Gabon


Gabon enjoys political stability and is a relatively prosperous country. It is the least densely populated country in Central Africa. Situated within the Congo Basin it is considered by experts as the 2nd lung of planet Earth.
Beneath a thick untamed forest, not very favorable to human population, Gabon is a haven for local fauna and flora characterized by amazing diversity. The country is home to 85% of the world’s best preserved rain forests, famous for being Africa’s richest.
Central Africa in general and especially Gabon, boast the world’s richest biodiversity.
It includes :
- About 8000 vegetable species (orchids, begonia, exotic woods) with 20% endemic specie
- 150 mammal species (including 19 species of primates)
- 752 bird species of which many are endemic species
- 60% of Africa’s elephants (estimated number: 60 000 individuals)
-  First reproduction site worldwide for the leather back turtles, along with Guyana,
- humpback whales
- Some threatened animal species or species not widely represented at the level of the African continent still have important populations in Gabon. 
- Among the most remarkable species, manatees, gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills



Gabon, a champion of biodiversity
 During the 2002 Earth Summit in South Africa, Gabon announced the creation of a network of 13 National Parks.
11% of Gabon’s territory is now listed as part of the National Park. Second to Costa Rica, Gabon thus stands as the country which protects the largest surface of its territory.
« This is an act with a worldwide impact which will doubtless imply sacrifices in the short and medium term. However, it mirrors our ambition which is to hand down these wonders of nature to the future generations » said El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon.



NATIONAL PARK /PROVINCE /SURFACE /TYPE OF LANDSCAPE
  • Akanda ,Estuary 540 km² mangrove
  • Birougou mountains Ngounie, Ogowe-Lolo 690 km² mountain
  • Ivindo, Ogowe-Ivindo 3 000 km² equatorial forest
  • Loango, Ogowe-Maritime 1550 km² sandy shore
  • Lope, Ogowe-Ivindo 4970 km² forest and savannah
  • Mayumba, Nyanga 80 km² sandy shore
  • Minkebe, Woleu-Ntem 7560 km² equatorial forest
  • Crystal Mountains, Estuary1200 km² mountain
  • Moukalaba-Doudou, Nyanga 4500 km²equatorial forest
  • Mwagne, Ogowe-Ivindo 1160 km² equatorial forest
  • Bateke plateaus, Upper-Ogowe 2050 km² equatorial forest
  • Pongara Estuary, 870 km² mangrove, sandy shore
  • Waka, Ngounie 1070 km² mountain




GABON’S ID CARD
  • Name : Republic of Gabon 
  • Surface : 267 667 km²
  • Capital city : Libreville
  • Economic capital : Port-Gentil
Population
·         1225 000 inhabitants (55% of which live in towns and suburban areas)
·         Friendly, adaptable, open to the world

Language
·         Official : French
·         Local : Fang, Myene, Bapoumou, Bandjabi, Obamba…

Ethnic groups
·         The native population is composed of two major groups : Pygmies (1% of the population) and Bantus
·         There are 6 major groups of Bantus : Fang,  Bapounou, Mbede, Bandjabi, Bakota, Omyene and about 50 ethnic groups

Religion
·         96,2% christians
Provinces (9)
·         Estuary (Libreville)
·         Upper Ogowe (Franceville)
·         Ogowe -Ivindo (Makokou)
·         Ogowe-Lolo (Koulamoutou)
·         Ogowe -Maritine (Port-Gentil)
·         Middle Ogowe (Lambarene)
·         Ngounie (Mouila)
·         Nyanga (Tchimbanga)
·         Woleu-Ntem (Oyem)

Landscape and vegetation        
·         The longest river : the Ogowe 1200 km long
·         Beaches : 885 km of wild beaches
·         Sempervirente equatorial forest or rainforests : 85% of forest coverage, i.e. 230 000 km2
·         Savannah : in the East and in the South

Borders 
·         Equatorial Guinea in the North-West, Cameroon to the North, East and South and Atlantic Ocean to the West
·         Highest summit: Mont Iboundji 1575 m

Climate
·         Equatorial climate, both hot and humid
·         Annual temperature : constant and high, 84-73F/26°C on average
·         Annual rainfall : between 1500 mm and 4000 mm (depending on the area)
·         Humidity : 81% 

Weather
·         Two dry seasons = cloudy skies and lower temperatures  one
- From mid-December to January (low dry season)
- From June to mid-September (high dry season)
·         Two wet seasons = hot and sunny days one
 - From February to May (high wet season with heavy storms in March and April)
 - From mid-September to mid-December (low wet season)

Distinctive signs
·         Crossed by the Equator
·         Same time zone as France (GTM+1)

Currency
·         CFA Franc (2010 rate:1 € = 655.9 F CFA) or 499,25 dollars


Exports
·         Crude oil : 81%
·         Wood : Gaboon (with 93% of sales, Gabon holds the monopoly, together with Equatorial Guinea and the Congo), mahogany, douka, moabi
·         Minerals : manganese (number 2 world exporter), uranium, iron, zinc, gold, silver, diamonds

Infrastructure
·         Roads : 6 898  km
·         Railways : 668 km across the country
·         Main airports : Libreville, Port-Gentil, Franceville
·         Main port : Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil
·         Waterways : main means of communication through the extremely dense vegetation, can be used all year round