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Ultimate Central Africa

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 5 - 20 people
Destination(s): Gabon   Sao Tome and Principe  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 4686 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5351 Euro (EUR)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Thursday – Arrival in Libreville, Gabon. Upon arrival at Libreville International Airport, a representative of Africa’s Eden will meet you and bring you to your hotel. He or she will help you with the customs procedures and collecting of your luggage. After that you will be brought to the Hotel Le Méridien. Lodging: Hotel Le Méridien, Libreville.

Day 2: Friday – Evengué Island and Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Sanctuary

In the morning, you will be picked up by a representative of Africa’s Eden and brought to the airport for the 08h30 Africa’s Connection flight to Omboué via Port Gentil. The pick-up time from your hotel will be communicated upon arrival in Libreville. In Omboué, our Evengue Lodge staff will help with your luggage. In a 20-minute boat trip you will be taken to Evengué, a small island just outside Loango National Park where the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Sanctuary is situated, which is sponsored by M11675.

During your stay on Evengué Island, our experts of the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project will share their knowledge with you on the bush meat crisis and other reasons why gorillas are a critically endangered species, and they will give you information about the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Sanctuary and Rehabilitation & Reintroduction Programme. Afterward one of the guides will accompany you on a short bush walk leading to the gorilla family in the sanctuary. Lodging: Evengué Lodge.

Day 3 – Saturday: Boat trip on Mpivié River to Loango Lodge

After breakfast, you will start the boat trip up the dark waters of the Mpivié River to Loango Lodge. En route, there will be time to visit the small town of Ste. Anne, where Gustav Eiffel built an iron church in the late 1800s. After the visit to Ste. Anne, the trip will continue up the Mpivié River that from there runs through some very dense rainforest. This is a perfect opportunity to sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views. Monkeys, crocodiles and all kinds of birds can be seen. Upon arrival at Loango Lodge you will be welcomed with refreshments and shown to your room. Lunch will be served in the restaurant. Depending on the time of arrival, it might still be possible to make a first visit to Loango National Park by boat or by 4x4. Lodging: Loango Lodge.

Day 4, 5 and 6: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – Tassi / Akaka

- Tassi region. After breakfast, one of our 4x4 jeeps will take you south-west to the Tassi / Louri area. During this drive, animals such as elephants, red river hogs, buffalos, birds and sitatunga can be seen. Tassi Camp is situated on the savannah, surrounded by primary and secondary forest. In the future, this habituation programme will allow a controlled form of tourism to track and view the gorillas and chimpanzees, while at the same time allowing researchers to gather data on all aspects of their behaviour and ecology. From Tassi you can easily go on excursions to Louri, where there is a good chance of seeing buffalos and elephants on the beach: a truly remarkable sight and characteristic of Loango National Park. On rare occasions, even hippos can be seen. Lodging: Tassi Savannah Camp.

- Akaka region. After an early breakfast, the boat departs for a 4-hour journey south to Akaka. After crossing some large lagoons, you will arrive at the Rembo Ngowe River, where you will spend the last 1.5 hours. During the trip you might encounter birds, elephants, buffalos and sitatunga (swamp-dwelling antelopes), possibly even bathing in the river. The bush camp is situated on the riverbank in the heart of the tropical rainforest and the wetlands. At times, the wildlife, especially elephants, passes right through the camp. Akaka is a good starting point for excursions like forest walks, or trips by kayak or motorboat along the Rembo Ngowe and Rembo Echira rivers. Smaller mammals like sitatunga, red river hogs, forest duikers, five species of monkey and great apes inhabit the area all year round. Lodging: Akaka Bush Camp.

Day 7: Wednesday – Pte. Ste. Cathérine

This morning, you will have time to discover some other parts of Loango National Park: by car into the savannah, on foot into the mangroves, or by "houseboat" along the shore. In the afternoon, a short boat tour over the lagoon takes you to the Pointe Sainte Cathérine Beach Camp. This basic camp is situated at a beautiful spot on the beach in the north of Loango National Park. As the sun sets, dine in the restaurant, on the lounge deck, or enjoy a feet-in-the-sand beach barbeque affair. During the rainy season, from November to April, Pte. Ste. Cathérine sunsets are even better than usual. Lodging: Pte. Ste. Cathérine Beach Camp.

Day 8: Thursday - Return to Loango Lodge

Today, you can relax at Loango Lodge or discover more of the National Park. Some of the possibilities include:
- Game drives
- Walking Safaris
- Cultural Walks
- Whale Watching
- Fishing

The researchers are happy to give a presentation about their activities in Gabon, and/or simply to chat about what they do over drinks / dinner. Lodging: Loango Lodge.

Day 9: Friday – Flight to São Tomé

In the morning, you have time to relax or go on a last safari in the park. In the afternoon, the Africa’s Connection flight will fly from Omboué to São Tomé via Port Gentil and Libreville, where the Omali Lodge staff will be waiting to meet you. You will arrive in São Tomé at 7:30 pm local time. The Omali Lodge Luxury Hotel is only a 5 minute drive from the airport. Before dinner time, you will have some time to settle into your room, to take a swim in the pool or to enjoy a drink at the pool side bar. Lodging: Omali Lodge Luxury Hotel.

