Eco-friendly travel guide to Gabon advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Gabon, Africa.
- Air quality: 3.8 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.7 / 5
- Train connections: 3.9 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks: 3.9 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.8 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.7 / 5
- Safety: 3.9 / 5
- Accommodation: US$1800 - $1900
- Budget per day: US$1300 - $1400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Gabon is officially known as Gabonese Republic and situated on the Westside of Central Africa. This country consists of 2.1 million people as their population. Libreville is the capital city of Gabon and also the largest city of this country. French is the official language of Gabon. It holds the fifth highest place in GDP of Africa. Rich history along with some oldest churches and cathedrals and the natural fantastic thing about this city are known around the world. You may witness many historical places like cathedrals and churches, museums, busy flea markets and architectural building all round the country which is able to facilitate you to create your journey memorable. As an eco-friendly traveler always you have to remember few things like-
- Taste the conventional cuisines from the popular restaurants, and also ensure to undertake the road foods to urge the foremost effective food experience during your visit to this country. You’ll know and understand more about the culture of the city by tasting the street foods.
- Instead of asking help from other transport service that pollutes cities, try to choose the local transportations and eco-friendly services like bi-cycle and eco-friendly bikes. They help in saving your money and help to remain the town away from pollution.
- This country contains an excellent option for tracking the Gorilla. There are several trips arranged by the local tour guides to spot various animals in Loango National Park.
- Make sure to try use the eco-friendly vehicles while staying in Gabon as it is considered as one of the significant steps when opting for eco-friendly travelling
Air Quality and Pollution
Air is the most important thing in life, especially when you are travelling to a new place. You’ll need to know if you want all precautions before visiting the town.
The Gabon country region mostly experiences an equatorial climate with a season which is hot and dry because of the tropical region. The country is moist and hot most of the time of the year. Just because it has Savannah forest in the east, it gives two rainy seasons, one is in April and September. The first Rainy season stays for four months till July and the shorter one stays for two months, till October.
In this season, if you don’t take proper precaution, you'd possibly get sun-stroke or allergies. It is better that you simply just go and visit a doctor and carry some medicines with you. It’ll facilitate your to trip to the country and protect you from any kind of problems.
Respect the Culture
The culture of the country is incredibly diverse; you may get to work out mainly three different sorts of religions in this country. Christianity, Bwiti and Islam have the foremost adherents in Gabon. There’s also a gaggle of individuals who is professing no religion. Always try to explore each and every corner of the town to experience the culture and lifestyle of the local people. From foods to fashion, from the architectures to the landmarks, this country offers an awfully rich historical feeling you could have ever witnessed. To know about a country, you have to understand their taste of food, their daily lives, past and historic moments and especially their music, art and culture. Every country has its own charm and it attracts tourists to visit and enhance it more. A few stuff you should detain in mind, that are:
- It is our duty to show respect to the cultures and their choices. The people might lead a very different kind of lifestyle compared to yours. So you have to ensure the fact that you should not be judgmental about them.
- We should learn some phrases of the local languages. Majority of the local people generally speak French, which is their national language. But many people speak Gabonese keeping in mind the fact about their ethnic group. So, if you merely develop some very common ways to say thanks or to say hello or few common words in other languages aside from English, it might help you. The local people feel appreciated and revered and involves interest talking to you.
- Try not to bargain while buying souvenirs and stuffs or some native handmade products from the shops. These artisans are very hard-working and they deserve fair pay for their work.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Gabon was not a very literate and well-known country until this 21st century. This country is popular for their oral tradition along with their mythological stories and folklore. Their famous masks are recognized worldwide. They are keeping their traditions by wearing these masks on various occasions like marriage ceremonies, local functions, funerals etc. these masks are usually made of woods and some use other ornaments or precious materials. Gabon is very well known for the cathedrals, mosques, beaches and jungle safari for Gorilla, elephants and other wild animals. Here is a list of top 10 places of Gabon where you can go and make your trip a beautiful and memorable one-
- St. Michel Church, Libreville: Visiting this church is a wonderful experience where you can witness the Biblical phrases and stories curved into the mosaic pillars. The best part is you can see these artistic creations which are open to air while capturing the beauty of the surroundings. If you are lucky enough, you could see the mass celebration where African rhythms got mixed with Christian Gospel songs. They generally use local musical instruments while singing.
- Pointe-Denis Beach: It is one of the two primary beaches of Gabon. If you are a silence lover, then this is the absolute place for you to visit. You can sit by the shore and enjoy the serene beauty of the sea and sky. If you want you can go for a boat ride too. Multiple hotels are making their business by the perfect beach view from their hotel. A lot of people love this silence and sometimes they prefer camping too.
