Waking up to eco-tourism, this Western African country is surely going to be a very popular holiday destination in the near future. Located on the Atlantic coast, Gabon is bordered by Congo in the south and east, Cameroon in the north and Equatorial Guinea in the northwest. With the equator passing through the country, Gabon has a mixed landscape consisting of coastal lowlands, equatorial rainforests, tropical greens, savannah grasslands and mountainous terrain.
A former French colony, the country has a low population and is prosperous compared to other African nations owing to reserves of natural gas, minerals and oil. Gabon’s long serving President Omar Bongo has declared 10% of the country’s forest area as a no logging and mining zone for protecting environment and building national parks. Such conservation would attract eco-tourists, conservationists and nature lovers.
Still very much an unexplored country, travelling into the inner areas for a glimpse of raw nature may not be a joyride. Travelling far and wide through long bumpy and dusty roads, the chic and ultra modern capital city of Libreville is a pleasant surprise. A very expensive city with a very lavish lifestyle; opulence is at every nook and corner. You can visit the Presidential palace, Cathedral of St. Michael, the National Museum which houses beautiful native wood carvings, Mount Buet Market or walk down the winding lanes to the Cap Esterias.
Lope – Okanda Reserve, Gabon’s biggest national park has a mixed vegetation covering of rain forest and savannahs. Apart from several species of birds and animals, the reserve has a sizeable population of primates especially gorillas. But the most beautiful of Gabon’s national parks is the Loango National Park. A coastline park, Loango has a large area of pristine white – sand beaches. Combined together with virgin rainforests, it is a conservationists dream. Be on the look – out for an amazing variety of birds and animals including slender snouted crocodiles, mandrills, red forest buffalo, sitatunga duikers and a variety of monkeys. You can also spot the wild elephants strolling along the beach, the whales or the unique surfing hippos. Another must visit is Mayumba popular for whale watching.
With nearly 800 km of beaches, and huge area of protected forests, Gabon is a traveler’s delight. When you are done with wildlife watching you can go fishing, water skiing or kayaking. With the ecotourism being developed Gabon is sure to become a favorite with travelers in near future.