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Gabon Coast, Gabon, 2003

Photo: Gabon Coast

Sunlight radiates through the clouds, illuminating the pristine beaches of Loango National Park. The wide, sandy beaches are a haven for many species of wildlife, including the enormous leatherback turtles, who lay their eggs by moonlight every three years between October and March.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Gabon's Loango National Park: In the Land of the Surfing Hippos," August 2004, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Michael Nichols

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