Gabon is a central African country. Straddling the equator, the country has a surface area of 267,667 km2. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean with 800km of coastline including sandy beaches.
The rest of the country’s borders are Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Cameroon to the north and the Republic of Congo to the south and east. It is divided into 9 provinces: Estuaire, Haut Ogooué, Moyen Ogooué, Ngounié, Nyanga, Ogooué Ivindo, Ogooué Lolo, Ogooué Maritime and Woleu-Ntem.
Gabon is 85% covered by equatorial forest.
Gabon has a population of 1,672,000 habitants (2013).
The largest portion of the population is located in the capital, Libreville, while the rest is in other cities. Gabon is ethnically diverse (about 52 ethnicities) among which are the Fang, Nzebi, Punu, Myene, Téké, Kota…
In addition to the hospitality of its people, Gabon is full of wonderful sights, prolific crafts, and original and varied folklore.
Gabon has a varied landscape dominated by plateaus and hills with numerous streams cutting through them. Mountains and some marshy plains can also be found. In addition to natural forest resources, soil and subsoil of Gabon contains important resources: petroleum, manganese, diamonds, gold and marble … But full stock of mining has not yet been taken. New treasures are yet still hidden in this thick and dense physical environment.
Gabon’s national parks are unique places in the world in terms of their rich natural treasures. Rocky domes (inselberg) pierce through the Minkébé forest; forests span the beaches of Loango; and through the Batéké savanna plateaus, the park scenery is amazing.
The parks are home to numerous plant and animal species. The flora alone is more diverse than all of sub-Saharan Africa. The Monts de Cristal have orchids that fascinate the greatest botanists of the world.
With regard to animals, these parks are rich in populations typical to forests: gorillas, chimpanzees, bongos, elephants and many other animals. Any of these natural resources would alone be special, but what makes Gabon magical is the coexistence of these iconic species in one place. This is the case in Loango National Park. As such, the national parks prove to be formidable and surprising reserves of biodiversity and unique tourist attractions.
In addition, in recent years, Gabon has forged a reliable reputation as a destination; “A land of expeditions” in which the discovery of natural and cultural riches contained both in and outside the parks is the basis for building its tourism phenomenon.
(source : www.gabontour.net)
Gabon’s climate is equatorial with characteristically heavy rains approaching 25000mm in some area with temperatures ranging from 22° to 32°C. There are four seasons:
• The light rainy season from December to February;
• The heavy rainy season from March to April with abundant rains and violent storms accompanied by tornadoes followed by sunshine;
• The long dry season from May to September, when the sky is often grey without rain and the mornings are cool;
• The light rainy season from October to December.
The flora and fauna is extremely rich in endemic varieties. With regard to flowers, this is considered one of the richest regions in number of species. In fact the Gabonese forest covers about 22 million hectares, which is nearly 85% of the country’s surface area.
There are numerous varieties of trees (more than 80,000: mahogany, ozigo, kevazingo, silo, aleppo, and the famous okoumé) and plants, most notably orchids, begonias and the iboga plant native to Gabon and used in rituals, beliefs, and known for its medicinal values.
Wildlife includes no less than 130 species of mammals 19 of which are primates (gorillas and chimpanzees) and the elephant population numbers around 60,000 and is one of the most significant and stable in Africa.
The avian population has more than 650 species. Various reptiles and different marine turtles frequent the shores as do humpback whales who also contribute to the rich wildlife of Gabon.