- Notre-dame de Lourdes: A beautiful yet fascinating church where you could see the coloured tiles with some Roman style letters written on it. It is small in size, but very pleasant from inside. If you go on the church on some special occasions, you might get a chance to be a part of the function too. The offertory they give it differs from every gathering.
- Reserve de la Lope: It is another National park in the heart of Gabon. Here you could see Mandrill, elephant, buffaloes and other wild animals. You might get to see some birds too. There are some hotels growing up for the tourist attraction. People can stay in the hotels and enjoy the views. The beauty of nature lies here in the jungle, rather the views of Savannah and Africa lies here in this National Park.
- Stade d’Angondje: A huge stadium and it looks beautiful while flying over from Libreville airport. It is a great place for football fans. Many important football matches had held over here, especially African Cup of Nations. It is created within a huge space with a sitting arrangement of more than forty thousands of people. It is definitely a great place to visit while you’re in Gabon.
- Akanda National Park: A national park, situated outside of Libreville. It is a great place for forest vibes and bird watching. Many immigrated birds fly over here during the month of May and June. You will need a guide to make you aware of things inside the forest.
- Palais Presidentiel: It is a Governmental building, built in 1970’s by President Bongo. Though visitors do not get the permission to go inside. If you have any kind of work and have your ID card with you, they might ask you to come inside. It is a wonderful place to admire. It is a huge building and only for Governmental purpose.
- St. Marie Cathedral: It might be hard to believe that it is a cathedral church from the view outside. This church was built several years ago when Christians came to Gabon for the first time. This site is very beautiful and had interesting historical events behind it. The church is very clean and tidy. The building is also very simple and has its authenticity towards the religion.
- Cour Constitutionnelle de la République Gabonaise: This building is vast and it is quite above than the city’s skyscrapers. This building talks about the first Bongo empire who created all the governmental buildings in Gabon. The entrance is opulent and the blue dome gives the facade a real Persian feel. The wall to this palace is fortified and has watch towers, but the landscaped garden softens the staunchness of the concrete buildings.
- Hassane II Mosque: A giant building just like a skyscraper in Gabon. It was built long ago and its architectural structure stands tall in the city. If you’re in Gabon, this Mosque is a must visit along with other cathedrals and churches of the country. You might get mesmerized with the tidiness and cleanliness of the mosque. It is a huge building and gets the feel of being religious.
Now when it involves exploring town, then you have got to go to other places also. Those places don't constitute the aforementioned ones as they're totally different. If you wish to grasp about them, then here they're mentioned below.
This country does not have any city park because you can roam around the country. You can go to any place taking the public transports or hire a bicycle to roam around. This city is very beautiful, clean and beaches are serene and tidy too.
Gabon has 13 National Parks all total. As Savannah is to the east of this country it is mostly covered with forests. Apart from the fact, this country is covered 10% by the National parks. But most popular forests are-
- Loango National Park: it is a National Park, situated at the western side of Gabon. African lagoon is mostly protected here. Gabon has some exquisite tourist packages that include four nights in Loango National parks for watching wild animals like elephant, single wild Buffalo, birds. Loango is famous for tracking Gorilla and Mandrill. This forest has camping ground near the southern ocean. There is one lodge near water where people stay and have fun. This is safe and people are widely recognizing Gabon for its forests and natural beauties. It is very famous amongst the tourists.
- Akanda National Park: A national park which is situated outside of Libreville. Mondah and Cirisco bays are its outline or the coastal area. It is on the north-east side of Gabon. Though Akanda consists of only 2.5% of mangrove area, but if it is added with Pongara National Park it becomes 25% all total. It is a great place for forest vibes and bird watching. Many immigrated birds fly over here during the month of May and June. You will need a guide to make you aware of things inside the forest.
- Minkebe National Park: The largest forest or National Park in Gabon. This area is recognized as a conservation forest and now it is a world heritage site. This park is recognized by the Gabonese government of Africa. This forest is also inhabited gorillas, different kind of elephants, African cats, leopards, buffaloes etc. The saggy areas have various habitats of pythons and parrots. This park also contains some rarest animals like Bongo and forest hogs. Various immigrated birds come over here at the time of May and June.
- Pointe-Denis Beach: It is one of the two primary beaches of Gabon. If you are a silence lover, then this is the absolute place for you to visit. You can sit by the shore and enjoy the serene beauty of the sea and sky. If you want you can go for a boat ride too. Multiple hotels are making their business by the perfect beach view from their hotel. A lot of people love this silence and sometimes they prefer camping too. Watching the sunset while riding the boat is a divine feeling you could ever have. It is sandy, but clean and you can relax and enjoy your trip.
