"THE rain forest" Top 5 Page for this destination Gabon by kokoryko

Gabon Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 259 photos

The emerald forest forest

Well, the title is just a hello to John Boorman's movie recorded in Amazonia.
Here it is Gabon, the African rain forest.
It was not exactly a travel; I spent 18 month in Gabon as a volunteer with the French ministry of cooperation and development. I was assigned as exploration geologist to the ministry of mines and spent 12 month in the rain forest doing my job: Exploration.

Living in the rain forest

Living in the rain forest is something special for an European, and probably for most of people, even in Africa, where more and more people live in cities or villages.
During most of the work time, I was living like a nomad in the forest, changing camp every day or every 2-3 days. When you enter the forest, you do not know when you will come out.
The Monts de Cristal area in northern Gabon is almost barren of people (at the time, there were less than 1 million inhabitants in Gabon, for an area half of France and if you think there are cities and villages, there is not a lot left for the "countryside")
I walked between 15 and 30 km per day and during two weeks sometimes we met no human being, neither we even saw any traces of human activity.

Secondary camp: nice weather, indeed!

When work had to be done in certain areas where we stayed for more than one week we build "secondary camps", tents and tarpaulins, trying to bring as much equipment as possible, to make the "explorer's" life easy.
The rain forest is a place where it . . . rains! During the rain season, heavy rains sometimes last continuously for 2-3 days, and during the "dry" season, there is no week without rain.
Well, there will not be a lot of tips here, they may be outdated, just some general impressions, few advice for the ones who may have the luck to go really inside the forest.
All this is really "off the beaten path" and as all is like that, I put them in "normal" categories.

Remark: the pictures are old, the colors faded out with time, and the scanning reduces a bit the sharpness.
Other remark: there are some tips about wildlife (food for me, at that time), some possibly chocking pictures (dead animals), some remarks which may be unappropriate in the 21th century; remember this was 26 years ago ; I was a nature lover at that time, and I am still one- a realistic nature lover- and I do not at all support hunting or game eating in Europe or other "civilised countries, so please, do not misunderstand what I write sometimes.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Experience of a lifetime.
  • Cons:Be careful with health.
  • In a nutshell:missing this special ambience
  • Last visit to Gabon: May 1982
  • Intro Updated May 28, 2008
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Reviews (27)

Comments (22)

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    Wow, it's quite an experience. I could never imagine life in rain forest.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    What an amazing adventure you went on. I could never imagine doing this. I am impressed. Your poor feet suffered, but you lived to tell the tale. Excellent page!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:43 AM

    Seems like you had a fantastic time in Gabon. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us ;-)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2009 at 7:18 AM

    Great stuff. MrL's Gabon days were before we met - back in the late 60s. Interesting times.

  • jayjayc's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Brilliant Gabon page!

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    A man's gotta eat what he can in the jungle ;~)

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2008 at 3:53 AM

    Thanks for your Gabon Page , it is very nice and wonderful

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    This page made my day! What a fantastic account of your days in the wilds of Gabon - it made my 3-years in Papua New Guinea look like a walk in the park! These old photos and comments brought back happy memories of Zambian days! Loved the 'grumiers' too.

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2008 at 8:12 PM

    Thanks for writing and images of your vintage experience in Gabon, a place we almost visited, but chose Ghana/Burkina Faso instead. Maybe one day we will get into the great forest there.

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2008 at 6:17 AM

    Hello, Thank you for your comment on my pages! Your Gabon pages are great - this place is high on my wish list.

kokoryko Used To Live Here!


“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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