COUNTRY FACTS

Gabon

 

gabon-flagQuick Facts

  • Continental region –Central Africa
  • Currency symbol of Gabon Central African CFA Franc, Symbol FCFA
  • Capital City –Libreville
  • Official languages –French
  • Population –2,239,484 (2020)
  • Country dialling code  –  (+241 )
  • Official website Gabon
  • Top 3 biggest industries  –Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing
  • Google Maps link –Gabon
  • Where is it? – Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the islands of Sao Tome and Principe are situated off the coast.

Gabon In Pictures

Beach in Libreville

Beach in Libreville

Cour Constitutionnelle de la République Gabonaise

Cour Constitutionnelle de la République Gabonaise

Fernan Vaz Lagoon

Fernan Vaz Lagoon

Fiftieth anniversary monument

Ivindo National Park

Ivindo National Park

Loango National Park

Loango National Park

Palais Présidentiel

Palais Présidentiel

Sainte-Anne du Fernand Vaz

Sainte-Anne du Fernand Vaz

Stade d'Angondje

Stade d’Angondje


Gabon History

  • How did the country get its first name? –The Portuguese sighted the coast as early as 1472 and gave Gabon its name because the shape of the Rio de Como estuary reminded them of a “gabao,” a Portuguese hooded cloak. 
  • When and by whom the country was first discovered? – Pygmies have occupied the land since at least 1000 AD. The first Europeans to discover Gabon passed by in 1472, when the Portuguese sailor Lopez Gonzalvez entered the Gabon estuary.
  • Who were the first Inhabitants? – Pygmy peoples were the first inhabitants of Gabon, although they were mostly absorbed by the Bantu tribes. Nearly all Gabonese today are of Bantu origin, but there are at least 40 ethnic groups in the country.
  • When it was first recognized as a country?-In 1910 Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa. On 15 July 1960 France agreed to Gabon becoming fully independent. On 17 August 1960 Gabon became an independent country.
  • Who was the first leader of the country? –The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M’ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president.

Five Significant Events 

  1. 1470 Arrival of Portuguese: Portuguese arrive in what is now Gabon. (http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/african_laborers_for_a_new_emp/launching_the_portuguese_slave)
  2. 1910 Gabon Part of French: Gabon becomes part of French Equatorial Africa. (https://africa.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-gabon/)
  3. 1960 Independence of Gabon: The territories became independent in 1960 as the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), and Gabon. (https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/africa/gb-history-2.htm)
  4. 1849 Liberville in Gabon: In 1849 the French captured a slave ship and released the passengers at the mouth of the Como River. The slaves named their settlement Libreville meaning “free town.” (https://www.timetoast.com/timelines/65877)
  5. 1961 Republic of Gabon: Under the 1961 constitution, Gabon became a republic with a presidential form of government. (https://www.conservapedia.com/Gabon)

Five Places to Visit in Gabon

  1. Libreville: Libreville’s foundation has a vibrant African heartbeat complete with the overcrowded, chaotic, and oh-so-fun markets, close knit communities, and gorgeous coastline. (https://www.libreville.com/)
  2. Loango National Park: The park has forest, lagoons, wetlands, and savannahs. In addition to the famous surfing hippos captured by a National Geographic crew in 2004, you’ll see gorillas, elephants walking along the beach, whales, dolphins, buffalo, and more. (https://gabonwildlifecamps.com/gabon-parks-camps/loango-national-park/)
  3. Pongara: The almost 900 square kilometres of Pongara National Park were select because of the diverse landscape there. Forest, mangrove flats, beach, and savannah. (https://www.africatouroperators.org/gabon/pongara-national-park)
  4. FernanVaz Lagoon: There are two gorillas living there now who help to educate visitors on the plight of these magnificent animals. Another eight orphaned gorillas also live there, away from human contact, with the aim of reintroducing them into the wild. (https://www.bradtguides.com/destinations/africa/gabon/fernan-vaz-lagoon/)
  5. Ivindo National Park: The river is the main feature of the area, running through the rainforest and creating an unbelievable series of rapids and waterfalls. There are adventure packages that will allow you to camp in the rainforest and around the falls as well as enjoy a pirogue lesson and day excursion on the river. (https://gabonwildlifecamps.com/gabon-parks-camps/ivindo-national-park/)

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