Gabon is a Central African country that lies along the Atlantic coast bordering Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. The country boasts of a hilly terrain and is full of lush green rainforests. Surrounded by dense forests, a great diversity of wildlife, pristine impressive landscapes, white beautiful beaches, raging rivers, and many more natural attractions, it is the best place to visit if you are interested in eco-tourism.
With an area of 267,668 km², the country is somewhat larger than the United Kingdom, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Colorado.
Gabon has a population of estimated 1.5 million people. The capital and largest city is Libreville. Spoken languages are French (official) and a variety of Bantu languages.
Gabon is notable for the Oklo reactor zones, the only known natural nuclear fission reactor on Earth which was active two billion years ago. The site was discovered during uranium mining in the 1970s to supply the French nuclear power industry.
Because of its oil and mineral reserves and a relatively small population, Gabon is one of Africa’s wealthier nations, which is able to protect and preserve its pristine rain forests with a rich biodiversity.
More than 10% of Gabon’s area is protected parkland, there are 13 National Parks in the country, among them the forested coastal terrain of the Loango National Park, ‘Africa’s Last Eden’ shelters a diversity of wildlife from gorillas and hippos to whales. Lopé National Park consists of mostly rainforest, but in the north the park contains the last remnants of grass savannas. Akanda Park is known for its mangroves and tidal beaches. Highest mountain in Gabon is Mont Iboundji with its 1,575 m elevation.
TRENDING FASHION IN GABON
ACCESSORIES IN GABON
TRIBES IN GABON AND THEIR FASHION
Gabon has at least 40 ethnic groups, with separate languages and cultures. The largest ethnicity is the Fang (about 30%). Other ethnic groups include the Nzebi, Myene, Bandjabi, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke/Obamba, and Bakota. Libreville is the largest city in Gabon with an estimated population of about 650,000 people. Almost all Gabonese are of Bantu origin.
The traditional Gabonese dress item is the boubou, which is a flowing top that can be long down or knee. Festivals often demand more movies. Men wear boubous with loose-fitting trousers underneath, while women wear double-breasted skirts.
The Fang people
Little clothing is worn; the men wear a bark waist-cloth, the women a plantain girdle, sometimes with a bustle of dried grass. A chief wears a leopard’s skin round the shoulders.
TOURIST AND HISTORICAL PLACES IN GABON
Port-Gentil – this seaport town is the hub of the country’s timber and petroleum interests. It is the largest city after Libreville.
Pongara – National part with diverse landscape, forest, mangrove flats, beach and savannah. It is accessible and a home to tons of bird species, the forest is filled with moneys, elephants etc.
Point Denis – this beach runs for several kilometres and ends where the Pongara National Park begins.
Minkebe National Park – it is another accessibke park, a home to gorillas, elephants, leopards, cheetahs and isolated traditional ethnic groups.
Mayumba National Park – the park lies close to the border of the Republic of Congo and is the only one that is primarily a marine park.
Loango National Park – it is one of Africa’s best safari experiences. The park has lush landscapes and fantastic wildlife.
Libreville – roughly one third of Gabon’s inhabitants live in Libreville. It is the country’s capital.
Lastoursville – the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the caves near it, the waterfalls, beautiful and serene environment, just an hour walk from the town centre.
Lambarene – a town roughly 75 kilometres from the equator in the Central African Rainforest. It is home for Bantu ethnic groups.
Makokou and Kongou Falls – Kongou is definitely a must see with a 60 metre drop and a great spiritual significance to the local people.
Ivindo National Park – it is also one of the most important in all of Central africa for the work being done for diversity.
Franceville – it is one of the four largest cities in Gabon. It is a lively place with a village atmosphere.
Fernan Vas Lagoon – it is named for Portuguese explorer who found it in the 15th century, the area is engaged in a number of conservation effort.
Akanda National Park – this park accounts for about 25% of the protected mangrove in all of Africa.
Reserve de la Lope – it is complete with savannah, rolling hills and rainforest where it is possible to see buffalo, elephants, gorillas and mandrills.
