That about sums up my week here! On Monday, after buying my fuel, a driver brought me here from Gamba. Driving is interesting… the only real dirt road dies out after several miles and then there’s just a deep sandy track across the savannah that gets progressively worse as you go along. We were in a Landrover and the plastic gas drum and all my gear were inside with us; as we lurched over the sand the drum seemed like it was going to tip over on us many times, my internal organs felt like they had been blended and the car’s radiator overheated twice, but other than that it was an uneventful ride. Actually it only took an hour to get to Sette Cama and the best surprise of all was seeing 2 side-striped jackals along the way. They were only recently documented by researchers here.
Sette Cama Safaris is one of only two lodges here and it is a gorgeous place. It’s not as fancy as some of the other lodges I’ve stayed in previously in Gabon, but it definitely wins the award for the most relaxed atmosphere. It sits facing the lagoon, with the ocean and a gorgeous beach just alittle more than a stone’s throw behind it. There are 5 bungalows and a main lodge with 2 large covered porches, a dining room, sitting area and a bar. It’s all pretty open air. There are cool things to look at everywhere in and around the main lodge- whale bones and an elephant tusk, beautiful African wood carvings, and old fishing pirogues overflowing with flowers. All around the buildings are beautiful flowering bushes filled with amazing birds- it’s like being permanently inside an aviary at a zoo. This is the best place I’ve seen in Gabon for birds so far (as most of you know, the bird thing is genetic- Dad’s an ornithologist extraordinaire). From any of the porches you can sit and watch 30 or more species go by- bright blues, greens, oranges and reds all chirping merrily.
View of bungalows from main lodge.
View from the front door of my bungalow.
The Bungalows are really nice (comfortable beds, nice, clean bathrooms and hot water!). I highly recommend this place if you ever want to come to Gabon and see amazing wildlife!
Sette Cama Safaris is interested in knowing about manatees in the area, so we worked out an agreement that they provide me lodging, a boat and a driver knowledgeable of the area, and I provide boat fuel and my own food (there are no stores here). It has worked out very well and it’s been a very productive and fun week! Alain, the lodge manager, has taken me out in the boat every day. Not only does he know his way around every mangrove channel (there are thousands, it’s like a maze), but he knows both common and Latin names for every species in the area.
Green-headed Sunbird, gorgeous little bird!
This adorable bird is called a Black-bellied Seedcracker. I want to know who thought the black belly was the defining feature of this bird?? I guess “flaming red head with white eye ring and big fat blue beak” didn’t come to mind? Ridiculous!