Gabon Travel

gabon travel…

well, this was just one of those trips where nothing worked out.

libreville beach

this post has been sitting here in drafts for months, but i was reminded of it with news of the recent coup. i thought i would post it now just to move on with my life.

pretty much everything you need to know about gabon can be summed up in the following clip…

lope village, gabon travel

all things considered, we had a blast.

unfortunately hanging out in random places, long boring drives and broken vehicles don’t generally make for an interesting blog.

junkville, gabon

the trip started off with the guide showing up 12 hours late…

and then the car breaking down halfway to the national park…

hitch-hiking in gabon

to be honest, the best part of the trip was having to hitch-hike in a massive oil tanker to lope national park.

hotel de la lope, gabon

it was completely worth it in the end as we stayed in log cabins along the beautiful ogooue river at the hotel de la lope.

we had the entire place to ourselves for 4 nights and every sunset looked like this…

gabon sunsets

unbelievable really.

while there, i somehow managed to get bitten by something and slept for 2 days straight. no clue to this day what it could have been.

Lope National Park

we eventually had some time to hike in lope national park.

lope national park, gabon

the original plans was to go to the other side of the park to see the western gorillas. but since the car broke down we didn’t make it and were stuck in the main area of the park near lope village.

at least we got to see the forest elephants! yesssss!!!

forest elephants, lope park

they are smaller than savanna elephants and we were able to track them on foot.

this was quite special and even with all the failures on this trip, it’s moments like these that really stay with you.

forest elephants

amazing stuff.

the other notable park which is fairly easy to get to is loango. we didn’t have enough money to do this – travel in gabon (as in most west african countries) is incredibly expensive, but hope to go back some day.

friendly buffalo, lope national park

lope was in really good shape and has a lot to offer. normally there is a passenger train which runs to the park from the capital libreville, but unfortunately it was not running when we were there.

nipple mushroom
ogooue  river view, lope

on the way back to libreville we stopped at the equator for the obligatory gabon travel equator pic.

equator, gabon

at a random crossroads there was a local artist who had some surprising and contradictory inspirations.

i never thought i would see images of fela kuti and hitler together, but here you go…

fela kuti, hitler, malcolm x and khdafi artwork

Bwiti Ceremony

one of the main reasons we headed to gabon is to take place in a bwiti ceremony. an ancient hallucinogenic ceremony where you ingest the root of iboga for tribal initiation, healing or reaching out to ancestors. since our guide ditched us we didn’t get to do this either. which was disappointing as i really wanted to compare this to the ayahuasca ceremony in peru, but it wasn’t meant to be.


we loved our time in libreville. a great city with a friendlier vibe than you would expect from a large capital city.

due to the guide ditching us we ended up spending more time there than planned. but there were quite a few good events, remote beaches, concerts and things to see.

national museum, libreville
lewa in convert, libreville

we got questioned by guards and told to delete photos of the stele of freedom which commemorates the end of the slave trade in 1848.

stele of freedom, libreville

the most dangerous part of the trip was finding a beach festival and being invited on stage for a dance contest.

beach festival

another exciting thing to do is to take part in the traditional art of gabonese karaoke.

questionable karaoke

but first you might need a little vino cola…

vino cola

yep. it tastes exactly like you think it does.

i’ll just leave it here.

not exactly a ringing endorsement for a vacation.

however i would like to go back some day with more time and a big bag of money because it honestly is an untouched and remote travel destination.

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