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Gabon is a country in Western Central Africa. It lies on the Equator, on the Atlantic Ocean coast, between the Republic of the Congo to the south and east, Equatorial Guinea to the northwest and Cameroon to the north. A small population, as well as oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries. The country has generally been able to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity.
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The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples. They were largely replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated.
In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. The nation's present name originates from "Gabão", Portuguese for "cloak", which is roughly the shape of the estuary of the Komo River close to the capital of Libreville. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875. He founded the town of Franceville, and was later colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area that is now Gabon when France officially occupied it in 1885.
In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. These territories became independent on 17 August 1960.
Since independence, Gabon has been one of the more stable African countries. Autocratic President Omar Bongo was in power from 1967 until his death in 2009. Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new constitution in the early 1990s that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and for reforms of governmental institutions. A small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous sub-Saharan African countries. Despite being made up of more than 40 ethnic groups, Gabon has escaped the strife afflicting other West African states.
Tropical; always hot, humid. During the months of June to September, the climate is a little cooler (20-25°C).
Chez Beti - a small seaside safari camp near the village of Nyonie owned and operated by a French ex-pat. Clean, air-conditioned cottages and all-inclusive family style meals accompany the evening Landcruiser and sunrise walking safaris. Wildlife sightings can include elephants, buffalo, monkeys, parrots, hornbills and other local fauna. The camp is located just a few km south of the equator, along a pristine stretch of beach. Prices are very reasonable and include roundtrip transportation from the marina in Libreville; consisting of an hour long boat transit to a small landing in the mangroves, followed by a 45 minute 4x4 trip along jungle roads to the camp. Contact information: tel. 07 57 14 23 or 06 03 36 36, e-mail: email@example.com
The Balbool restaurant serves delicious western food with very cheap prices. Ask for the big Balbool soup.
The cheapest local beer is Regab, it costs XAF350-1000 and comes in a 650 mL bottle. There are fantastic fruit juices available: "D'jino" Pampelmousse (grapefruit), Ananas (pineapple), Citron (Lemon) in 300 mL bottles at XAF400 and in a 1.5 L bottle at XAF900 if bought in a shop.
The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is used by Gabon. It is also used by Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. While strictly a separate currency from the Western African CFA franc (XOF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par throughout all CFA franc (XAF & XOF) using countries.
Both CFA francs are guaranteed by the French treasury and are pegged to the euro at €1 = XAF655.957. Banknotes circulate in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5000 and 10,000.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Gabon on Wikivoyage.
Cities in Gabon
6 hotels in this place
Libreville is the largest city in and capital of Gabon.
- French Cultural Center
- Palais Presidentiel
- Stade Omar Bongo
- Omar Bongo University
- Port Mole
Points of Interest in Gabon
French Cultural Center - Libreville
Sogara Beach - Port Gentil
Loango National Park - Gamba
Lope National Park - Lastourville
Waka National Park - Mouila
Mayumba National Park - Mayoumba
Bateke Plateau National Park - Franceville
Minkebe National Park - Oyem
Palais Presidentiel - Libreville
Stade Omar Bongo - Libreville
Omar Bongo University - Libreville
Port Mole - Libreville
Marche du Mont-Bouet - Libreville
Museum of Arts and Tradition - Libreville
Akanda National Park - Libreville
Pointe Denis Beach - Libreville
Pongara National Park - Libreville