Loango National Park Gabon

Loango National Park Gabon

Loango National Park is a park on the Atlantic coast of Gabon in Central Africa. The park among the destinations where to see gorillas in Africa protects wilderness areas of beach, forest, savanna, and swamps around the Iguela Lagoon. Loango National park is a home to the western lowland gorillas. Other mammals in this wildlife reserve include forest elephants, lowland gorillas, buffaloes, leopards and hippos. There are also large pods of humpback whales, orcas and dolphins that swim offshore. Rare bird species include the Loango weaver and African river martin also feature in the park. 

Loango National Park (Parc national de Loango) in western Gabon protects diverse coastal habitats including part of the 220-square-kilometre (85 square limes) Iguéla Lagoon. This lagoon is the only momentous example of an emblematic western African lagoon system that is protected in a national park.

Location of Loango National Park

Loango National Park is located between the Nkomi and Ndogo Lagoons, Loango National Park spans 1,550 square kilometres or 600 square miles of savanna, forest, beach and mangroves. One renown biologist Mike Fay christened Loango “Africa’s Last Eden,” and this is where Michael “Nick” Nichols from National Geographic shot his pictures of surfing hippopotamuses. Both men, Mike Fay and Micheal Nichol call Loango the ‘land of surfing hippos.

Loango National Park presents a chance to see Gorillas, elephants, buffalos, hippopotamuses and leopards among others moving around the shorelines.

After South Africa, the world’s largest concentration and diversity of whales and dolphins can be found right off the Loango coast. The area has got around 100 kilometres (62 miles) of unoccupied shore with humpback and killer whales.

The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) categorized Loango National Park as a faunal reserve and protected area for conservation.

History of Loango National Park

The first faunal reserves in the Loango region were founded in 1956. The park was then established in 2002, together with 13 others that all combined comprise about 10% of Gabon’s total landmass.

Tourism and Conservation

SCD (Société de Conservation de Developpement) was founded by Rombout Swanborn, a pioneering Dutch investor in “Conservation Tourism.”WCS collaborates on research, park management and educational programs. He also founded Africa’s Eden which developed the infrastructure and logistics to deliver high-end environmental tourism experiences in isolated sections of Gabon (and beginning in 2006, in So Tomé and Principe), based on the attitude “Tourism pays for Conservation.”

People around the Park

There are very few villages at present that live within the park as many are settled on the opposite bank of the Ngove Lagoon. In that sense, the park is almost empty of people and home only to a collection of native, avian and marine wildlife. Whereas some of these animals dwell in specific green niches to which they have been familiarizing since the ancient times, others like elephants and buffalo range across several park sceneries.

People inhabiting the Loango area remain reliant on the natural resources in their surrounding for their daily necessities. Nowadays, even though some Gabonese have transferred toward the urban hubs or taken up work within contemporary industries like oil and commercial logging, a majority in traditional settlements still rely greatly upon their natural environs for their everyday essentials.

Villagers apply slash-and-burn farming technique and cultivate numerous domesticated plant varieties like manioc, peanuts and mustard greens. Females are in charge of most of the cultivation save for the maiden clearing of trees and shrubberies. Men hustle to earning living by fishing or hunting. The fishermen use long nets, throw nets, gill nets, long lines, baited hooks, fish traps and spears to catch fish and shrimp whereas land crabs are held by hand. Old-style hunting equipment such as bows and arrows, spears, deadfall and spring traps have been substituted by short guns and high-caliber rifles. A number of food products are reaped wild in the forest, savannah or from the beaches like the turtle eggs.