"Gabon — Unique Country, Unforgettable Trip, Great Travel Company"
I just returned from two of the most remarkable weeks I have ever had in Africa. Chalo Africa put together their first two Gabon Safaris in July and August (2019) and I was on the second trip. It wasn’t a safari for the inexperienced traveler; internal transportation in Gabon is a mess so traveling between three amazing national parks (Lope, Ivindo, Loango) was very time consuming. But the experience in each park was unique and worth the effort. And Chalo did a fine job of arranging the best transport possible, given the challenges.
One of Chalo Africa’s owners, Sangeeta Prasad, accompanied six of us on this journey in order to get some first-hand experience
in Gabon. The whole group, including Sangeeta, was a fun collection of unique individuals. We laughed a lot.
Among our outstanding experiences were:
— seeing members of the world’s largest mandrill troupe (Lope Park),
— spending several days viewing forest elephants, red river hogs and gorillas at Langoué Baï in Ivindo Park,
— and cruising the lagoons and waterways of Loango National Park.
Loango was the overall wildlife highlight. There, we trekked through rainforest following habituated lowland gorillas (less than 30 yards away), had an amazing guide, Dmitri, who wandered into the mangroves in pitch darkness and came back to the boat with a 4 foot Dwarf Crocodile (fairly rare), and we saw large numbers of elephants, extraordinary birds, red river hogs, hippos and much more. Note: we weren’t at Loango in the correct season to see surfing hippos and elephants on the beach, but the stay at Loango Lodge was very comfortable and our two nights at their Akaka bush camp was a great experience.
Chalo Africa put together a unique trip to little-visited places. Their entire staff (including in-country operator Guillermo) could not have been nicer. This trip had logistic challenges (i.e. catching trains in the middle of the night); but it was full of good times. I recommend it to other experienced travelers .