Experience the thrill of exploring one of the most remote areas of Africa in a dug-out canoe and on foot, with neither a road nor a village in sight. On the trail of forest elephants.
The baï di Momba is a swampy expanse of terrain in the middle of the forest that lies outside the Ivindo National Park. It is crossed by one of the branches of the river Mouniandjé, more or less in the area close to the village of Melondo on the Makokou-Okondja road.
It can be reached from Makokou:
- in a dug-out canoe along the Mouniandjé river, from Makokou to Melondo camp (12 hours), 4 hours on foot to camp Bougoye, an hour’s walk to baï di Momba.
- by car to the village of Melondo (4 hours approx.), on foot from Melondo village to Melondo camp on the banks of the Mouniandjé (7 hour walk), to camp Bougoye (4 hours on foot), an hour on foot to baï de Momba.
The terrain of Momba, like most of the wetland in the forests of Central Africa, is essential for the larger species of forest animal, such as the elephant or buffalo. In the forest there are also gorillas, chimpanzees and mandrillos.
The baï is outside the Ivindo Park and recently has been endangered by a logging operation which is 35 km away (2016).
The trip is organised with the Melondo and Truhaya villages which are 30 km from the baï on the Makokou-Okondja road. Tourism may help reduce exploitation of the forest in the surrounding area and save the baï di Momba.
GETTING TO MAKOKOU
By taxi brousse or Bus:
There are a number of buses and taxis brousse that depart everyday from Libreville for Makokou. The Société gabonaise de Transport runs 1 or 2 50-seater buses to Makoko everyday. The société Etoile Transport, JC Transport, Dino Transport, and others leave from Libreville to Makoko everyday. Allow about 10-12hours journey time. Tickets about cost 15-20.000 Fcfa/person.
train from Libreville to Boué (night train, arriving at 3am), then taxi brousse booked in advanced for Makokou (3-4 hour).
flight from Libreville – Makokou (not available since 2015, but could be an option).
SEASONS / CLIMATE – MAKOKOU REGION
Long dry season (July-September):
infrequent rainfalls, mild temperatures (22/25°C), not much sunlight: poor photographic opportunities owing to scarce daytime illumination.
Short dry season: (December-February):
scarce rainfalls and plenty of sunlight.
Wet season (rest of the year):
frequent rainfalls, variable temperatures and abundant sunlight for photos.
Please contact us regarding equipment necessary.
- Medical and Travel Insurance are required for the trip
- strong (soles) walking boots, a supply of socks (especially in the rainy season as they get wet easily)
- light-weight long trousers (easy to dry), long-sleeved shirts; avoid brightly coloured clothes (green, grey, beige and brown are best)
- swimming costume
- poncho or lightweight rain-jacket (especially in the rainy season, but also in the short dry season)
- light-weight sleeping bag
- light-weight tent (please, contact us for advice)
- small capacity backpack (30-40 litre), plus a 60 litre backpack for food and extra luggage, carried by the guides
- sun cream
- insect repellent
- anti-malaria pills
ITINERARY 4 days – 3 nights
By dug-out along the Mouniandjé river towards camp Milondo situated about 100 km from Makokou. The Mouniandjé has the Béssikaaul rapids where the canoe has to be steered by your guides. After roughly 8 hours on the river, you spend the night in a half-way camp (Mohoba camp).
The journey down the river continues to the Milondo/Mouniandjé camp at about 5 hours distance. At camp Milondo/Mouniandjé you will meet the team of 4 guides from the villages of Milondo and Truhaya, who are already there to meet you.
After a short stop, the trek continues on to the camp at Baï di Momba, which is a two-stage trip of 4 hours. Then, later on, you will have the chance to visit the Baï which is about a one-hour walk from the camp.
Second visit to the baï of Baï (approx. 6 hours depending on the wildlife in the area). There is a tour of the Baï di Momba available. Return to camp Milondo for the night.
From camp Milondo on the Mouniandjé river to Makokou, by two possible routes
- by dug-out along the Mouniandjè river to Makokou, a journey time of 8 hours, less than the trip out.
- a 17 km trek to Milondo village, journey time about 7 hours. A car will transport you to Makokou.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Walks in the forest leisurely and last 3-4 hours at the most, navigation on the river is in a dug-out. This trip is only for adults (over 12 years of age), there is no physical fitness level required.
BOOKING OR INFO
Dr. Joseph Okouyi Okouyi
Tel: (241) 07.90.55.13
Tel: (241) 06.06.82.47
Tel: (241) 06.07.56.80
NB: To book a trip please write to Dr. Joseph Okouyi Okouyi in French or English
TRIPS AND COSTS
IVINDO KONGOU and