Gone With The Wynd Expedition Number XIV

Bwiti Ceremonies – Gorilla Trekking – Masks – Punu Ceremonies – Jungle Camping

8 – 11 nights €3675 – €4175 – contact [email protected] for info

Join Viktor Wynd on a collecting expedition to the Congo Basin,  to Gabon – Africa’s Last Eden, a country larger than the United Kingdom but with a population of 2.3million, 87.5% rainforest (over 60 million years old), home to an estimated 100,000 gorillas,   50,000 elephants, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, mandrills, hippopotami, antelopes, leopards, buffalos, crocodiles, millions of birds, insects, butterflies, orchids… A country where Christianity lives side by side with traditional animists beliefs in the supernatural and spirit world.  Where people are initiated into religious societies – most famously The Bwiti where they communicate with their ancestors whose skulls and bones are kept in the villages’ Mbandja temples where initiates commune with the ever present spirits, helped by the sacred (and hallucinogenic ) iboga root, through dance, sacred music and masked dances manifesting spirits that may take the form of ancestors, snakes, elephants, crocodiles, gorillas or more mythical creatures.   Gabon’s masks and carvings are still an essential part of daily life, we hope to be able to find something extraordinary for our museum (& your private collection).

The trip will start with a tour of Libreville, Gabon’s beautiful seaside capital with visits to museums and markets, we will visit the legendary French Tatayo who for more than 30 years has been an initiated Bwite Shaman who will explain the ritual before hopefully heading out to camp in a village and experience an all night Bwiti ceremony in a small village inside Libreville where we will spend also the night.  We will then head deep into Gabon to Moukalaba-Doudou National Park for 4 nights/3 full days to explore the 503,000 hectare park, home to an estimated 5000 Gorillas & Chimpanzees, over 380 different bird species, forest elephants and more, we will join Kyoto University’s research team to trek with the gorillas.  We will spend time with the aboriginal inhabitants of the forest – The Punu – and hopefully observe another all night Bwiti/Iboga all night ceremony of fire, dance, masks and music.  We then head to Lambarené on an island on the great Ogooué River, in a wetland region of lakes of global importance , we visit the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, built by the French Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer at the beginning of the last century. This visit will allow us to travel back in time to colonial times and learn more about the history of Albert and his family, overnighting in a comfortable beachside hotel. There is then the option to spend three nights camping at a local NGO’s ecotourism initiative, on raised platforms overlooking the water with cultural and wildlife excursions (described as HEAVEN)  €500 supplement, or to return to Libreville and fly home or spend a few nights at our beautiful beach hotel .

Gabon is famous for it’s food and wherever possible we will eat the best food we can












9-12 Tsam Tsam

12 – fly home




Arrival at Libreville, capital of the Republic of Gabon. Reception and transfer to the Tropicana beach hotel which is located on one of best beaches in the city. Libreville, located in the north-west of the country, is a quiet city overlooking the ocean with more than 15 km of coastline.

A stroll through the Mont Bouet market or a fresh fish lunch at Plaine Oreti will give you an idea of the liveliness of this city.

Accommodation at Beach Hotel (Bed and Breakfast)

This practitioner of a voodoo cult called Bwiti is holding court in Abongo village near Lambarene, Gabon, Central Africa


After breakfast, we go for a city tour of Libreville and discover its history. We will also visit some markets like Mont Boué the biggest open market of gabon. In the afternoon we will meet Tatayo a French bwiti Shaman who have been living in Gabon for more than 30 years. He will explain the universe of bwiti ceremony.

In the night we will assist to a bwiti ceremony in a small village inside Libreville where we will spend also the night.

Accommodation Camping. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)


After breakfast, we will drive on a good road to the Moukalaba Doudou National Park. We will stop near the village of Mouila to see Le Lac Bleu, a lake of great natural beauty, which originates from an underground spring and is surrounded by curious legends that are still alive in the local population.

Stop in Tchibanga for lunch at a local restaurant and to make arrangements for our stay in the Moukalaba Doudou Park. After checking in at the park offices, we will continue our journey to the village of Doussala, the gateway to the Moukalaba Doudou Park.

We will stay in the Iret investigation station (Institut du Research du Ecology Tropical). F.B. (Full Board)


Moukalaba Doudou Park is a protected area of tropical forest, wetlands and savannah landscapes where wildlife watching is often a great experience.  The park is named after the Moukalaba River and the Doudou Mountains.

Lowland gorillas, forest or jungle elephants, buffalo and chimpanzees are some of the most notable species in the park.

We will spend our time in the park tracking, together with the Iret rangers, the semi-habituated gorilla groups. This lowland gorilla habituation project is in full swing and is still very much focused on scientific purposes, so it will be easy to bump into some of the project workers during our stay at Iret.

Gorilla tracking in this park does not allow groups of more than four people per day.

