RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Welcome to Gabon

Welcome to Gabon

Author: 22.06.2018 | travel, Gabon
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony. Only in the middle of the past century, when Pygmies were very few, Gabon gained independence from foreigners…

If you close your eyes and pronounce the word Libreville, your imagination draws a wonderland town with low, white houses, shiny lawns, well-groomed pebbly paths and dense green oases. However, the real Libreville is not like that. The word libreville means a free city and it was founded by former slaves on the shore of the Gulf of Guinea. Yet, it has some features of a tropical fairy tale: superb white-sand beaches, cosy bays, ocean and a lot of sunshine.

Photo ic.pics.livejournal.com

Libreville, the capital of the African equatorial Gabon, is considered one of the quietest cities on the continent. There is many police officers on the streets, and all residents over 14 years old are required to have documents with them and show the documents on demand. Some of the travellers compare it to the American Miami Beach, others see it similar to the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro. The life in Libreville is quite tranquil, there is a relatively high level of income per capita; its inhabitants are not very interested in foreign policy. Famous European and American film studios often shoot movies about wildlife here, there are world known brands in shopping centres, Libreville residents like to party and hanging out in pubs in the evenings, and children always say hello when meeting strangers.

Mostly the Christians inhabit the city, there are also Muslims, as well as practitioners of the ancient spiritual discipline Bwiti. Its followers hold the opinion that all objects in the world are endowed with soul, and from time to time, they consume the sacred plant of iboga. It belongs to psychedelics, however, experts claim, it is not addictive, and even relieves drug dependence. Recently, the Government of Gabon declared it a national treasure and prohibited exporting it outside the state.

Photo cdn.surfer.com

Almost a third of the population lives in the capital of Gabon. Its centre is full of skyscrapers and sophisticated buildings reminiscent of aircraft. Where possible, they are equipped with ramps, and road signs in the centre are duplicated on asphalt. In Libreville, there is a Chinese quarter, founded by builders who work on construction sites. China is one of the main economic partners of Gabon, therefore in its capital there are many natives of the Middle Kingdom. All free areas in the city from time to time turn into football fields. This is the favourite game of the Libreville residents. If someone does not know how to score a goal, then with great pleasure they are watching how their neighbours do it. Special attitude of the Gabonese to football is evidenced by the fact that Libreville built the famous stadium the Stade d'Angondjé. During the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, it was the main stadium of the entire championship.

Photo ic.pics.livejournal.com

To tell you the truth, Libreville often has garbage dumps in its streets, and road shoulders are full of abandoned quite expensive samples of the Japanese, German and French car industry of the middle and late last century. Many of them cannot be repaired since there are no right spare parts.

One of the most important facilities in Libreville is the port. Through it, the country exports timber, oil, rubber, ore, uranium concentrate, peanuts, cocoa, sugar cane, palm oil. The proximity of the ocean supplies the locals with fresh fish. All travellers tell about ethereal beauty of Libreville beaches. Here the turtles nest and not average ones, but the large species which are about two and a half meters long. The Gabonese are fond of soup of tortoise meat, and therefore law protects rare species. It should be mentioned that the tastes of Libreville residents are quite specific. In Gabon, they gladly eat meat of camel, antelope, snake, porcupine, gorilla, crocodile and chimpanzee; they enhance their soups with bananas; they stuff crabs with rice and sweet potatoes. The locals love fish meat mix. Generously sprinkle their dishes with onions, hot peppers, ginger, and cassava. The Gabonese are not against having a hard drink. More often, it is wine from sugar cane and palm juice. Those who do not like spirits prefer green tea with mint and cocoa. It is also specific that the Gabonese do not like boiled food. All products are fried, dried, stewed or baked.

Photo img.tourister.ru

Spiritual food is usually catered in the Church of St Michael. It has quite unusual look. It is wooden, and thirty-one columns made of mahogany support its roof. As the local legend has it, a blind artist carved the scenes from the Bible. This church is also famous because during the service, the choir uses national African instruments, thus enhancing worship with local hot charm.

Photo ic.pics.livejournal.com

To understand what exactly Gabon is, it is better to go beyond its capital. Despite the modest territory, there are still many places in the country untouched by civilization. Here and there tourist routs are blocked by the Pygmies, a little more than a meter tall and leading a primitive way of life. In Gabon, there are many parks, protected areas and national wildlife reserves. There are thirteen of them. Most of the country consists of rainforests. The Crystal Mountains rise in the western part of Gabon. They are covered by a dense equatorial rainforest, and the rivers rushing through them often turn into waterfalls. Elephants, monkeys, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas and other animals come to them for fresh water. Wild orchids and begonias grow on the Crystal Mountains. The highest peaks of Gabon rise closer to the border with the Republic of Congo.

Photo webturizm.ru

Here flows the Ogooué River, the largest river of country through which experienced travellers often sail down to the ocean. Nature enthusiasts often visit the Gorilla Island. There one can observe the primates in their natural environment. This is the highest concentration of gorillas in the world; their neighbours are more than 400 species of birds, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes. There is also a rehabilitation centre for animals. Researchers love Gabon. There are frequent scientific expeditions in the country. Many of them visit the world's only natural nuclear reactor. Scientists have proven that a spontaneous nuclear chain reaction in the territory of modern Gabon appeared more than two billion years ago. Gabon preserved rock paintings of representatives of ancient civilizations, who inhabited Gabon long before our days. Scientists study enigmatic equatorial vegetation. They are looking for medicines for malaria in this country and the answer to the question where did humanity come from. Perhaps, some of them suggest, it originated in ancient forests in the territory of modern Gabon.

