Gabon is key to the dedicated
birder: it offers Africa's best, accessible, lowland forest and
harbours Congo Basin forest species difficult to see elsewhere.
We have seen Black and Plumed Guineafowl,
Forest Francolin, Congo Serpent Eagle,
Long-tailed Hawk, Gabon Helmet-shrike,
Black-headed and Rosy Bee-eaters,
Yellow-throated Cuckoo and African River
Martin all on a single tour! Have a look at our trip
We bird in forests, savannas, woodlands, grasslands and coastal
lakes. And at the same time, we stand a chance to see forest elephant,
red river hog, forest buffalo or even gorilla, chimpanzee or mandrill.
We focus on three key sites:
(i) central: LopÈ
Faunal Reserve offers a forest/savannah mosaic with specials
such as Bates's Nightjar, Bates's Swift,
Red-headed Picathartes, Violet-tailed Sunbird
and Lyre-tailed Honeyguide.
(ii) north east: theIpassa
Strict Nature Reservein the Ivindo National
Park offers superb forest birding and West-Africa's most spectacular
waterfalls. Highlights include African Piculet,
Gabon Batis and Rachel's Malimbe.
(iii) south east: LÈconi
grasslands on the Bateke Plateau, with a wealth of grassland
and miombo woodland birds: Black-headed Bee-eater,
Congo Moor Chat, Finsch's Francolin
and Black-chinned Weaver.
(iv) the exciting Gamba
Protected Areas Complex, where coastline meets grassland, forest,
rivers and lakes. Specials include Loango Weaver,
Rosy Bee-eater, African River-martin
In 2012, this 14 day trip will follow our 9 day birding tour to S„o TomÈ and PrÌncipe,
two islands that hold more than 25 endemics including the critically
endangered São Tomé Grosbeak and
the unusual Dohrn’s Thrush Babbler.
Our 2012 tours to Gabon, S„o TomÈ
and PrÌncipe will be led by Michael Mills.
Michael recommends: This tour
is well suited to world listers who are after a long list of central
African specialties, and keen birders who like an adventurous tour
in pristine habitats.
grew up in the Kalahari Gemsbok and Kruger National Parks
and has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, South America
and Antarctica. He obtained a Masters degree in Conservation
Biology and continues conducting bird research, particularly
Besides birds, he has a strong
interest in mammals, particularly in small carnivores and African
* Cost per person sharing a room, ** Single room supplement.
* Included in the above price: Birding Africa tour leader, Birding
Africa printed booklet with species lists, activities as indicated
on the itinerary, road transport, guide fees, entry fees for the parks,
reserves and botanical gardens, full board accommodation and drinking
water on the bus, flights from São Tomé to Príncipe
and Príncipe to São Tomé. Not included: international
flights (except those mentioned above), drinks, optional tips, and
items of a personal nature are not included. ***Please note that Gabon's internal flight
schedules change frequently and with little notice. Hence, the itinerary
and the dates remain flexible.
For keen birders and mammal
enthusiasts. Designed to see as many as possible endemic birds
and lemurs, but while on the walks we spend a lot of time looking
for other aspects of wildlife such as the mammals, primates
and interesting plants.
Many participants on our trips are amateur
wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a
bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing
it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority
of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or
bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the
next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are
very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody
who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
A moderate level of fitness is required.
The walks are generally in relatively flat areas with occasional
inclines. Primate trekking may involve walking off the pathways
on non-level terrain.
Birding is generally best during
the long dry season in July and August.
June, July, August is the long dry season:
little rain with pleasant temperatures of 22 to 25 °C. Skies
are usually clouded and light is less good for photography.
Fairly comfortable accommodation in
guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
We travel mainly by minibus and four
wheel drive vehicles. Also by train and plane.
Depending on the tour. Please enquire.
Rare lowland forest species, such
as Congo Serpent Eagle and Plumed Guineafowl; Rosy and Black-headed
Bee-eater, African River Martin, Congo Moor Chat, Long-tailed
Hawk and Rufous-sided Broadbill
flights (to/from Gabon, to/from São
Tomé) are excluded from the tour cost. Please
ensure that you arrive on the day before the tour starts, thus
on 14 September 2012, and fly out after 11p.m. on the last day
of the tour, thus on 28 September 2011. Please see the note
under "DAY1" and "DAY14" of the detailed
Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance
is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.
About Birding Africa
is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both
world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. †We combine interests
in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history
aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse
birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home
continent. †We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours in
South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small
birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation
Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with
and consult for a number of other top international tour companies
and the BBC Natural History Unit.