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In the Community

FISH & BIOTOPE: LOANGO NATIONAL PARK – Part Six

December 13, 2018 | By Eric Nadon

PART SIX

Last night’s heat kept most of us awake, which meant we were up and moving by 5:30am. We have a quick breakfast and leave the camp at 6am. We’re being picked up at the pre-arranged meeting point by 9am so we must walk fast. This isn’t easy because of the heavy gear we’re carrying on our backs, and inside the steaming forest, we’re quickly drenched in sweat. Our mood is slightly uplifted when we encounter a herd of red river hogs crossing our path, followed by a beautiful millipede and a jet black, long emperor scorpion.

We arrive at the meeting point where our car is waiting for us. We squeeze in and promptly begin our 2-hour ride to the Ivindo train station.

Later that evening, we arrive in Libreville, weary and tired. The air-conditioning on the train failed shortly after our departure, and so we are again sweaty and thirsty, but happy to leave the chaos of the train station and breathe some fresh air. Once checked into our hotel, we freshen up and grab a bite to eat. This is our last night in Africa, so we sit back and enjoy some cold drinks and a nice meal, taking in the fresh, breezy air coming from the ocean. After those long hours on the hot train that day, we are content to be enjoying the downtime, to reflect back on our trip.

So, this is it, our last day in Africa and the thought is bittersweet. We are going home but this trip has been a highlight, and we won’t soon forget this experience. We all agree to go for one final walk in the jungle. We’ve organized two taxis to take us into the jungle outside Libreville. We drive for about an hour over dirt roads that are filled with huge potholes. The cars are not air-conditioned and we know we are in for another steamy hot day.

Our excursion takes about two hours, and we cannot believe the amount of animals that we find so close to the capital; a beautiful orange-coloured land crab, killifish, catfish and some beautiful green characins. Not bad for a small excursion, especially if your expectations are low.

Back at the hotel, we quench our thirst with some ice-cold drinks. The rest of the afternoon is spent relaxing in the gazebo. Next step: home.

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