Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Libreville

Libreville Market © Brian Gratwicke
Libreville Market © Brian Gratwicke

Home to over half the population of Gabon, Libreville is the business and cultural hub of the country. It was named in honour of the freed slaves that built the port and has developed into one of the more glamorous African capitals. It is considered a very expensive city and travellers should come prepared for hefty price tags. Despite this, it's a laidback place with a relaxed atmosphere. Although not generally a picturesque city, Libreville does have a pretty coastal strip, where many of the more expensive shops and hotels can be found, as well as some lovely beaches. Tourists tend to use the city as a transport hub and usually just pass through in transit, but there are a few worthwhile attractions for visitors.

Head to the seafront to laze by the Atlantic Ocean, visit the Arboretum de Sybang to see thousands of species of indigenous trees or explore the bustling markets at Mbolo and Bord De Mer. The Musée des Arts et Traditions has a large collection of tribal crafts and cultural artefacts, and for a living experience of Bwiti culture visit the Ebando Association. The Louis Quarter is the area with the best nightlife and boasts some stylish clubs, fine dining restaurants and lively bars. The resort island of Pointe Denis is a short boat ride from the city, another very popular tourist excursion that has some of Gabon's best beaches.