MUSIC IN GABON
Gabon’s music includes several folk styles and pop. Gabonese folk music encompasses the folk traditions of Gabon’s four main Bantu tribes: The Fang, the Punu, the Nzebi, and the Obamba. They are best renowned for providing music during Bwiti religious rites, particularly those of the Fang and Mitsogho. The psychoactive tree bark of the iboga is frequently used in these ceremonies. This substance is illegal in several countries and is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States (drugs that are basically considered illegal with no known medicinal value); in fact, exporting it out of Gabon is illegal in an effort to preserve the plant’s sacred cultural ties. Drums and the ngombi harp are performed throughout these events, adding to the atmosphere.
Some musicians in Gabon include:
Some art work in Gabon include:
MEALS IN GABON
Nyembwe chicken – a national dish in Gabon made from palm oil extract of African palm.
Fufu – a meal made from fermented cassava starch, taken with soup.
Plantain dish – made from boiled plantain, mostly unripe plantain.
Gateau de ngondo – a meal made from melon seed dumpling, usually taken with stew.
Dongo-dongo – a dish made from okra, smoked fish and other seasonings.
Bananes au four croustillantes – crispy baked banana, served as desert.
Gateau de ngondo
Bananes au four croustillantes
Boeuf aux Manges Sauvages – a dish made from beef stew with wild mango kernel “Gabonese mole”.
Lamb and lentil stew – a stew relatively cooked at low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle.
Beignet – a type of deep-fried pastry that can be made of other types of dough.
Pine nuts – edible seeds of pines.
Porridge – a meal made by boiling crushed starchy plants, typically grain in milk or water.
Boeuf aux Manges Sauvages
Lamb and lentil stew
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION IN GABON
Gabon is one of the world’s most wooded countries, with rainforests covering over 88 percent of its total surface area (267,667 km2). Millions of people in the Congo Basin region, the world’s second biggest pair of lungs after the Amazon, rely on the vast wooded regions for food, medicine, energy, and spirituality. Gabon’s woods are home to a variety of animals and megafauna, including 60 percent of the world’s surviving critically endangered forest elephants, often known as the “architects” or “gardeners” of the forest for their contributions to ecosystem health. It also has a large population of western lowland gorillas, mandrill monkeys, forest buffalos, and a variety of interesting birds.
Gabon has protected much of its rainforest since 2000, building 13 national parks, one of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gabon recognizes the importance of forests in tackling climate change and ensuring sustainable development. While deforestation rates have remained stable (less than 0.08 percent), the country has taken many steps to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN GABON
Gabon is especially sensitive to climate change impacts because of its geographic location, hydrographic layout, and the fact that the majority of the population and economic activity are concentrated around the coast. Temperature rises, sea levels rise, and precipitation patterns change, putting a strain on vulnerable groups, urban infrastructure, and the economy. Furthermore, Gabon’s agriculture economy and food security are based on rain-fed agriculture. Protecting the country’s coastline zone, fishing industry, and forestry sector are among the country’s adaptation objectives. In order to support the country’s ongoing economic development initiatives, the country is committed to developing its agricultural sector.
Droughts that are more frequent and severe, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans can all hurt animals, ruin their habitats, and disrupt people’s livelihoods and societies. Dangerous weather events are growing more common and severe as climate change progresses.
GENDER EQUALITY IN GABON
Gabon’s government has proposed new laws to promote gender equality. The legal changes aim to tackle the issues of violence and discrimination that women face in the society. Some prominent women in Gabon include:
Laura Olga Gondjout – a Gabonese politician who served as Minister of Communication, as well as Minister of Foreign affairs.
Georgette Koko – Gabones politician who served as Prime Minister for the Environment.
Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda – Gabonese politician who is currently serving as Prime Minister of Gabon.
Lucie Milebou Aubusson – Gabonese ophthalmologist and politician who has been President of Senate since February 2015.
Laura Olga Gondjout
Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda
Lucie Milebou Aubusson
Honorine Dossou Naki – Gabonese politician and diplomat. She was Gabon’s Ambassador to France.
Pascaline Bongo Ondimba – Gabonese politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Angélique Ngoma – Gabonese politician who served as Minister for Family, Child Welfare and Advancement of Women as well as Minister of Defence.
Yvette Ngwevilo Rekangalt – a dynamic Gabonese businesswoman, overseeing bankruptcy for the court of Libreville and a human rights leader.