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Location:Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
Currency:Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF)
Area:267,667 sq km
Population:2,284,912 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Religion:Roman Catholic 42.3%, Protestant 12.3%, other Christian 27.4%, Muslim 9.8%, animist 0.6%, other 0.5%, none/no answer 7.1% (2012 est.)
Things to Do
1. Loango National Park
Explore the diverse wildlife and pristine beaches of Loango National Park. Spot elephants, gorillas, hippos, and more as you hike through dense forests and along the coastline. Don't miss the chance to witness the incredible sight of forest elephants swimming in the ocean.
2. Pongara National Park
Visit Pongara National Park for a unique nature experience. This coastal park is home to diverse ecosystems including mangroves, tidal flats, and savannas. Take a boat trip to see dolphins and sea turtles or go on a guided walk to spot monkeys and birds in their natural habitat.
3. Ivindo National Park
Embark on an adventure in Ivindo National Park. Explore ancient rainforests, trek to breathtaking waterfalls, and go on a river safari to spot crocodiles and hippos. This park is also home to a significant population of gorillas, making it a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts.
4. Lopé National Park
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Lopé National Park. Trek through dense forests to discover diverse wildlife including elephants, buffalos, and monkeys. Don't forget to visit the Lopé-Okanda Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the rich cultural history of Gabon.
5. Pointe Denis
Escape to the tranquil island of Pointe Denis. Relax on pristine beaches, enjoy water sports activities like snorkeling and kayaking, and savor delicious seafood at beachfront restaurants. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, Pointe Denis is a perfect getaway for beach lovers.
6. Akanda National Park
Discover the unique ecosystem of Akanda National Park. This coastal park is characterized by its mangrove forests and lagoons, which are home to a variety of bird species. Take a boat ride through the park's scenic waterways and spot colorful birds and other wildlife.
7. Mayumba National Park
Experience the natural wonders of Mayumba National Park. This coastal park is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Swim with dolphins, go snorkeling to explore vibrant coral reefs, and watch sea turtles nesting on the shores.
8. Pénombre du Moanda
Go on a thrilling cave exploration adventure in Pénombre du Moanda. This underground cave system offers a unique experience for adventurous travelers. Explore narrow passages, admire stunning rock formations, and marvel at the beautiful underground chambers.
Discover the charming town of Tchibanga. Visit the vibrant local market to experience the flavors and scents of Gabonese cuisine, explore the colonial architecture, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Don't miss the opportunity to attend traditional dance and music performances.
10. Plage de la Sablière
Relax on the stunning beach of Plage de la Sablière. This secluded beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a peaceful retreat. Swim in the clear waters, sunbathe on the soft sand, and enjoy a picnic with stunning views of the coastline.
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Climate in Gabon
Gabon has a tropical climate, with two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season, which runs from June to September, is the best time to visit Gabon as it is characterized by sunny weather and low humidity. The rainy season, which runs from October to May, is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity.
Temperatures in Gabon are generally high throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from around 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the dry season and around 27-32 degrees Celsius (81-90 degrees Fahrenheit) during the rainy season.
Best time to visit Gabon
The best time to visit Gabon is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. The weather is sunny and dry, and it is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, safari, and beach relaxation. However, you should keep in mind that it is also the peak tourist season, so you may find that prices are higher and some of the most popular sites can be quite crowded.
It's important to note that Gabon is located in the equatorial zone, which means that there is a high level of humidity throughout the year, and even during the dry season, visitors should expect some rain. Additionally, the rainy season is also a good time to visit Gabon if you want to experience the lush greenery of the rainforests, but keep in mind that it can be quite hot and humid during this time of the year.
Gabon offers a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, and guesthouses. Hotels in Gabon are generally of a good standard, and there are options available to suit all budgets. Many hotels in Gabon are located in the capital, Libreville, and other major cities such as Port-Gentil, Franceville and Oyem.
Guesthouses are another popular option for accommodation in Gabon. These are often family-run and offer a more authentic and local experience. Guesthouses are often less expensive than hotels and resorts and can be a great option for budget-conscious travelers.
Gabon is home to several resorts, including beach resorts, which are mainly located in the coastal areas. These resorts offer more luxurious accommodation options and are often equipped with amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and spas. They are perfect for travelers looking for relaxation and luxury while enjoying the beach.
Gabon also offers several camping sites, mainly located in the national parks and protected areas. This option is perfect for nature enthusiasts and travelers who want to explore Gabon's nature and wildlife. They generally offer basic facilities such as toilets, showers and fireplaces, and travelers need to bring their own camping gear.
In Gabon, the most common form of public transportation is the shared taxi, also known as "navette", which is a minivan that runs on fixed routes and stops at designated locations. This can be a good option for getting around the cities, but keep in mind that it can be quite crowded and uncomfortable during peak hours. Additionally, local buses are available in major cities, but are not as frequent and reliable as the shared taxis.
Another option for transportation in Gabon is to hire a private taxi or car. This is a more comfortable and convenient option, but it is also more expensive. Private taxis can be found at major hotels and airports, and it is recommended to negotiate the fare before starting your trip.
Motorcycles and bicycles
Motorcycles and bicycles are also popular options for transportation in Gabon, especially for shorter trips and for exploring smaller towns and villages. They can be rented at several locations and are a good way to avoid traffic congestion and explore the country's landscape and culture.
Gabon has several airports, the main one is the Leon M'ba International Airport located in Libreville and serves several destinations in Africa and Europe. This is a convenient option for travelers who want to save time and avoid long road trips. Air Gabon, the national airline, covers several destinations within Gabon as well as to some neighboring countries like Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and others.
- The currency in Gabon is the Central African CFA franc (XAF).
Cash And Cards
- Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for small businesses and rural areas.
- ATMs are available in major cities and towns, but may be limited in remote areas.
- Tipping is not expected in Gabon, but it is appreciated for exceptional service.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Gabon is relatively high, especially in major cities like Libreville.
- Be cautious of scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services.