Mayumba National Park

 

Welcome

to a beach with a higher nesting density of giant leatherback sea turtles than anywhere else in Africa: one of the top two sites in the world... Welcome to a sea where magnificent humpback whales leap into the air a stone's throw from research boats... where dolphins play in the same waves as local children, and a moonlight swim is made magical by glowing phosphorescence… where a walk on the beach can go on all day, interrupted only by monkeys, mandrill, antelope and abundant birdlife... Welcome to a land of swimming, surfing, paddling and sailing… to delicious local seafood, a charming and relaxed beach town and a rich local culture…

Welcome to Mayumba!

 

Mayumba National Park

The centerpiece of any visit to Mayumba is Mayumba National Park. Created in 2002 by Gabon's late President, OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA, a network of thirteen national parks, protects nearly 11% of the country's land and waters. As a result of this visionary act, Gabon is now internationally regarded as a conservation leader, and its forests and terrestrial wildlife will remain among the most intact in Africa. In this network of parks, only one area is dedicated to the protection of marine life. This is Mayumba National Park.

Mayumba National Park protects an area of coastal sea of approximately 900 square kilometers, and a narrow 1km x 60km strip of beach and coastal vegetation. The Mayumba coastline is characterized by long exposed sandy beaches and extensive freshwater, tidal or brackish lagoons. The beaches support a rich shoreline fauna including monitor lizards, genet, mongoose, ghost crabs and shore birds. Buffalo, elephant and other forest animals are frequently found on the beaches and amid the dense dune vegetation that fringes the coast. Mandrill, gorilla, chimpanzee, and other primates inhabit the forest-savannah mosaic behind the dunes. The lagoons, some of which are extensive and extend for many miles inland, laced with islands, channels and rivers, are immensely productive systems supporting a wealth of fauna and flora, much of which takes advantage of major mangroves, flooded forests and swamplands. Hippo and crocodile are found here, as well as the rare and threatened West African manatee. Mangroves are critical developmental habitat for a wide range of coastal fish species and are important for many bird species.

 

Gabon hosts the single largest population of nesting leatherback turtles in the world each year between November and April. If Gabon is the world capital for nesting leatherback turtles, then the turtle capital of Gabon is Mayumba. Upwards of 550 females may come ashore in a single night in the 80 km from Mayumba town to the border with Congo; in places a density of over 20 females per kilometer. The protection of critically endangered leatherback turtles is one of the main reasons the Park was created.

In addition to its notable turtle population, Mayumba sees almost 10% of the world's humpback whales pass through or remain in its waters each year on their annual breeding migration; rare and little-studied humpback dolphins have been found close to the coast, sharks and rays appear to be abundant in the area, and bony fishes are also found in large numbers.

This website provides information on Mayumba's natural and cultural richness, as well as information about the Park itself. You can find everything you need to plan a trip to Mayumba, or just to learn a bit more about the wildlife that lives in this area. In addition, there are plenty of pictures of the animal and plant species that make their home here. We hope that your visit to this website will be interesting and informative. Enjoy, and please contact us with any inquiries.

Our Partners and Supporters

USAID 'CARPE' supports initiatives within the Mayumba National Park and in the surrounding landscape through its committment to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, through the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Park gratefully acknowledges the continued support of USAID in establishing and maintaining our projects.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working on conservation and applied research issues in Gabon for more than a decade and is now a lead NGO partner in several of Gabon's new National Parks. WCS is dedicated to pursuing lasting wildlife conservation, based on sound science and the long term support of in-country field programs. WCS has actively supported the efforts of the Mayumba National Park since 2003.
The United Nations Foundation and the Central African World Heritage Forest Initiative for Africa (CAWHFI) supports many vital initiatives for the protection of sea turtles in Mayumba through the support of WCS. We are grateful for their continued vision and committment to conservation in the region.
NPWS Ireland

 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of Ireland, has helped Mayumba National Park through its assistance of our sea turtle patrol program.  Funding from the Irish Government has allowed us to extend our turtle work, and in particular, offer greater protection to the leatherback turtles that nest on our beaches.  Leatherbacks are known to feed in the sea off Ireland, and we greatly appreciate this initiative to assist in turtle conservation in other parts of the species' range.

 

 

ASF' - The NGO Aventures Sans Frontiers have been active in Gabonese conservation since 1992, and have been collecting sea turtle data and protecting beaches in Mayumba and Pongara since 1999.

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