Libreville, 12th January 2021. Despite uncertainties around global tourism recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, construction work has commenced on ACDG’s first lodge situated on the coast within Loango National Park. The lodge is being developed by The African Conservation Development Group (ACDG) under concession from the National Parks Agency of Gabon (ANPN).
In November 2020, the leadership team of ACDG (formerly known as SFM Africa) took advantage of the gradual opening of African air traffic to travel to Gabon. This mission enabled ACDG to recommit to its development programmes in southern Gabon with the support of Government and institutional stakeholders.
With the appointment of an experienced on-site management team and the local recruitment of qualified workers, the decision was taken to accelerate the construction of the lodge at Petit Loango, located at the heart of Loango National Park. More than two hundred tons of timber, plywood, equipment, and supplies needed for construction of the back-of-house infrastructure was brought onto site in December.
The 24-bed luxury lodge aims to set a benchmark for nature-based tourism in Equatorial Africa. The lodge has been designed by award-winning architects Sylvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who have crafted some of Africa’s most exclusive safari lodges. All timber and plywood being used for construction has been sourced from Gabonese sustainable forestry concessions.
Alan Bernstein, the chairman and founder of ACDG, said tourism was an extremely important strategic imperative for Gabon. “Our team, which has more than 30 years’ experience in developing high-end eco-tourism in Africa, is committed to contributing to Gabon’s diversification strategy. The first ACDG safari-lodge will be a flagship in Africa and will help position Gabon as a world-class destination for sustainable tourism.”
“In the current economic environment, which remains very difficult for the tourism sector, our decision to accelerate construction work on the lodge is proof of our confidence in Gabon’s nature-based tourism potential” added Bernstein.
ACDG plans to establish a network of lodges in Gabon’s national parks, starting in Loango National Park, one of the most beautiful and biodiversity-rich protected areas in Africa.