Compagne Miniere de l'Ogo- oue (COMILOG), a French company which mines manganese in the southeastern corner of Gabon near Franceville, has established the Societe D'exploitation du Parc de la Lekedi (SODEPAL) to manage some 19,000 hectares of game-fenced land owned by the company in the rainforests and has obtained provisional approval from the government to offer hunts on 15,000 hectares (about 37,000 acres). Starting in September this year, Club Faune, on behalf of SODEPAL, offered six 13-day hunts ($29,000 US) for forest sitatunga (Trophy Fee, 3,000 Euros), dwarf forest buffalo (TF, 2,000 Euros), Gabon duiker (TF, 900 Euros), black-fronted duiker (TF, 900 Euros), yellow-backed duiker (TF, 1,500 Euros), bay duiker (TF, 900 Euros), blue duiker (TF, 600 Euros) and Peter's duiker (TF, 900 Euros), plus harnessed bushbuck (TF, 600 Euros) and red river hog (TF, 600 Euros).
Five hunters have already returned at this writing having shot, collectively, five buffalo, four sitatunga, four bushbuck, three yellow-backed, three Peter's, two black-fronted and one Gabon duiker. This certainly makes it the best producing area in Africa for two of the most difficult animals to hunt in Africa today, namely dwarf forest buffalo and forest sitatunga. Gabon and black-fronted duiker can also not be hunted legally anywhere else by international hunters.
The area comprises gently undulating hills, interspersed with steep ravines and gorges, both of which are covered by rainforest. Broad patches of savanna push into the rain forest, which is lower in height and less severe than that found in southeastern Cameroon, for example. No elephants, bongo or giant forest hog are found in the area.
SODEPAL has dammed six of the rivers in the area and built miradors at four of them, with one more at a natural opening in the forest. They have........(continued)