Moukalaba Doudou is one of the areas on the continent with the highest concentration of large primates, and walking through its forests is always a fascinating experience.

The inhabitants of Doussala are of the Punu ethnic group and, like a large part of the population of Gabon, they follow their animist traditions and practice the Bwiti which – a ritual in which fire, dances and percussion are the protagonists; all under the influence of the Iboga to those initiated in the Bwiti. We will have the option of witnessing one of these ceremonies with our hosts in Doussala.

The park has one of the highest densities of primates in the world with many different species of monkeys and of course the great apes chimpanzees and  lowland gorillas, large herds of waterbuck and reedbuck, Elephants, hippos, leopards..  Birdwatchers will be delighted with over 380 species of birds, some of them unique as Vermiculated fishing owl, black-backed barbet, black-headed batis, fiery-breasted bush shrike, brown twinspot and some rare swallows, were all spotted within the boundaries of the park.

Please note this is one of the world’s last great wildernesses, it is enormous, it is filled with wildlife but it is not a zoo – we will spend three hold days with local wildlife trackers and experts but we can not guarantee what wildlife we will or will not see.  However in my experience it is the unexpected that brings the most wonder and we will be immersed in wonder.


Accommodation Iret investigation station. F.B (Full Board)


IMPORTANT NOTE: Gorilla tracking is not focused on tourism, it is an activity for scientific and research purposes. For this reason, it is important to clarify that it is the researchers who allow us to accompany them. Their work will always be the main priority and this will condition the time and conditions of the activity.


After breakfast, we will leave Doussala behind us and head to Lambarene. We will spend about 6 hours. The city of Lambarené is located between the bifurcation of the two branches of the Ogooué River, whose source is in the Congo, and is the most important and longest river in the country at 1200 kms. Its mouth is in the south of Port Gentil, Atlantic Ocean, where a large delta is formed.

On arrival In the afternoon we will visit the town of Lambarene and ogooué Lake. Before the end of the day we will return to our hotel.

Accommodation at Hotel Agneghe Beach. B&B (Bed and Breakfast)


After breakfast, we will head to the Libreville but before will visit the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, built by the French Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer at the beginning of the last century. This visit will allow us to travel back in time to colonial times and learn more about the history of Albert and his family. After four hours of road we will arrive in Libreville at lunch time. In the afternoon we will be able to relax on the beaches of the Hotel. Transfer to the airport to return to our place of origin.

  • You can stay on at the beautiful beach front hotel for €75 per room per night



Tsam Tsam Optional Extension

Tsam Tsam is a pioneering ecotourism initiative from the  Organisation Ecologique des Lacs et de l’Ogooué (OELO) which was formed in November 2010, when residents from the Lake Oguemoué community gathered to brainstorm ways to protect their lake and environment for future generations.  Activities for visitors at Tsam Tsam are led by the community and include: guided forest hikes, night safaris by boat, paddle trips in dug-out pirogues, they work with cooperatives that lead village tours, community members serve as forest guides, and local women cook all meals (which are traditional Fang with locally sourced ingredients- oftentimes grown by the cooperatives themselves).  they can arrange spectacular traditional music by the lake, and we shoudl eb able to witness the Minkouk & Mengome Masquerade Dances.  We will consult with the group and Tsam Tsam to cater specifically to our interests. Accomodation is in tents on raised platforms  Sample itinerary below


Three-day trip to Tsam Tsam

Day 1

9:30-11:30 Boat tour of the Ogooué and chain of lakes to Lake Oguemoué

12:00 Lunch at camp

14:00 Tsam Tsam village tour

16:00 Short afternoon hike to the Little Savanna

18:00 Dinner of traditional foods prepared by local women

Day 2

7:00 Early morning hike through the forest to the Big Savanna followed by breakfast

13:00 Lunch at camp

14:00 Tour in traditional pirogues around the lake

16:00 Fishing village tour to learn about OELO’s sustainable fishing program

18:00 Dinner of traditional foods

20:00 Night boat safari (weather permitting)

Day 3

8:00 Breakfast followed by a short morning hike to the Lac Mystique

11:00 Gabonese cooking lesson with local women (booking in advance)

13:00 Lunch

15:00 Paddle trip through Biba no-take zone

17:00 Sunset boat tour

Day 4

8:00 Breakfast

9:30 Pack up camp and head back to Lambaréné



  • Gorilla observation permit.
  • English speaking guide.
  • Vehicles with fuel and driver.
  • Double room in accommodation including breakfast except on the days spent in the natural parks, where full board and water is included. Twin rooms are unusual in West Africa and an extra bed may need to be put up in the room for single travellers wanting to share
  • Entrance fees to the national parks and visits to the villages.



  • International flights and fees.
  • Tips and personal extras.
  • Visits that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance not included.
  • Any services not specified as included.
  • Some lunches and dinners

singles spplement – if you do not want to share a room €350

email [email protected] for more info