Loango Lodge is set just outside Loango National Park in Gabon on a lagoon. It was a great place to start and end my journey. From there, I went out into the national park. It is part of a company named Africa's Eden and they organise tours from the main lodge to their tented camps. They have a camp in the jungle, the savanna, and one on the beach. It's a unique place to be, and there aren't many other tourists (yet). The places are quite basic though, and you can tell that Gabon still has quite a way to go before they can match East or South African standards. Despite of this, I enjoyed being there and talking to the researchers who do their work from the lodge. The lodge managers were very friendly and English speaking, which was great, because my French isn't very good.
The lodge has a small pool, but I think the best part is the view from the restaurant. They have an outside deck right on the lagoon, and you can look out over the national park. I even saw an elephant on the other side.
At the begining of my visit, I had many hesitations about Gabon and libreville. When the time pased, ý started to realize that this place was more than beautiful for a man with the beautiful, dark -skinned african girls.
hotel Continental was really clean and nice to stay. Also you can try Coton Club, VIP clup and Whorls club at night. try Casino Crosette in the evening.Be careful for thieves at night.
Clean rooms, sheets changed every day, nice sport center.
Okoume Palace or Intercontinental as it is often called, is 5 minutes from the airport. Rates CFA 60 000 can usually be negociated, for the price you'll probably be dissapointed, but LBV is expensive. Breakfast is another CFA 8000 and a bottle of water CFA 2000 min. The rooms are a/c and have TV, double beds and are safe, noise free (unless close to lift) and have towels, soap and toilet paper....the beach is just over the road but better to swim in hotel pool which is usually clean and not too crowded. There is also a gym and beauty parlour, with sauna and massage. The bar has a big TV screen and is good for big sports events, but otherwise has little ambience, perhaps the odd hooker or business man, but best go to the town if you want to meet more interesting people. The restaurant is okay, slow service but if desperate and don't want to go into the town then eat there.
Meridien is the far side of town, about 15 minutes from the airport. It's probably a better hotel than the Okoume in terms of comforts, costs about the same and has similar facilities. Much depends on whether you wish to be close to the aiport or not. I like both hotels.
At the fly camp you are on your own; do not think about a shower, the river is good, and as it goes for food and drinks (drinks: water, sterilised for me, or when available, water from small creeks in the mountains, had never problems).
Food: some supply like "manioc" (fermented cassava flour, very sticky and I would like the computer displays the smell when you click on the name. . . ugly, but you need to eat!), coffee, sugar, rice, oil. The meat is what the hunter got during the day, generally birds, sometimes monkeys and game: small antelopes, porcupines, little crocodiles, snakes, pangolins, and fish if we have time to fish when coming back from work and after building the camp.
Unique! Environment, food, weather change everyday.
The fly camp, it could stand for flies, mosquitoes or fourous( a very little but very agressive blood sucking fly-local name- I do not know another name), but it designates a moving camp, changing plage everyday. Walking for weeks in the forest, living on "natural" products (hunting and gathering, we could not carry food for two weeks, as we carried also lots of equipment and needed to carry back rock or soil samples). I played there J.M. Stanley, looking for Dr Livingstone (I presume?).
The fly camp consists of a tarpauline and below the workers bulit "beds" made of long thin supple branches tied together with lianes and fixed on a frame made of bigger branches; a blanket makes the matress and you lie down and pull another blanked over you and you sleep! You sleep very well there, but mainly because you are exhasted from the day.
For amenities and food there will be another tip.
You are in the forest and it is on some places like the beginning of the world! You are days walking from the nearest populated place.
In the secondary camp, we were a few hours or a day drive from the base camp. This camp consists of your tnet, , one or two other tents and tarpaulins for the workers.The comfort is still acceptable, as there can be some personal staying at the camp for cooking, cleaning, etc. , but you need to establish your camp near a river (no problem, generally), for cooking, washing water. You leave the camp for the day and come back every night.
When weather allowed it, the VHF radio allowed you to report to the base camp and have news, and you can ask for supply or help if needed from the base camp.
You are there in the middle of the forest, the vegetal life is surrounding you, and day or night the noises from the forest are filling your ears.
Well I was not a tourist, a traveller "only", and stayed in a big tent at the base camp or secondary camp.
At the base camp the toilets were latrines, the shower, a rubber balloon pumped full of river water, and an employee brought a bowl of cold water to your place in the morning.
The restaurant under a big tarpaulin could be changed into a meeting room for work during the day if you did not go into the field.
All was very spartan, but coming back from two weeks in the forest , it looked like heaven, and I was happy to meet my fellow colleagues there.
The only hotel I know is Meridian-Rendama Hotel. This luxious hotel is very expansive I think, but the rooms are clean, the service is great and the hotel offers many services: laundry, bar, restaurant, gym, swimming pool, air-conditionned, etc.
HOTEL LE MÉRIDIEN:
Rates are in XFA (CFA): /450 = CAN$
Standard room 75 000 XAF (137 CAN$)
Superior room 90 000 XAF (200 CAN$)
Junior Suite 175 000 XAF (389 CAN$)
Diplomatic Suite 280 000 XAF (622 CAN$)
Presidential Suite 550 000 XAF (1222 CAN$)
Apartment 230 000 XAF (511 CAN$)
Executive Room 110 000 XAF (244 CAN$)
Rates are subject to availability and are non-commissionable.
Children under 12 years sharing accommodation with parents stay free.
I think the bar with music shows is a great place to relax. The swimming pool is also very good.
The only hotel I know is Le Meridian. It's a luxious hotel (I think the most luxious in Gabon) and it's very expansive (150 CAN$/night).
For budget traveller, I think cheap lodging can be found there by asking locals. Freindly people will certainly help you.
Bar, music show daily, clean spacious room, swimming pool, restaurant... In sum, it'a occidental-like hotel.
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