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Gabon

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This tropical country is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast and the equator. Because of its location it is always very hot and humid. The capital city of Libreville is the hub of the country and has all the comforts anyone would want as a vacation spot. This is a small country, but is very wealthy due to the oil and mineral reserves. The official language is French and the currency is CFA francs or Euros. You will need to have a visa to enter the country and you must get this prior to your arrival.

Getting There

If you want to arrive by car there are several border crossings, but the terrain is very rough and a 4x4 is suggested as the best way to safely navigate the roads. Being on the coast there are boat arrivals every day and of course there is air travel, but there are not many airlines that fly to Gabon so this mode of travel is not as frequent.

Getting Around

In Libreville, and the other cities where the roads are paved, a car can be driven with no problem, but the best mode of travel and the cheapest is by bus. There are also taxis that are very plentiful and they keep them maintained. And again, boat travel is available if you want to explore.

Where to Stay

If you are staying in Libreville there are several comfortable hotels that offer amenities such as air-conditioning and WiFi. If you want to be more adventurous there are several eco-friendly safari camps.

There is a seaside safari camp offering all-inclusive family style meals and air-conditioned cottages. Prices are very reasonable and include roundtrip transportation from the Libreville marina. This is run by a French expat who offers the whole safari experience with evening Landcruiser safaris and also sunrise walking safaris. A great chance to see a lot of animals in their natural habitat. You can plan this excursion in Libreville with a local travel agent. Travelers do need to know that this is a one hour boat trip which lands in the mangroves and then a 45 minute 4x4 drive to the camp.

Located in Ivindo National Park is one of the best of the Gabonese eco-destinations. Eco-destinations are great for travelers that are into saving the planet. Solar energy, composting toilets and no chemicals make this environmentally conscious camp a different experience for most travelers, but it also gives you an opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat. The stays at this camp run about $ 315 USD a night, but it is all-inclusive. Arrangements need to be made well in advance through a travel agent in Libreville or before you leave home.

Landmarks



Pointe-Denis Beach

Located in Libreville, this is one of the two primary beaches, but this one offers camping sites along with all the usual beach activities.

L’Eglise St-Michel

Also located in Libreville, this beautiful building is supported by wooden columns that were carved by a blind Gabonese man.

Kongou and Makoku

Fondation Internation Gabon Eco-tourisme organizes all kinds of camping trips surrounding these beautiful waterfalls. There are excursions into the rainforest, to the falls, pirogue trips, and many other activities all at very reasonable prices. The cheapest way to get to the falls from Libreville is the train to Booué (Wikipedia Article) and then a taxi-brousse to Makoku. NRT flights are available on Wednesday and Friday, but are fairly expensive at around $ 135 USD each way.

Musee des Arts et Traditions

A museum dedicated to a wonderful exhibition of tribal crafts and masks. Also exhibited is local tribal culture.

Pongara National Park

Within this beautiful park is the remote La Baie des Tortaes where you can spend a day or several days. Peacocks roam the grounds that have 10 thatched-roof rooms with all the luxuries one can expect in the wilds of Africa. The day trips can be arranged in Libreville for $ 95 USD and include lunch, drinks, and boat transfers.

Practicals

There are some shops in Libreville, but if you want local African crafts you will not find them here. Travelers will have to go somewhere else in Africa to purchase handmade souvenirs because the ones here are all imported.

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Author: 30literbackpack. Last updated: Nov 21, 2014

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