Pico Basile NP & Gran Caldera, Equatorial Guinea
Primates of Bioko
£3,450 pp sharing
At a Glance
Dates: November 29th - December 6th, 2023
Extension: We do not currently offer any extensions to this itinerary.
Prices: £3,450 pp sharing (with no single supplement), excluding international flights.
In a sentence: With some of the highest primate diversity anywhere in Africa, Bioko is a must-visit for those with a soft spot for our primate cousins.
Whilst Eritrea is generally referred to as the 'North Korea of Africa', Equatorial Guinea is a close second in terms of secrecy and intransigence when it comes to tourism. This makes visits very difficult, especially to the mainland, but Bioko Island is slowly opening up - and what riches there are to be found! Full of endemics and near-endemics, there are several primate species easily seen here that are hardly ever seen elsewhere on the continent. Perhaps principal amongst these are the elusive drill, which cling on in the south of the island. For anyone who seeks encounters with rare primates, there is nowhere better to visit right now than Bioko.
On arrival into Malabo, you will be met by your Pictus Safaris tour leader and transferred directly to your local hotel. There will be a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening, with the remainder of the day at leisure.
Pico Basile NP
Early this morning we will make the one-hour drive to Pico Basile National Park, where we will strike out on foot into the forest in search of Bioko's rare primates. Our key target here will be Preuss's monkey, an endangered species found only in fragmented mountain populations in Bioko, Nigeria and Cameroon. The trails around the foot of this volcanic peak access the most likely areas in which this species is to be found, and we stand an excellent chance of a sighting this morning.
After lunch, it is then a further two-hour drive to the town of Moka on the south of the island. This is a great stopping point before we head into the wilds of the south of Bioko tomorrow, and we will overnight in a comfortable hotel here. After dinner, we will head to a local nature centre where Thomas's dwarf galago are routinely seen.
Today a full day is dedicated to exploring the immediate surrounds of Moka. There may be an opportunity to try for cetaceans from shore, or scour the beaches for signs of turtle activity. The exact itinerary is flexible dependent on the interests of the group.
Days Four to Seven
The next four full days will be dedicated to seeking out several rare species of primate that are more easily seen in Bioko than anywhere else in their range. Basing ourselves as a basic camp inside the Gran Caldera reserve, our key target will be the elusive and charismatic drill - sightings are rare but we will do all we can to track down these beautiful animals. Other targets include red-eared monkey, black colobus, Pennant's red colobus and putty-nosed monkey. Depending on the favourability of the ecoguards, we may also be able to head out at night on foot to seek out smaller mammals on the many forest trails.
This morning we transfer back to Malabo for your homeward flights.
Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may
occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.
Dates and Prices
This tour will run in December 2023, aiming to take advantage of the dry season when access to the island is at its easiest. The tour will run from November 29th to December 6th.
The cost of this trip is £3,450 per person excl. flights. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Drinks are not included. There is no single supplement for this trip. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £1,000 must be paid.
Flights and Visas
Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as skyscanner.net or momondo.com to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Malabo at the beginning or end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost. We strongly recommend booking flights leaving Malabo after 12.00 on your return, if leaving on the same day that we return to Malabo to avoid disruption to your plans.
British nationals do require a visa to enter Equatorial Guinea. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa. Details of the process of obtaining a tourist visa for Equatorial Guinea will be provided to you upon booking. The cost of an Equatorial Guinea entry visa for UK citizens is £100 - these must be obtained prior to arrival into Equatorial Guinea.
Weather and What to Bring
The weather in Bioko in December is hot and humid, with maximum temperatures of around 31 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 23 degrees Celsius.
A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.
Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars.
Safety and Security
This tour doesn't visit any areas where there are currently security concerns.