The black-headed bee-eater is on just about every serious birders top ten list, and again, can only be found in this part of the continent. Our guide told us some people literally cry when they see this bird, especially if it is the last one on their world wish list. I'm certain I did not get emotional when I saw it, but I do recall wondering what we were having for lunch. I will sometimes cry if tater tots are on the menu and discover the person who ordered right before me got the last available dish.
We also saw evidence of the elusive chimpanzee, finding several nests and hearing distant vocalizations, but never actually getting a glimpse of our closest living relatives. We visited a chimp research facility in Loango National Park, where staff have been working for years to habituate one large group. Unfortunately, this program does not have a tourist component yet in place, so a guided visit to the chimps was not an option.