Key Country Facts
Gabon is pushing to increase profits from ecotourism and other tourists excursions to prepare for when oil resources dwindle,
Notre Dame de Lourdes church, Reserve de la Lope,
The top exports are crude petroleum, refined petroleum, manganese ore, sawn wood, and veneer sheets.
About 1.725 million people live in Gabon (2015), and the capital is Libreville. The official language is French, though a smaller percentage of the population also speaks called Fang. The main religion is Christianity, primarily Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The time zone is 5 hours ahead of EST.
When visiting Libreville, take a moment to visit the Notre Dame de Lourdes church. The church is recently built and is very beautiful architecturally, especially in the artwork. To see beautiful, rolling hills to get a glimpse of the wildlife in the area, find a good tour guide and go visit the Reserve de la Lope for part of the day. For travelers who specifically want to see gorillas, try to research Gabon’s 13 different national parks in advance and plan where to go and what time of year is best for seeing them. Gabon is home to around 80 percent of the gorilla population in Africa and the country itself is almost entirely rainforest, but because these animals are wild and travel around often, there is no guarantee that travelers will be able to see or get close to them.
Nature explorers and geologists will enjoy knowing that Gabon is home to hundreds of unexplored limestone and dolomite caves. In fact, even more amazing is that a crocodile species has been found in them – orange crocodiles! This species had to adapt to living underground and feeding on cave bats. Scientists have yet to uncover why their skin is orange, and further expeditions are underway to learn more about these animals living in a cave that was thought to be inhospitable except for bats and insects.
Gabon’s vast gains in GDP come from selling oil; however, the country has been trying to increase profits from ecotourism and other tourists excursions to prepare for when oil resources dwindle, and the government is actively seeing to support the tourism industry.