The Ocean

Picture of an oil rig off Cap Lopez, Gabon

Photograph by Enric Sala

Gabon is a wildlife Eden in West Africa, with 13 national parks covering 11 percent of its landmass, including megafauna such as gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and surfing hippos. It has hundreds of kilometers of pristine beaches and coastal lagoons, with healthy populations of humpback whales and sea turtles. However, very little is known about Gabon's underwater life, and there is no marine equivalent to the land park system. National Geographic's Pristine Seas project partnered with the Waitt Institute for Discovery and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on an expedition to Gabon in October 2012 in order to research this region.

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