|Hiking Into Boumba Bek|
by Mike Loomis
April 3, 2003
Diary for Wednesday, April 2
We left Yokodouma yesterday about 8:00AM. We traveled for two and one-half hours to the village of Naatto, and hiked from there into Boumba Bek National Park. For most of the trip, we were able to make use of an old logging road in the forest, which allowed us to move quickly. We passed several abandoned logging camps and farms.
A bit more than two hours after we left Naatto, we came to the Boumba River, which serves as the border to the National Park. The Boumba River is a good-sized body of water, about fifty meters across and with a very fast current. One of the guides ferried us and our equipment across in a pirogue (a type of dugout canoe); even though a pirogue is quite long and heavy, he was able to get across smoothly, and we made the trip safely. We made near the river's shore that night.
Diary for Thursday, April 3
More foot travel today. We were out of camp by 7:00AM, and spent a good part of the day hiking through primary forest on a fairly dry ridge. It was very humid, so we stopped at every stream to refill our water bottles. Right now, we are about three and one-half hours from our next camp, where we'll stop for the night. On Friday, we'll get up early again, and hike another three hours to reach our final destination in the park. From there, we'll work on collaring our fourth elephant of the 2003 trip.
About the author:
Dr. Mike Loomis is Chief Veterinarian at the North Carolina