Day 10: São Tomé

São Tomé offers many possible itineraries, such as a visit to see the volcanic crater deep in the forest of Ôbo National Park. Some other possibilities are:
- São Tomé City Tour. Visit the old city centre and get a feel of what São Tomé was like during the colonial era. At the lively Mercado Central, you will discover the islands products and the Calilu’s secret ingredients. With a visit to the National Museum, our guide will tell you about the life on the plantations and São Tomé’s tormented pre-independence history.

- Visit to Bom Sucesso Botanical Garden. São Tomé’s native flora and fauna are of particular interest, as many of its species are endemic. Indeed, it is possible to see more than 100 different orchids from the island at the Bom Sucesso Botanical Garden.

- Hiking in Ôbo National Park. Ôbo Natural Park has only recently been created and helps protect the unique natural heritage of the island. The old cocoa plantation "Roça Bombaim" is a major point of entry to the Ôbo National Park.

- Hiking along the Tunnels of the Rio Contador. This adventurous hike takes you to the limits of the National Park to discover São Tomé’s unique water adduction system, an impressive heritage of Portuguese colonial engineering.

- Sea Turtle Night Patrol. Marine turtles have been coming to São Tomé for millions of years. Between October and April, five species can be seen on the island: the green turtle, the leatherback, the olive riddley, the hawksbill and the caouanne. We invite you to accompany our eco-guides on their nightly patrols of the beach to supervise and protect the sea turtles as they crawl ashore to nest.

- Bird-watching Expeditions. São Tomé is also an ornithologist’s paradise: 143 bird species have been identified here and rare endemic species like the São Tomé short tail, São Tomé giant sun bird, and São Tomé fiscal shrike may sometimes be spotted.

Day 11: Sunday – Flight to Príncipe

In the morning, Africa’s Connection will fly you Príncipe, where the Bom Bom staff will be waiting to meet you. Bom Bom Island Resort is only a short drive from the airport. You will arrive in Bom Bom Island Resort around lunch time. After lunch, you have time to settle into your room, take a swim in the pool or the ocean, relax at one of the secluded beaches of the resort and to enjoy a cocktail from the private terrace of your bungalow or to go on your first excursion to discover the island. Lodging: Bom Bom Island Resort.

Day 12 -14: Monday to Wednesday – Príncipe

While Bom Bom is a wonderful place to relax and recharge your spirit, there is also plenty there to explore and discover.

- Santo Antonio City Tour. It is a photographer’s dream: the rustic town of Santo Antonio tells the colourful story of a colonial Portuguese village that is now home to the people of Príncipe. Enjoy the warm, friendly atmosphere of the town as you stroll through its streets, visit the fish and fresh produce markets, and step into some of the old shops with their assorted goods and trinkets. Sample some of the local delicacies or see what natural remedies the chemist might prescribe.

-Hiking. Circumnavigate Bom Bom Island by foot, and discover its beautiful rock pools with their own ecosystems varying from one pool to the next. Or go on a leisurely hike through the forest to experience the sounds of the jungle and catch glimpses of a Mona monkey or the African grey parrot.

- Diving and Snorkeling. Discover the underwater world of Bom Bom! São Tomé and Príncipe, both ancient volcanic islands, are home to some of the world’s most spectacular rock formations, above and below the waterline. With drop-offs of over 35 meters, overhangs and cascading boulders, there is plenty of sea life here to keep you coming back for more.

- Whale Watching. From mid-July to mid-September, humpback whales visit the waters around Bom Bom as they migrate from their low-latitude summer feeding grounds to more tropical mating and calving areas.

Lodging: Bom Bom Island Resort

Day 15: Thursday – São Tomé

Thursday morning, you will return to Omali Lodge Luxury Hotel on São Tomé. You can continue to explore the island or enjoy the relaxing atmosphere around the pool of the lodge, or on the beach across from the lodge. Lodging: Omali Lodge Luxury Hotel.

Day 16: Friday – Flight to Libreville, Gabon

In the morning you can enjoy a final stroll on the beach and recollect your experiences of this week. In the late afternoon you will be brought to the airport for your return flight to Libreville, Gabon, from where you will connect to your international flight.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Meet and greet at Libreville International Airport
- Transfer to and from Libreville Airport to Le Méridien, Libreville
- Overnight and breakfast in Le Méridien, Libreville
- Overnights in Africa's Eden accommodation in Loango National Park
- All meals in Loango national park
- All park fees in Loango national park
- All excursions in Loango national park
- Local flights during the programme, all flights taxes
- Meet and greet at São Tomé airport; transfer to and from Omali Lodge Luxury Hotel
- Full board accommodation
- All excursions and drinks
- Administration fee.

Price Excludes:
- International flights and taxes
- All excursions in São Tomé and Príncipe
- All drinks
- Meals in Port Gentil, Libreville
- Personal insurance
- Visa costs for Gabon
- Departure tax on São Tomé and Príncipe.