Throughout Gbon, you will come across thousands of landmarks. both locals as well as the foreigners use these landmarks for reaching their desired locations. These landmarks play a significant role for the city since they have huge historical as well as commercial value.
- Musée des Arts et Traditions du Gabon: This museum is not very big, though it contains a large number of artefacts, and the exhibition is really wonderful. They are exhibiting a large number of dance costumes and masks. As these pieces do not have anything written on their side, so you might need a guide to explain these things. Different kinds of oldest things you might get to see here. Photos are not allowed inside the museum, so you have to buy the postcards from the inside.
To know about a country or city’s culture, heritage and local people, you have to understand about their eating habits. Eating is the most sincere thing before you visit a place. Not only you should go and visit the restaurants, but also you should try the local street foods from the shops out there. African countries, especially Gabon has its famous foods called Fufu, Nyembwe chicken, preparation of sea foods etc. there are various type of restaurants, like French, Lebanese, Chinese and African etc. You can get cafes and vegetarian restaurants as well.
Traditional restaurants are the primary place to eat and taste some authentic local foods. There are plenty of good restaurants who might provide you the best service.
- L’Odika: This restaurant is popular for its ambience and food. It is situated inside a tropical garden and contrasted with the street. It is open like a large veranda and the sitting arrangements are very pleasant. This restaurant is mainly based on some English dishes but they have French dishes too in their addition. This place is famous for their crème brulee. This might be a nice place to visit the country, especially for Libreville.
- Roma Restaurant: Authentic local restaurant for food lovers. Prices are reasonable for any kind of food. There you might get some house-wine and other kind of wine in the list. Here you can get some authentic local and traditional food. It is very famous amongst the people. Shrimps, sea foods, any kind of fishes you can get here. There are a lot of vegan options too. People are very conscious about their food choices these days. They prefer vegetarian foods over non-vegetarians. Any kind of Lebanese or preferably Mediterranean vegan foods options are here in Gabon. Local restaurants have the options of vegan or vegetarian foods.
- Amigo’s Restaurant: This is amongst the vegetarian and vegan options popular in Gabon. You can get non-veg options too. This restaurant has plenty of food options like sea foods, chicken items, salads etc. The ambience is also very preferable by people. This is a two storeyed building having vegetarian and non-vegetarian options separately. Street food is a must try while visiting a new country. A country’s history, food choices are there in the street food. There are a lot of famous street foods in Gabon like Fufu, Nyembwe Chicken, Baked Bananas, Seafood options etc. There are two famous street food shops you must try, these are-
- Crock Snack Gourmet: This is a restaurant which is famous for street foods. You can get Fufu here. Fufu is very famous amongst the local people of Gabon. It is porridge and made with cassava roots mainly. They are famous for their dessert of Baked Bananas which is also a great option to have in your street food list.
- King of Tacos: It is more likely to a Mexican street food restaurant. Though they serve authentic African foods but their Mexican tacos are very famous here. It is preferable to the local people and they likely to recommend the tourists too.
Trying some drinks and refreshments are very important while visiting a country. You should try some local drinks to refresh your mood rather than having some English beer or whiskeys. In Africa, wine and local beer is very famous. But if you want you can try drinks as per your choice. There are plenty of options in the section of soft drinks. It is better if you get some local guy to taste their authentic local beverages. Sea food items are very famous in some of the restaurants.
Plenty of bars are there in Gabon. People generally love beer as a mode of their refreshments because the country’s temperature is high all the time. Beer is a very popular drink, so does whiskey. They like wine as a mode of their popular beverages. You might find some bar who sells local beer or drinks. Restaurants like Les Paillottes, La Voile Rouge and Roma Restaurants serve drinks with food. You can find a local guy who will help you to visit the places where wine and beer are made. You might acquire few ideas about the making processes together with paid or free testing of the beer or wine for free.
Tap water is not safe in Gabon. As this country faces the tropical atmosphere, and Savannah, the water is not safe at all. You can buy some sterilisation tablets or you should boil water before drinking. In restaurants you should ask for mineral water too. As every time buying packaged water and drinking them might be cost effective so you should carry your own water bottles with you.
Gabonese people are very active in their field of activities. They are very effortlessly doing all the stuffs. Gabon has three yoga and meditation centre for local people. These areas are very much active and filled with people. Gabon is safe if you take a bicycle and go for a ride into the Libreville city. People are very much into activities like in-store cleaning, house activities or market activities etc. You might sneak into some yoga centre in exchange of very little amount of money. They have trained yoga trainers and meditation trainer to teach you with other local people. Yoga Bhavan and Holistic Human Gabon are two most famous yoga and meditation centre in the city. People take admission to keep them fit and fine. Here are some of the common activities to try in Gabon.
