One of the, many, things we wanted to do while here in Gabon was to go camping. And we just did our first trip! We went with a group of 9 people (6 adults and 3 children) to Pointe Pedras. A scenic beach right next to the jungle. The ladies went earlier during the day and set up the campsite, the men joined after work. The drive to the campsite is a bit different, first some tarmac, then laterite and finally sand. Going from a plain landscape through dense bushes which try to hide the path going to the beach. Soon after our arrival and some walks on the beach the prep work for dinner started which actually means gathering wood to build a fire for BBQing (and keeping the elephants away). Everyone brought some delicious items which were BBQ’d and accompanied by various salads etc. Then the night falls and a beautiful sky full of stars appeared. Also making it pitch black dark and very difficult to see your surroundings. This is not a bad thing if there weren’t any elephant tracks and manure around us….they are around us and are very difficult to spot but before you know they are right in front of you! Before bedtime we did a little walk on the beach and found fresh hippo tracks but didn’t hear anything. Unfortunately the hippo had set off, probably annoyed about the people sitting around in his spot….. Before we all gracefully retired we put some extra wood on the fire, just to make sure we wouldn’t be surprised by a nightly visit of an elephant which will start shaking the tent, or trampling us. That is the reason we bought a roof tent….
After a hot and some what humid night, resulting in a sweaty night of some sleeping and mostly avoiding touching each other. We don’t need more body heat! The true beauty is when the sun rises and you can hear the monkeys in the trees jumping around with some parrot noises here and there.
We decided to get up early and walk to the lagoon and hope to see a surfing hippo or maybe an elephant. They tend to go out early to avoid the direct sunlight, or for that matter the people trying to spot them…. unfortunately no signs of wildlife at this lagoon. After a delicious breakfast containing fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs and some monkey entertainment we decided to walk over to the other side. There was a breakthrough where the river flows into the ocean this provides an interesting interaction between the salt and freshwater and brings in nutrients for the saltwater species. Usually a good fishing spot or an easy way for wildlife to hop between the two. We spotted elephant and hippo tracks, but again the animals were probably hiding in the woods. Unfortunately no wildlife, most likely because of the sun starting to burn quite hot, it is the equator after all. We knew they were around, fresh tracks gave away their presence but didn’t reveal them as the tracks ended in the water where they wandered off…
After the walk we sat down and watched the children play. The little girl in the photo, Liefie started to practice her surfing skills and balance. She must have some Australian bloodlines.
There will always be an end, also for this trip. We packed up the stuff and only needed to take down the swing, which was knotted up to the tree….