Ecotourism in Gamba
The place for an unforgettable adventure
Tourism in the Moukalaba Doudou National Park is under development at the moment and initiated by the local NGO PROGRAM
Travel by air and water is necessary to reach the Loango National Park. The village of Sette Cama at the southern end of the park houses three tourist operators (see box below).
By air and water
It used to be the first trading post in the 16th century for European and African traders of padouk timber and ivory.
Today, you can exchange your money against crafts made locally by nearby villagers.
Travelers on this trek will stay in rustic cabanas offering incredible views of both the river estuary and the ocean.
In the nortern end of the Park there are two tourist operators, Africa’s Eden and Gavilo Lodge
The region boasts some of Gabon’s best opportunities for wildlife watching – large and small animals – even hippos splashing in the ocean.
Hippos splashing in the ocean
This will be your first visit to pristine shores where animals and trees are the beach’s only inhabitants. Here, sandy stretches go on for miles without any sign of development or people.
Welcomed by Ibonga
In Loanga National Park, WWF has catalysed a Visitors Centre which park authorities have outsourced to the local NGO, Ibonga.
A local guiding service for the park has also been developed, with initial funding from the EU-sponsored PSVAP and WWF. It can be contacted through the Visitors Centre, serving as the entry point into South Loango National Park.
Canoe trips, forest hikes and a tree house
Visitors are informed about different options for wildlife observations, canoe trips, forest hikes and even climbing to a tree house
This way they get a chance to explore the local culture, including handicraft demonstrations, and support the local NGO's guiding staff, through guiding fees and donations.
Sustainable funding of the Park
As a solution, this service, which allows Ibonga to manage its highly trained eco-guides and the Visitor's Centre, will not only contribute to sustainable funding for the park, but also to the future of a growing local NGO and its staff.WWF contributes to the development of community based tourism through financial and technical support to the community-based operator GIC-Tourisme.
Gabon on the road to ecotourism
WWF involvedWWF’ s involvement in the current planning and development phase of Gabon’s tourism scheme is important. WWF is preserving biodiversity and nature and will ensure that tourism expansion will be controlled and have only negligible negative impacts in the short and long term. This is the only suitable approach for future investments.
Cooperation with the tourism sector and local communities has positive benefits for all parties and the environment. This had been recognized by WWF already in the 90s (E. Boo 1990):
• The success of nature tourism depends on the conservation of nature
• Nature tourism sites need revenue for protection and maintenance, much of which can be generated directly from entrance fees and sale of products
• Tourists are a valuable audience for environmental education
• Nature tourism will contribute to rural development when local residents are brought in the planning process
• Opportunities are emerging for new relationships between conservationists and tour operators (e.g. education for clientele/donations to park management)