- Visit Bateke and Mayumba - When traveling to Gabon; make sure to explore the Bateke Plateau as well as Mayumba. While Bateke consists of the savannah as well as forest galleries covered by beautiful rivers that are known as the wildlife hotspots. Mayumba is a thin strip of land situated between sea and lake, where you will find almost three thousand humpback whales. If you visit between July to September, you will surely find out many unique animal species. You will spot forest elephants, gorillas, crocodiles, panthers, parrots, and lots more. Therefore, exploring the Bateke Plateau and Mayumba is one of the most significant activities that you must try in Gabon.
- Explore the Presidential Palace - The former president of Gabon in 1970 ordered to build the Palais Presidential near Libreville’s waterfront. It cost around US$800 million. Back then, spending this amount almost bankrupted the independent nation. Although tourists are not allowed to visit inside the palace, you can explore the outside and capture some of its moments. The Presidential Palace plays a significant role when it comes to visiting Gabon. Do not forget to spend few hours at the Presidential Palace.
- Spend a day at the beaches of Gabon - If you are a beach person, then you will surely love spending some time amidst the quiet and deserted beaches in the city. Some of the popular serene beaches in the city are the beaches of Pointe Denis as well as Ekwata situated in the north. You must also visit the Mayumba as well as Sette Cama. In case you love enjoying water sports, you can visit Port Gentill since the beaches here are well equipped for the tourists and locals who love water skiing. Make sure to explore the enthralling beaches of Gabon to make your holiday worth remembering.
- Fishing can be a great idea - Fishing is quite a common and loved activity amongst European visitors. You will find many lakes as well as rivers that offer mind-blowing catches. Local fishermen here spot a huge variety of fishes, especially around the Atlantic coast. Apart from that, you will find many lagoons across the river Ogooue. Therefore, if you love fishing, then Gabon would be heaven for you since you will be able to catch a different variety of fishes.
- Forest Safari in Lope National Park - Located in the city's interior, Lope National Park is one of the easily accessible national parks and is also the largest. The landscape that you will find here is quite attractive since it contains savannah as well as dense forest. Besides, it also provides habitat for the lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and forest animals. When going on a forest safari, you will find out thousands of unique species; Moreover, as Lope National Park is in the city's interiors, it is quite peaceful. Therefore, you can spend some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Explore the local customs in National Museum - Few kilometers away from the Presidential Palace, The National Museum of Art and Tradition is one of the worth visiting places in Gabon. Here you will find out some attractive wood carvings, especially the Fang style carving that influenced figures and sculptures of Picasso.
While you are travelling to a country or city, the first thing you should keep in your mind is accommodation. Where will you stay, how much money you are spending is the first effective thing during the trip. In Gabon, you will get multiple options for good hotels, green hostels, apartments etc for staying. You might get some budget hotels too if you find properly. As an eco friendly traveller you should think of green hotels or hotels that are using recycled stuffs to help the environment grow easily.
Green village Gabon is the only green hotels you can get while travelling there. Slowly government is focusing on the green house projects to make sure not causing any harm to the environment. Hopefully it will be done in few years.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you’re travelling alone, hostels are the best options for staying. It is very cost effective and you might get to meet many people from different countries out there. Residence Ora, Auberge Belle Vue are some very popular hostels that might give you the best service. From cheap to high prices, you can get hostels and make your trip a memorable one.
Local apartments are very good for staying and give you the feel of living like a local. Several local people are there to rent their apartments. They provide you food if you want to order them. Local people are very humble and willing to receive tourists. You get to know about their lifestyle, heritage history and many stories about their country and city.
Couch surfing might be a good idea to stay within the city without ruining your budget on accommodation. It’s a community of travellers that permit other travellers to stay in their own house and help them in the tour. Staying with one in every of the local people will facilitate your to find out about their lifestyle and culture of the country.
You'll be witnessing nature, trees, wildlife, birds etc that may facilitate you to enjoy your stay within the city. Because the city is surrounded by beaches, you may be ready to do all the water adventure while staying within the camp at night.
Getting There and Moving Around
Knowing the various ways to urge to your destination is extremely important before going out for the journey. Generally, there are many various options available to succeed in the country from any other countries or cities. But which one is that the best for you to rely upon money, time, home country and plenty of various things. However, the majority opt out to surpass air facility because it is the fastest route to reach town to other country.
