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Ian Fulton | profile | all galleries >> African Galleries >> Gabon >> Gabon - Views and Animals >> Gabon Views - Makokou area tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gabon Views - Libreville area | Gabon Views - Lope National Park | Gabon Views - Lope NP to Makokou | Gabon Views - Makokou area | Gabon Views - Leconi area | Gabon Views - Loango National Park

Gabon Views - Makokou area

Our next destination, the town of Makokou (or Makoukou) lies in the central north east of the country near the Ivindo National Park. It is an area of utterly remote trackless forest. Unfortunately this may change since there are large deposits of iron ore close to the town. Formerly these were considered to be uneconomic to exploit but rising ore prices has led to an approval of mining development.
Near the town is an establishment called the Ipassa Research Station. In a cleared forest area a scientific research station was built comprising teaching and research buildings, dormitories and kitchen and recreation buildings. The development was funded by the European EEC and a plaque says it was opened in 2008. However by the time of our visit in 2010 it seems to have been abandoned although some basic maintenance of the site is still being performed. Looks like a waste of money and opportunity.
Around the research station a criss-cross network of paths were hacked through the forest to facilitate access. These paths are splendid birding routes though they are quickly being overgrown. Birding here was exceptionally difficult and this year's unusually dry conditions meant that bird activity was very subdued.
Ivindo River near Makokou, Gabon
Ivindo River near Makokou, Gabon
Road sign, Ipassa Research Station, Gabon
Road sign, Ipassa Research Station, Gabon
Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
The endless rain forest, near Makokou, Gabon
The endless rain forest, near Makokou, Gabon
The endless rain forest, near Makokou, Gabon
The endless rain forest, near Makokou, Gabon
Birding at Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Birding at Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Birding at Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon
Birding at Ipassa Research Station, Makokou, Gabon