but also fascinating. The Milondo camp is 140 km from Makokou. The river Mouniandje offers various landscapes among which the rapids of Béssika (after 4 hours of navigation). These rapids a major obstacle to the navigation of this river. It takes about an hour to pull the canoe against the current.
A picnic is usually served at that time. After this first test of endurance, your team will have to face the many tree trunks that dot the river. Axes and chainsaws will be needed to make their way. The last difficulty depends on the level of water that may be too low in the dry season. The team may need to pull the canoe forward. After 8 hours of sailing, you will spend the night in the forest where the tents and camp will be erected (camping equipment is provided). Once installed, you can dine.
DAY 4: Continuation of the transfer and arrival at MOMBA just after breakfast, you will continue for 5 hours to reach Milondo camp. You might be lucky enough to spot some mammals, such as the otter,…
You will also see the hunting and fishing camps set up by the villagers on the banks of the river. 4 rangers coming from the villages of Milondo and Truhaya will await you at Milondo camp.
After a short break, you will have to lunch and strictly select the personal belongings you take with you, you will begin the hike to the Bai de Momba located on the opposite bank of the river. It is 3 hours of walking that split into two stages.
The first two hours will allow you to reach a relay forest where you will spend the night.
You will deposit your excess baggage before continuing the visit of the Baï (one hour of walk away). You will return to the camp at nightfall.
On your way to the Bai, you will cross two rivers whose depth exceeds a meter. You will inevitably get wet and will have to foresee change of clothes.
DAY 5-6: BAÏ DE MOMBA Starting after breakfast, you will return to the Baï for a second wildlife observation that will last more or less 6 hours depending on the activity of the fauna.
You can undertake to go all the way around the Bay to maximize your chances of seeing animals. In the Bay of Momba, there are main holes where the animals gather. The most active is just at the entrance of the saline.
The animals move from one hole to another over a distance of 300 meters.
After the observation at specific points and around the Bai, you will return to the camp for lunch. Then you will return to the Milondo camp and spend the night there.
DAY 7: RETURN TO MAKOKOU - From Camp of Milondo, you will descend the current of the Mouniandjè river in canoe as far as Makokou..
This return path is shorter than that of the outward journey and can be done in one day (8 hours of navigation).
DAY 8: BACK TO LIBREVILLE
After overnight in Makokou, You will be taken back to Booué (5 hours by car) to take the train back to Libreville.