What to see in Gabon
Gabon is a rewarding travel destination, but exploring the country isn't a straightforward exercise. Infrastructure is limited, the tourism industry is in its infancy, and getting around in the country can often prove rather expensive.
Although the wildlife and landscapes are magnificent, foreigners shouldn't expect world-class museums and amenities just yet. The main tourist attractions in Gabon are wildlife safaris, nature treks and national parks; it's therefore a gem of a destination for the adventurous traveller who doesn't mind roughing it a little.
Most tourists arrive in the capital Libreville but never linger long because, despite having some treats for sightseers, it can be thoroughly explored in a day or two. A trip to the colourful and busy markets, a stroll down the lovely coastal boulevard, and a sampling of the local cuisine in the city's restaurants are the highlights.
There are some wonderful excursions from Libreville though, with the beautiful beaches of Pointe Denis a short ferry ride away, and the Pongara National Park extending beyond it and offering a tantalising mix of rolling savannah, pristine coastline and tropical forest.
One of Gabon's greatest drawcards for visitors are the leatherback turtles that nest on its beaches, and Pointe Denis is the perfect place to seek them out. The baby turtles emerge in December and January, making this the best time to visit Gabon for those keen on seeing this great natural phenomenon.
There are 13 national parks in Gabon, covering a whopping 10 percent of the country, but not all of them are easily accessible. The most famous is Loango National Park in western Gabon, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful swathes of Africa, and has become well known for its surfing hippos, western gorillas and various other native wildlife.
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…
Point Denis has Gabon's best known beach resorts and is a popular excursion from Libreville. It is a peninsula dividing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gabon Estuary, with some mansions, lodges and restaurants…
The stunning Pongara National Park includes the popular weekend getaway of Pointe Denis, but extends far beyond the beaches frequented by tourists to cover an area of more than 577 square miles (929…
The second largest city in Gabon and a leading seaport, Port Gentil has two sides. On the one hand it is a ramshackle place with only a few tarred roads, surrounded by tropical rainforest. On the other…
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