Flag of Gabon


Gabon, officially known as the Gabonese Republic, is a west central African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea), Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. The 800km- (500 mile-) long sandy coastal strip is a series of palm-fringed bays, lagoons and estuaries, and the lush tropical vegetation that covers much of the interior gives way in parts to the savannah.

Since its independence from France on August 17, 1960, the Republic has been ruled by only two autocratic Presidents; the incumbent El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba has been in power since 1967 and is currently Africa's longest-serving Head of State.

A small population, abundant natural resources, and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in the region. The majority of the Bantu people are concentrated in coastal areas and villages along the banks of the many rivers, with the main cities including Libreville (the capital), Franceville, Lambaréné, Moanda, Oyem, Mouila and Port Gentil.

Libreville is a lively and charming capital beside the ocean, with its white buildings contrasting with the green of the nearby forest. Sights include the art-craft village (Village des Artisans) and the National Museum, which contains some beautiful woodcarvings. Visitors can also enjoy the delightful Peyrie Gardens in the heart of the city. Gabonese food is distinctive and delicious, but not always readily available, as most restaurants tend to serve dishes from Senegal, Cameroon and the Congo. Most nightclubs and bars tend to be found in Libreville.

Map of Gabon