Monte Alen National Park
Goliath Frog © Peter Linehan
The Monte Alen National Park is one of Equatorial Guinea's best kept secrets and certainly one of the country's most popular and worthwhile tourist attractions. Located 37 miles (60km) southeast of Bata, on the mainland, the park is a protected wilderness area covering 540 square miles (1400 sq km). The park landscape is lush rainforest and there is some amazing wildlife to be sought out. Although often the only way to get to the park is by bush taxi, which can be crowded and uncomfortable, once in the reserve visitors can enjoy well-maintained hiking trails and some lovely rustic campsites. In Monte Alen it is possible to see chimpanzees, forest elephants, crocodiles and even mountain gorillas, although these majestic animals are rare and endangered. The reserve is known for its high diversity of primate species with many different kinds of monkeys for tourists to discover. It is also a paradise for bird watchers, with 265 bird species officially recorded and some unusual specimens. Visitors should ensure that they bring along waterproof hiking gear as the rainforest can be very wet and the paths can get slippery. It is best not to rely on the park to provide anything and bringing a bottled water supply and plenty of insect repellent is recommended.