Maybe that explains why it’s only in Gabon that hippos have been seen swimming in the surf. Here, during the rainy season, buffalos and forest elephants can often be found grazing on the coastal grasslands and the beach. Occasionally, families of gorillas can also be spotted foraging in the trees alongside the beach. Many of the Gabonese beaches provide a significant habitat for migrant shorebirds, including African skimmers and Damara terns, whose numbers are quickly diminishing across the rest of Africa.
Tassi Savannah Camp is located on the savannah, surrounded by primary and secondary forest. The wide-open vistas here will give you a much more classical ‘Africa feel’, not easily found elsewhere in densely forested Central Africa. It’s a place where you can catch the ocean breeze and, from the same position, watch the sun rising over the savannah and forest in the east every morning, and sinking below the Atlantic horizon in the west every evening.
An amazing patchwork of landscapes
Feel at one with nature in the middle of the savannah looking out over the coastal grasslands towards the ocean. While relaxing on the private terrace of your tent or enjoying a drink in the restaurant there’s always a chance of seeing some elephants and buffalos on the savannah. Some have spotted wild chimpanzees around the camp, and every now and then a curious elephant might even come poking in!
This attractive patchwork of savannah, forest, swamp, and small coastal lagoons in proximity to an endless stretch of beach is also perfect for turning adventurous. Discover the camp’s various surroundings on one of our guided walks, cycle on the beach or kayak on Louri Lagoon.
A gorilla and chimpanzee habituation programme
Take the 4×4 and visit the research camp of the Max Planck Institute in Tassi Sud, 30 minutes from Tassi Savannah Camp. From here, researchers go out into the forest to carry out studies amongst the shy, elusive gorillas and chimpanzees. This also acclimatises the animals gradually to the presence of humans in the vicinity. In the future, this habituation programme will allow a controlled form of tourism to track and view the gorillas and chimpanzees, while at the same time allowing researchers to gather data on all aspects of their behaviour and ecology.
- hike to Akaka Bush Camp (5 hours)
- kayaking on Louri Lagoon
- visits to archaeological sites (during the dry season)
- beach cycling (depending on the tide)
- beach barbeque
- various walks in diverse surroundings
When to go to Tassi Savanah
Tassi Savannah Camp is open during the rainy season from October until April. Forest elephants, forest buffalos, red river hogs and sitatunga (swamp-dwelling antelopes) can regularly be sighted from the camp itself. During the rainy season, elephants and buffalos often feed on the grassland adjacent to the beach.
In 2002, late President Omar Bongo Ondimba put Gabon firmly on the map as an important future ecotourism destination by nominating more than 11% of the nation’s territory as National Park – a new standard in African eco-tourism and conservation!
Gabon is home to western lowland gorillas and nearly 200 other mammal species and 600 species of birds. In Loango National Park, you can find elephants and buffalos roaming freely on its endless beaches.
Rainfall varies from an annual average of 120 inches in the capital Libreville to 150 inches on the northwest coast, with almost all of it falling between October and April. In the period from May to September there is little, if any, rainfall, but humidity remains high.
The earliest inhabitants of Gabon are the pygmy people. Pygmy tribes are known for their hunting & gathering culture in the central African rainforest, and for their height: adult members grow on average to less than 150 cm (4 feet 11 inches).