Gabon as a country has 30 airports in total. But Leon M’Ba International airport is the largest airport in Gabon. It is situated in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon. All the airports help the exports and imports inside the country. It also carries passengers from different countries too. Airports are very helpful in growing the business and deals that Gabon does with other foreign countries
The bus is the cheapest way to travel round the city and finds the simplest experience of the journey. You may be ready to catch lots of buses to the present city if you're travelling from any cities inside the country. Bus stands to bus terminals, all options are available during this city which will facilitate your to induce plenty of buses to achieve there. There are more than 10,000 commercial vehicles in Gabon. Road trips are best by taking public transport like bus.
Train service is at its peak in Gabon. There is a railway called Trans-Gabon Railways which cover Owendo, Booue, Franceville via Moanda and Belinga at a time. This railway is considered one of the oldest of Africa. Gabon State Railways is the busiest railway station of Gabon.
Hitchhiking is quite famous in the city. However, you have to be careful regarding hitchhiking in the city. Make sure to find out about the hitchhiking locations. Vehicles do not stop in every location. Moreover,as you will be traveling alone, it is crucial to stay alert about your luggage. This will help you to prevent any mishaps.
There are many other ways of travelling round the city but some are more tedious and time consuming than others. However, if you're trying to find a distinct kind of adventure on your way to town, then it will be possible take the assistance of four-wheelers, motorbikes or electronic vehicles to go road. Moving around to each corner of the town is extremely important if you wish to find out everything about the local people. From famous spots to hidden treasures, you'll get to learn all the various things alright by on the move the town.
Walking is the common way of travelling during a new city. It takes a lot of your time to walk around the town and mesmerizes everyone with their heritages. It supports you to induce the most effective experience within the city and witness the culture. You'll be able to comprehend the tradition, heritage, culture and lots of other things while roaming around the streets or visiting the markets. Gabon is that the city of bi-cycling. Everyone prefers bi-cycle than the other transportation. You'll be able to rent a bicycle very easily from local renting services both offline and online. It's better to book them online before visiting the city.
Also, confirm to ask your hotel guesthouse, apartment about bicycles as there are many hotels that give them free to their customers. When it involves polluting nature, vehicles and motorcycles are the foremost contributing ones. But all of them are go past fuel, which is the main reason behind pollution. So, you'll be able to choose electronic vehicles to explore town without polluting the environment. Taking the fuel vehicles pollutes nature, so you might take help of electronic vehicles over here in Gabon. It does not pollute the nature, but helps you to fulfil your travel costs cut short and reach you to your destination.
When visiting Gabon, as a responsible traveler, it is necessary to explore the sustainable shopping culture in the city. The locals here more or less support sustainability, which is encouraging the growth of eco-friendly steps. You will come across many small stores and shops selling sustainable items like organic clothing and home decoration items. Apart from that, you will also find out many small businesses selling organic food items as a part of sustainable steps towards the environment.
The city is incredibly well-known for its huge greenery and 13 national parks adjacent to it. However, recycling remains needed to create the place unpolluted. Localites are spreading awareness about recycling things and motivating people by campaigning. The Government is creating a lot of initiatives that may facilitate your to urge town clear and clean. While travelling to Gabon, you wish to remember of the city’s environment and sustain all the recycling process to assist them in their plan of keeping the city clean.
According to the report, Gabon is considered to be Central Africa's most progressive nation, and is known for its protected parkland which makes up more than 10% of its area.
Work and Study Abroad
Education in Gabon is based on French education system. Under the education act, it is compulsory for the students of age 6 to go to school. Not only that, there are fourteen universities in Gabon that helps students to grow in their education. Omar Bongo University is one of the famous and most popular universities in Central Africa. Forestry National school in Libreville is another interesting university that attracts students to learn the forestry and to protect the environment.
The exchanging of the students is one amongst the nice conveniences that help the students coming from different countries to study in Gabon. There are several universities to choose from the popular university within the country that provides permutation of students to other universities of different countries. Gabon is very famous for its education in Forestry, so students from different corners of the world are showing interests in the education system.
It does not matter if you're within the city for employment or studying, having an employment will facilitate your plenty within the primary stage. It's one among the simplest services available for people who help them to earn some money and acquire a shelter while searching for jobs. Both students and folks who are trying to find employment can use the outlander service by searching for them online. There are many noncitizen jobs available within Gabon. Some local connections might help you to get a job as a part time to earn some extra money for yourself.
Volunteering is actually a best option if you want to explore the spare time you have in your hand. There are many volunteer jobs available within the city that you just can like better to do including taking care of the religious places, cleaning the streets, or teaching the local kids etc. You can work for any shops or taking care of customers. If you can make some local people known to you, they might help you in this case.