Pack Your Trunk

Did you know that Gabon’s rain forest is home to orchids, elephants, and surfing hippos!

Some call them hairy elephants, some African yetis. And plenty of the people you meet in Gabon will claim to have seen these giant, shaggy, orange-haired behemoths, yet none has a picture. But the existence of a hitherto unclassified species of giant pachyderm residing deep in the country may not be as far fetched as it sounds. The West African nation is one of the last tropical wildernesses, 80% of it is covered by the world’s second biggest rain forest and is home to around 64,000 elephants, 20,000 gorillas and 320 different species of orchid. Scientists regularly discover new species of plants, fish and animals as well as new behaviour, here. A few years ago, National Geographic photographer Mike Hay was astonished to observe hippos surfing the sea.

Until now Gabon’s economy has been almost entirely dependent on oil and logging. But Fay’s epic wilderness films persuaded the government of the virtues of ecotourism. Consequently in 2002 the government set aside 10% of the country as a national park, and tours are already up and running.

Here you can enjoy the privilege of one of the most pristine wildlife experiences in Africa. From November to March, visitors will see turtles on the beach; from April to June, the seasonal thinning of vegetation makes it easier to spot gorillas and chimpanzees; July to September is the time when migrating whales appear offshore; and there is also unbeatable sport fishing in Iguéla Lagoon from September to April.

Nearly all tours are organised through Operation Loango, Fay’s company, which plows its profits back into conservation. Expect serviceable jungle camps or well appointed tents rather than luxury. For more information visit


4 thoughts on “Pack Your Trunk

  1. me

    Hi Kate, thanks for the comment. Yes i have been neglecting the blog scene and it was a while since i had popped in. But i can say it is as though i only looked yesterday, its still a great place to stop for coffee 🙂
    This place sounds fabulous, orchids & hairy elephants but wow to the surfing hippos! there is hope for me yet lol.

  2. Suki x

    Hi there Kate

    This sounds like an Arthur Connon Doyle story about the lost world!   I think there is the basics for a Disney, classic add  music by Elton John and sung by Phil Collins and it will be a hit,  with the surfing hippos and the hairy elephants all we need is Kenny to star swinging through the trees with the gorillas (one of his fave animals) and we have block buster box office.
    Seriously though it sounds like a wonderful place undestroyed by man as and all the creatures going about their business as nature intended, let us hope the tourist trade does not take off too much and they can continue undisturbed!
    Love Suki x
    (Mind your back Kenny) x

  3. Kenneth

    With swelling breast I place a foot upon the body of my most powerful of enemies and throwing back my fine young head, I roar out the awful challenge of the victorious bull ape…" Aaaaiiiaaahhh – Aaaaiiiaaahhh "
    Yes Suki I could go for that, playing the role of Tarzan, swinging through the forests of Gabon semi naked searching for Jane.
    The film would most certainly not be a flop, I believe also it would be x rated.  🙂
    I can see myself polishing my Oscar already.
    It dose sound a nice place to visit and who knows perhaps one day !
    Have a pleasant day  Kate and thank you for the coffee.
    Kenny x

  4. Suki x

    hi Kate
    Thanks for yor visit allways pleased to offer you a long cool drink in the Wildwood!  We have let our imagination run riot with this one, but it is not as far fetched as you may think go to  Perhaps these creatures inhabit Gambon too! I love them they are so light hearted
    Thanks for the inspiration for all the chat
    Love Suki x


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