Gabon is a country with a diverse landscape, culture, and people. The country's landscape is filled with lush green forests, winding rivers, exquisite waterfalls, and sandy beaches. The country offers guests various activities, ranging from exploring the rainforests to sailing on its scenic rivers. You can visit the fascinating museums and archaeological sites to learn about the country's rich history. You can also explore the country's markets to buy handicrafts and artifacts made by local artisans.
Gabon has a lot to offer. Hundreds of rivers and streams provide ideal locations for river rafting and kayaking. The capital city of Libreville is home to the famous L'Hotel de Ville – a historical landmark built in the early 19th century. Outside of the capital, you'll find even more natural wonders like the Korup National Park – known as "the greenest place on earth" - filled with monkeys, elephants, and more than 300 different species of birds. So if you are looking for your next exotic vacation, read on to learn more about why you should visit Gabon now!
1. Gabon is still a little-known country.
Gabon is one of the least explored countries in the world. It has over 26 million hectares of tropical forests waiting to be explored. It is one of the richest countries in biodiversity in the world, with over 13,000 species of plants and more than 12,000 species of animals. This is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a pristine, unspoiled tropical rainforest. It is one of the least visited countries in Africa, and most locals speak English. The country has a rich history and culture, but tourism remains largely undiscovered.
2. Gabon's Culture
Gabon is home to 30 ethnic groups, each with a distinct culture, language, and music. The Bongo people comprise the country's largest ethnic group and comprise over half of Gabon's population. The Bongo are descendants of the people who accompanied explorer Henry Morton Stanley on his expedition to rescue Dr. David Livingstone in 1876. There are also tribes in Gabon that are still living in traditional ways.
The Moulou-Boumba and the Bakwele people, who don't have much contact with the outside world, are two such groups. The Fang is one of the most famous and largest tribes in Gabon and is renowned for its wood carvings. These pre-Christian customs are not only an incredible experience to partake in but also a very old method of discovering your spiritual path.
To awaken your soul, try participating in an Iboga ceremony. Learn more about their ritualistic beliefs. The Bwiti people use this herb to achieve higher consciousness and comprehension of life's ways.
3. The environment and conservation efforts in Gabon
Gabon is known for its efforts to protect the environment and wildlife. The country has more rainforests than any other country in Central Africa. It is home to thousands of plants, animals, and insects found nowhere else.
The country is home to many rare and endangered species like the pygmy hippopotamus, the African manatee, the forest elephant, and the Gabon leopard. The government has also made it a priority to protect African timber trees like the Iroko tree, the Khusi Gum tree, and the Sapele tree, as they are only found in the forests of Central Africa.
The government has also created 19 national parks and reserves, including the Moukalaba-Djouzi National Park, the Loango National Park, the Ndzouzi-Ndoki National Park, and the Oklo Fossil Park. Large karst areas and caves beneath dense rainforests are common in Gabon because of the country's extensive limestone formations. However, they recently learned that some of those were home to certain species of crocodiles.
4. Activities to enjoy in Gabon
Gabon is the ideal destination if you love water sports or adventure sports. There are plenty of opportunities to go river rafting, kayaking, canoeing, or even surfing. You can also explore the country by taking a cruise along the rivers and lagoons in a houseboat or even a hot air balloon! If you are a wildlife lover, you won't be disappointed.
Gabon is home to more than 400 species of mammals and 800 species of birds, and many species of reptiles and amphibians. You can explore the jungle in search of wildlife or visit the famous Loango National Park in the country's south.
5. Traveling in Gabon
The good news is that Gabon has a good infrastructure with an international airport and sea ports. There are flights to Libreville from various African and European cities and direct flights from New York and Washington, DC. Visas are required for all travelers, apart from nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Andorra, and Vatican City. ECOWAS nationals can stay in Gabon for up to 90 days without a visa.
The best time to visit Gabon is between October and April when the weather is pleasant and the rains are just beginning or have just ended.
6. Best tourist attractions in Gabon to visit
The country is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as The Black Mosque of Cape Town, The Bateko House, and The Gabon Savannah. The Black Mosque of Cape Town is an 18th-century mosque in the historic neighborhood of Cape Town in the capital city of Libreville.
The Bateko House is a traditional home in the village of Bateko in the Announce District of the country's Eastern Province. The Gabon Savannah is a vast area of savannah grasslands, natural lakes, and rivers in the country's northeastern corner. These sites are popular among tourists.
7. Where to stay in Gabon
There is a wide range of hotels in Gabon catering to tourists of all budgets. You can stay in a luxury hotel like L'Hotel de Ville or a bed and breakfast like Les Bougainville. You can also stay in an eco-lodge like the Korubo Parador. Suppose you are on a budget and want to rough it out while exploring this new country. In that case, you can stay in a hostel like Gabon Backpackers or a guesthouse like Tiyo Eko.
8. Food You Should Try in Gabon
Gabon is famous for its seafood, including crabs, prawns, lobsters, and shrimp. You can try a delicious seafood dish like Bouillabaisse de Crabes, Crab Risotto, or Crevettes au Cari. If you are a vegetarian, don't worry. Gabon has amazing vegetarian options like Batter-Fried Yam, Yam Soufflé, and Mixed Vegetable Curry. For dessert, don't miss trying a delicious Zebl Jelly or a Coconut Pancake. If you love spicy food, don't forget to try a side dish called Fufu.
Gabon is a vibrant, tropical country with a rich history and culture. It is the perfect destination for travelers who love wildlife, pristine beaches, and tropical forests. As it's one of the least visited countries, it's the ideal place to explore the rainforests and encounter rare animals and plants. If you love adventure sports and being surrounded by nature, visiting Gabon is a perfect choice. You can go river rafting, kayaking, canoeing, or exploring the country by taking a cruise along the rivers and lagoons in a houseboat. If you are a wildlife lover, you won't be disappointed. Gabon is home to more than 400 species of mammals, 800 species of birds, and many species of reptiles and amphibians. Follow leisure.com for more travel tips and suggestions.
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