visit the southern beaches
To experience the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve (GCSR) and the unique biodiversity that lies within this pristine area, the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) offers short-term research volunteer experiences at the remote field camps located on the southern beaches. Groups of “short term research volunteers” (maximum of 8) can be accompanied by local guides to the research camps and can learn about the bio-monitoring and conservation work being done by our field researchers. Not only does your participation support the ongoing conservation efforts of the BBPP, but it also supports sustainable alternative livelihood opportunities for the local community of Ureca, and serves as a passive conservation presence to protect native wildlife.
Camp Moaba Playa
(1.5-2 hour hike from Ureca)
A visit to Moaba is almost certain to include an experience with one of Planet Earth's ancient animals, the Leatherback sea turtle. Relax during the day by waterfalls hidden in the forest or take in the views of the stunning volcanic rock formations along the beach.
Camp Moraca Playa
(6 hour hike from Ureca)
Moraka's long sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets make it an idyllic location to view nesting green sea turtles nesting at night and in the pre-dawn hours. Venture into the forests at the foot of the Gran Caldera to spot the many monkey species that make this forest their home, especially the rare Pennant's Red Colobus.
Arrangements can be made through BBPP on island staff in the months of November through March. Please contact us to discuss prices and availability. Your fee, in addition to supporting the local community, will include:
• Guided hike to the field camp (with the option of a porter)
• Three hot meals per day plus additional snacks
• Drinking water
• Personal Camp attendant (to collect firewood, tend fire, set up tent etc.)
• Tent on a custom built beach side platform
• Sleeping pad and/or cot
• Research appropriate headlamp
• Use of dry bags
• Guided night hike on beach to monitor sea turtle nesting activity
• Guided day hike in forest to observe wildlife (primates, birds, etc.)
*Transportation to Ureca can be arranged for an additional fee (subject to availability).
Only have one day? Come and visit the Ureca Nature Center to learn about all of the opportunities waiting just outside of this small, hidden village. With the help of a local guide, just one day can take you to crystal clear swimming holes, beautiful vista points, ocean draining waterfalls, and even give you a glimpse at some of Ureca's resident primates.
With just a tourism permit, stop into the the center and have the local staff put you in touch with your daily guide. While waiting, enjoy a chance to learn about the wildlife of Bioko and the BBPP's current conservation projects at the center's small museum, as well as get a chance to shop at the only authentic gift shop on the entire Island!
hike the moka highlands
Remarkably different from anywhere else on the island, Moka is Bioko's best kept secret. The breathtaking views of the Moka highlands are not to be missed. Visit the Moka Wildlife Center and take advantage of one of many hikes designed for all skill levels.
Nature Trail - This 1 kilometer educational trail starts directly behind the Moka Wildlife Center and leads through the forests surrounding the base of the Biao Mountain. Informational panels line the trail telling visitors facts about the flora and fauna of Bioko, making this trail an ideal family outing or just a short tour stop.
The Cascades – This four hour round trip hike follows a river through the back forests of Moka, opening to a view of one of Bioko's most magnificent river valleys opposing waterfalls tumbling from the highland's mountain range.
Lago Biao – Take a trip to a hidden crater lake perched atop Bioko's third highest peak. This five-hour strenuous hike will lead you through the sacred forests and mossy grasslands of Moka all the way to this volcanic lake.
All photos seen above are credited to National Geographic Photographers Tim Laman, Ian Nichols, Joel Sartore, and Christian Ziegler as well as numerous members of BBPP (staff, students, and volunteers).