Known officially as Gabonese Republic, Gabon is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. It is located on the Equator, on the Atlantic Ocean coast, bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Its land area is approximately 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 1.5 million people. Its name originated from "Gabão," the Portuguese word for "cloak", which is roughly the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. Its official language is French, while its vernacular languages are Fang, Myene, Punu, and Nzebi.
The country is one of the most prosperous in Sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to its low population density, abundant petroleum, and foreign private investment.
What to see & do
Visit Lambaréné and get immersed with its unparalleled beauty. Its lakes, rivers, green foliage – all making a spectacular view. There’s also Mayumba National Park, where one can spot barnacles whales and sea turtles; see the gushing falls of Makokou and Kongou; stroll along the vast, tropical Ivindo National Park, home to Gabon’s eco-destinations. Here, one can watch forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, sitatungas, buffalo, monkeys, and rare bird species interact; and check out Chez Beti, a small, seaside safari camp where one can enjoy wildlife sightings that include elephants, buffalo, monkeys, parrots, hornbills and other local fauna.
How to get around
There are a number of ways to get around Gabon, the easiest of which is by bus, as there are an abundance of them and they are cheap. A lot of these bus lines are operated by local, private entrepreneurs, operating the cities with paved roads that lead to and from them. They have increased their routes following the closure of carrier Air Gabon. There are plenty of relatively well-maintained taxis in the Libreville area, so getting around the capital should be no problem. One can also navigate his or her way around major cities by car, as there are plenty of paved roads. For areas with unpaved roads, driving a 4x4 is advised. But note though that during rainy season, it is difficult, even with a 4x4 to drive around said areas so best avoid planning trips in these areas for your safety and convenience. There’s also a railway, the Trans-Gabon railroad, which goes from Owendo to Franceville. A daily train is available every week, with trips taking about 12 to 18 hours. Boat travel is also available all along the coast of the country and miles up the Ogooue River to Lambarene. One can also opt to travel around the country by plane. Air Service has scheduled flights to Oyem, Makouko and Franceville/Mvengue. Air Nationale flies to Franceville/Mvengue. There are also flights to Franceville/Mvengue every day of the week except Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, daily scheduled flights between Libreville and Port Gentil, weekly flights from Port-Gentil / Libreville to São Tomé & Príncipe and to Loango National Park are available via Africa's Connection.
How to get there
There are a number of airports in Gabon. Its main international port of entry by air is through Libreville Leon M'ba International Airport, located at the capital. Some of the airlines that serve Gabon include Air France and Gabon Airlines (from Paris to Libreville), and Royal Air Maroc (from Casablanca to Gabon). Air Service also flies to Douala (Cameroon), and Ethiopian Airlines flies from Addis Ababa. There are flights to Brazzaville, Congo occasionally. Additionally, "Interair" flies from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Libreville, while South African Airways offers direct flights from Johannesburg South Africa) to Libreville. Another way is by car, although despite several border crossings, the roads are not in great condition, so it is recommended to drive a 4x4.