Main photo cs5.pikabu.ru

It will be interesting:
Pay your fare and look out of the window: The coolest tram routes in the world
Despite many pessimistic forecasts of urbanists of the 20th century, on-street trammanaged to stand up competition withsubways, cars and other means of public transport, and even found a second wind in modern city. The beginning of the 21stcentury, with its incredible technologies will surely become history as an era of "tram renaissance".
The brightest places in Croatia: Gateway for aristocrats
Croatia is dubbed the pearl of the Adriatic coast. This country in the south of Central Europe recently became a member of the European Union. Now its beauty sites are much visited: every year more than 10 million tourists come to enjoy it, that is even more than population of the country. Let’s find out what attracts travellers so much.
Puerto Rico: Swimming with fireflies
Many travelers just don’t want to go into all the troubles to get an American visa for some two weeks of holidays. But having glanced at pictures of Puerto Rican Mosquito Bay they’ll change their minds instantly. Dark sea slick, silence… when suddenly mysterious green glow from the depth extends the darkness to shock the public on the shore.
Armenian khachkars: Poem in stone
...The virtuoso chisel inhaled the heat of a living soul in a cold stone block and created a khachkar - an inspired narrative about the spiritual search and longing for a lost paradise, unhurriedly unfolding tenacious rings of ancient mysteries in the curls of mystical ornaments.
Departure: Amsterdam
If you spent half a day enjoying chips with mayonnaise, herring, eel and cheese; your imagination managed to find solutions for all the riddles of the universe while waiting for hours in endless queue to the Rijksmuseum; and within a couple of hours you were almost knocked down on the road thrice, it means, no doubt, you were spending that day in Amsterdam.
Alpine village nearby Seattle
There are many things that we can learn from citizens of the United States but what deserves special respect is love to their land. Patriotism of Americans manifests itself in everything, even in internal tourism - without having properly explored own country, an American would hardly travel anywhere outside its territory. Today we tell about one of the most popular internal tourism towns - about Leavenworth.
Foot walk around Aachen
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
British heartland: Albion's unsolved mysteries
Green slopes covered with heather moorland, deserted suburban roads, narrow streets with small cottages and gardens emitting heady fragrance - it seems that British villages are unchangeable through the passage of time. Like stilled scenery for heroic fantasy fiction, each of them has its own story about great battles, brave warriors and legendary artefacts.
A trip to Transylvania: Intriguing places of Romania
A visit to picturesque Transylvania is akin to mystic extravaganza that takes place in reality. But laymen rarely know for sure what to visit in Romania aside from the famous Bran Castle, residence of Count Dracula. OUTLOOK solves the problem and offers an opportunity to personally choose an exciting route – its history may not just surprise but also stir your blood.
Dallol: Bright glory of Ethiopia
Countries often flaunt their natural beauties: they invite tourists allowing them to examine closely every detail of jewellery coined by the nature. Among beauties, there are some that are the most extravagantly bright, showy and bizarre, and sometimes even wild for our eyes. African Ethiopia grabbed one of the most beautiful accessories - Dallol volcano.
Only sky is a limit: Worlds's highest observation decks
Nature bestowed our planet with many sky-high peaks, which at any moment give visitors the feeling of boundless freedom. Cities build skyscrapers boasting to one another and, to satisfy high aspirations, they add observation decks at the height of the bird's flight. Travelling from continent to continent, with bated breath we will admire the world's loftiest views from the summits of supertalls.
Postcards from Bulgaria
Having taken the passport and good mood, go on May holidays to the so-called "Near Abroad" - Bulgaria - the country where ancient architecture is successfully combined with a relaxing sea breeze. Do not you believe? But OUTLOOK is sure that Pavel Khomenskyi through his photos will be able to convince you! Bright and in its own way majestic Sofia - this is a must see on these holidays! Let's go with us!
Banned to leave handling kiwi. Customs bans on export
Tourists with their eyes full of tears because statuettes, shells and other stuff bought “as a souvenir” are being shaken out of their bags – is a continual occurrence at customs. For you not to become one of those tourists, OUTLOK suggests you check out a selection of (sometimes weird) objects forbidden to be exported from different countries.
Guinea Bissau: Expensive downshifting
People on holiday can be divided into two types: “tender creatures” and “adrenaline addicts”. Former ones will trade passive sunbathing and comfortable hotels for nothing. The letter ones prefer even cabins to annoying all inclusive and suites. “Cabins” are the conditions Guinea Bissau provides you with.
Sentosa – The whole Singapore in one island
To fully experience a country with the territory of over 700 square meters in merely a couple-of-days-long walking tour is very much possible. And no superpowers like teleportation or ability to move at light speed are needed for that. It is enough to head for Sentosa Island that pertains to the Republic of Singapore and completely reflects its specialties. And all that against no more than 100 dollars!
We were there: Sopot
European coast of the Baltic Sea can boast of neither warm waters nor lasting beach season – this however does not prevent it from being a popular resort area. Great number of cozy coastal towns attracts tourists first of all with fresh and curative air as well as with the opportunity to “heal the eyes” looking at the cold sea and amazing landscapes. Sopot – main Baltic resort of Poland – exhibits all of these advantages to the full.
Oman is a country with aroma of incense
This country became open for tourists only in late 1980s although its port cities were considered windows to the new world in past. It is now famous as a producer of most expensive perfumes, world supplier of incense and a keeper of copper pits that used to be a source of the metal for ancient civilizations!
Postcards from Batumi
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
On the Road – Own Way
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
"All inclusive" and even more: amazing hotel service
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
Close
Outlook facebook page