Showing posts from April, 2013

Gabon Manatees, Gorillas and Paul du Chaillu

I was about to give up on the bookshop at Miami airport yesterday, but on the way out caught sight of "Between Man and Beast" by Monte Reel, the story of Paul du Chaillu, a nineteenth century adventurer in Gabon. Chimpanzee on the cover of du Chaillu 1890 I had already been thinking about Gabon again after watching wild manatees at Fort Pierce, Florida. The last time I had seen a manatee in the wild was about fifteen years ago, on a trip with my brother  along the Mouambi, a mangrove-fringed coast-parallel creek that connects with the Nyanga river in South Gabon.  We had visited Mayonomi village on a previous afternoon to arrange for someone to take us along the Mouambi by pirogue (dugout) and after many conversations and some amazing stories (lubricated by multiple Regabs in the rudimentary bar), we agreed to meet up again at the village on the following Sunday. We emerged into the night to find a skinny cow standing outside the hut, beneath a sickle