Nyonié and the Pongara park: my favorite place in Gabon

If you had to only do one trip from Libreville, Nyonié is my recommendation number one! It was by far one of my favorite experience in Gabon!

Although we can now find a bit more information on it on internet than when I travelled there in 2014, I still find difficult to learn more about this beautiful place. That’s why I share here my feedback to make you want to visit this beautiful corner of Gabon 🙂

Where is located Nyonié?

Nyonié and the Pongara national park

Discovery of the rainforest of Nyonié and the camps of Béti.

The Pongara park

In the Libreville region, the Pongara park is well-known for its mangroves area which is the largest of the country. The park also has varied landscapes with at the same time savannas and tropical forest. Lastly, the area is known for being a place where we can observe every year the sea turtles coming to breed.

As for me, I immediately fell in love with the place! First of all, I loved the fact that the Pongara Park is not easily accessible and that we had to mix different type of transportation in order to get there. It made me feel that we were reaching the end of the world and made the final destination even more precious!

How to get to Pongara National Park:

The departure is from the port of Michel Marine. Then, it’s about 1 hour crossing the Komo arm with the pirogue in order to reach the small village called Matec Mavie. The trip is a great opportunity to observe the mangroves and its atypical landscapes.

Once arrived at Matec Mavie, we switch for a 4X4 and continue for 45 minutes through the rainforest.

Mangroves – Komo arm, Gabon

Who is Béti?

Beti is originally from France, and few years ago he decided to launch the crazy project of building a Bungalows camp in the village of Nyonié, in the heart of the Pongara National Park.

The bungalows

Give me a rustic bungalow facing the sea and what more can I ask for? 🙂

Today the Béti’s camp has around 20 bungalows of 2 to 4 people capacity. The comfort level is rustic but comfortable and all the bungalows are located close to the sea with shared washrooms.

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

A margouya met outside of our bungalow at Nyonié, Gabon

Family catering

At Beti place, the food is served without fuss and under a large tent facing the sea. Visitors share the same table with a familial atmosphere. We even had the pleasure of having Beti join our table and getting to know this passionate entrepreneur!

The safari in 4X4

Usually you will spend the rest of your afternoon to go on Safari. I spent about 3 hours with my eyes wide open to lookout for any wild animals! The landscapes over there is absolutely gorgeous with varied landscapes of prairies and rainforest. As any wild place, you can only rely on your luck to see the wild animals… we were lucky enough to see an elephants’ family and it was amazing! However, we will need to come back to observe the buffaloes, sitatungas, and many monkeys that can be seen in the forest 🙂

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

Parc Pongara, Gabon.

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

The amazing colors of the Pongara prairies, Gabon.

The early walk in the rainforest 

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

Pongara Park, Gabon.

The next morning, we had the opportunity to do an early walk in the rainforest. We woke up at 5am (the unique experiences deserved effort!) and walked with our guide and his machete to go to meet the rainforest who was waking up.

In the heart of this dense vegetation we were able to hear the animals such as birds, monkeys and other unidentifiable animals lol … it was definitively an unforgettable experience!

The beach and the fishermen

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

Beach of Nyonié , Gabon.

Campement de Nyonié Chez Béti

Fishermen on the beach at Nyonié, Gabon.

At the Pongara Park, you really feel like you’re going through an experience cut-off from the rest of the world. The beaches are large expanses of fine and white sand with only a few fishermen and their dogs.

The egg-laying of local turtles

It is also possible to join a night group in order to observe the egg-laying of turtles. Unfortunately for us, we were not at the right season to see them. Just as the safari, it remains a wild phenomenon and you can spend hours unsuccessfully waiting for them. However, admit that simply the fact of being on the beach under the moonlight surrounded by the rainforest, is enough for unforgettable memories!

USEFUL INFORMATION

When to go?

Here is an idea of the activities that you can do according to the seasons:

From November to March: Observation of the egg-laying of turtles (however make sure to ask before to go because it can also depend of the moon cycle)

From July to September: Whale watching

All year long: Hiking in the forest, boat and pirogue trip, safari in the forest and prairie etc …

What budget?

For the all weekend, including transportation, 1-night accommodation, meals and excursion, the price is about 120 000 FCFA, (290 $ CAN – 190 €). It’s a budget, but I can’t recommend you more to do it. It’s an unforgettable experience at less than 2-hours from Libreville.

How to book?

Directly with Beti at +241 07 05 00 28

Well, I hope I made you want to discover the Nyonié region! If you went there, do not hesitate to share your experience too! I’d love hearing from you! If you are looking for other excursions to do around Libreville, take a look at my article: Gabon: Top excursions from Libreville

Welcome to my travel and budgets blog 🙂

My name is Cyrielle, and I created 6sous-to-Travel to share with you my passion for travel, but also to help you prepare your next vacation by sharing my detailed budgets by destination.

Expatriate in Canada, in Toronto, since 2015, I will give you the budgets in three currencies: The local currency, the Canadian Dollar and the Euro … just that!

Never without my SLR Pentax K-50, I share on social networks my photos of trips, come and don’t be shy to follow!

 The most beautiful trip is the one we have not done yet. Loick Peyron

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