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Ian Fulton | profile | all galleries >> African Galleries >> Gabon tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gabon

In August 2010 I visited Gabon in West Africa on a birding trip organised by Tropical Birding

In August 2010 I visited Gabon in West Africa on a birding trip organised by Tropical Birding. This trip followed on from the week in São Tomé and Príncipe, photos from that trip can be found here . Gabon is a wonderful wilderness of endless rain forest and once away from the bright lights of Libreville it is remote, undeveloped and poor. Libreville itself counts as one of the most expensive cities in the world and the oil centre of Port Gentil feels like Aberdeen transported to Africa. A birding trip to Gabon will be significantly expensive; the cost of everything from hotels to 4x4 vehicle hire will frighten you.

The birding on the trip was some of the most demanding of any trip that I have done. Forest birding is always difficult with low light in the under-story and silhouettes of birds in the canopy but in Gabon these problems were compounded by elusive and wary birds that just did not want to be seen. Even at Leconi in the rolling grasslands and more open woodland the birds were skittish and unapproachable. Photography was a nightmare most of the time and I am surprised that I accumulated as much as I did. The weather for most of the trip was drier than expected, indeed Ipassa Reserve was dead of birds due to the dry conditions. One rather depressing feature of the weather in Gabon, in fact in much of West Africa, was the dull and overcast sky. There were few days where we saw any blue sky or sunshine.

The last leg of the trip to Loango NP was for me the best with some great views of some birds which I had always wanted to see. The highlight though was the find of a cave full of Grey-necked Picathartes in a remote mountain slope some hours drive away from Makokou.

Many thanks to Christian Boix-Hinzen of Tropical Birding for leading this trip and coping in some difficult circumstances. Thanks to Barbara and Andrew for their company.

 Birds of Gabon - Individual Species galleries
::  Birds of Gabon - Individual Species galleries ::
Birds of Gabon - General Gallery
:: Birds of Gabon - General Gallery ::
Gabon - Views and Animals
:: Gabon - Views and Animals ::
Gabon - Birds and Animals checklist
:: Gabon - Birds and Animals checklist ::