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In the Community

FISH & BIOTOPE: LOANGO NATIONAL PARK – Part Four

December 13, 2018 | By Eric Nadon

PART FOUR

We slept like babies this night and felt energized when we got up at 6:30 am. Today, we’re off to Tassi, a simple camp in the middle of the savannah, not far from the sea.

We’re ready to depart, and we load our gear into the boat. The jeep is already waiting on the other side of the lagoon, but the trailer has a flat tire, and a compressor has to be brought from the lodge so we use the time to take some pictures of a mudskipper. This doesn’t go easy however, because these guys are shy and fast. We get our pictures just as we’re given the all OK to go. We begin our drive finally but progress is slow as the tracks are completely filled with water, and the feeling is like driving through a river.

Two hours into our drive through the savannah and not far from our final destination, we see a large herd of buffalos.

The location of the camp is fantastic, and from every angle, we have a wide sweeping view across the savannah and the forest. On his way to the tent, Klaus spots two gorillas or chimpanzees in the distance, we can’t be sure since they’re too far away. This is going to be an interesting couple of days.

We inspect the camp’s surroundings. The living room platform is much bigger than the one we had in Akaka and in much better shape, as are the sleeping tents. There are five tents in total, set up about 150 metres from each other. In the distance, we can see and hear the Atlantic Ocean. The kitchen is out of sight of the main platform, but as in Akaka, it’s fully equipped with everything we need. We unload our backpacks and continue to survey the living quarters; this will be our home for the next three or four nights.

We take off on their first exploratory tour of the surrounding forest. There’s a nice breeze blowing over the savannah, and the temperature is wonderfully comfortable. We’re all feeling great and energized and ready to discover what’s out here.

Upon scouting the area we see a lone buffalo coming out of the forest. I make my way into one of the smaller forest islands and discover a small biotope with a very nice selection of killifish (Aphyosemion).

Back at camp, after a quick bucket shower, we gather again on the main platform to drink to our day, followed by dinner and then bedtime. We have an early start and a big day ahead.

At 2 am, we’re awakened by a major thunderstorm; a torrential rain rocks the cabin. The lullaby of the thunder and lightning eventually becomes a distant roar in the sky, and feeling exhausted, we quickly fall into a deep sleep.

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