Libreville, Gabon

Libreville, Gabon

According to abbreviationfinder, Libreville is the capital and a wealthy coastal city of Gabon, located along the Komo River, on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, with a major port and business center and almost half the population of Gabon. Libreville started out as a small trading post and administrative center but has quickly morphed into a wealthy capital with a sophisticated multicultural atmosphere.

History

The area occupied by the city, on the northern bank of the estuary, was already fully inhabited since at least the seventeenth century. Throughout the 19th century, successive waves of Fang emigrants arrived in the area, eventually becoming the majority ethnic group in the area. In 1843, the French established a commercial nucleus at the point where Libreville sits today, and six years later the French navy officially founded the city there, whose name means ‘Free City’, which was populated by granting 52 lots from land to freed slaves. In the following years, during the period known as the “partition of Africa “, the French undertook a series of campaigns to conquer territory from Libreville inland. The city grew during the era of French colonialism (1887 – 1960) as the capital and commercial and administrative center of the colony of Gabon, until it became It was the capital of the independent State of the same name in 1960. Four years later the port of Owendo was inaugurated, very close to the old one, which today receives most of the country’s imports.

Geography

The coastline presents a sinuous and brittle profile from the border with Equatorial Guinea to Cape López, from which it follows a straight line that enters Congolese territory. The land near the coast is a great plain that goes inland, until it ends in a plateau area that occupies the eastern and innermost part of the country. In the north are the Crystal Mountains, which together with the Chaillu Mountains in the south make up the Gabonese mountain system (in the Chaillu is the Iboundji, the highest mountain in the country, at 1,581 m).

Location

Libreville is located on the north coast of Gabon, very close to the border with Equatorial Guinea. It is located on the north coast of a deep and wide estuary.

Climate

Libreville is located on the coast, so its climate is not as warm as in other parts of Gabon. However, it has a hot and humid tropical climate and a main rainy season between October and April ; the summer months between June and September are usually cooler.

Flora and fauna

Equatorial flora and fauna abound throughout the country. The jungle covers 75% of the national territory, with a great leafiness and botanical variety (baobab, ebony and mahogany among other species). There is an abundance of lions, antelopes, elephants, hippos, and other mammals, as well as countless species of tropical reptiles and insects.

Population

The largest ethnic group in Gabon is the Fang, of Bantu origin. Libreville is populated by 684,800 residents. Gabon is home to more than 40 different ethnic groups with their own languages and cultures, but in Libreville French is mostly spoken and there are a large number of foreigners working in the export business. With its urban wealth, Libreville appears to be leagues from the immaculate and underdeveloped rural area of Gabon. See population of Gabon.

Economic development

Libreville is the headquarters of Gabon’s oil, uranium and manganese companies. It also exploits commercial fishing and timber resources.

Sightseeing

Gabon requires tourists to passports with a minimum validity of six months, although a visa is also required, which must be requested at the corresponding consulate and which will be valid for three months. To travel to the country, the return ticket will also be necessary. Public transport is scarce in Gabon. Visitors will be able to enjoy safaris and observe wild animals in Okanda National Park. There are many high quality Libreville hotels that tend to be quite expensive and international cuisine restaurants for tourists and wealthy locals.

Culture

In Libreville, the colonial buildings from the period of French domination stand out, most of them from the 19th century.

Places of interest

The main points of interest in Libreville are the National Museum of Art and Traditions, the Sybang Park Arboretum, with thousands of species of local flora, the French Cultural Center and the Cathedral of St Marie. There are also two cultural villages that showcase the traditional Gabonese way of life, large markets and supermarkets that offer the opportunity to go shopping in Libreville. Pointe Denis is a popular beach on the peninsula, near Libreville. There are also several deserted beaches near Libreville, at Cap Esterias and Cap Santa Clara, which are accessible by car.

Crafts

Gabonese crafts are highly prized, especially wood carvings, masks, musical instruments, and stone items.

Gastronomy

In Gabon you can enjoy both French and African cuisine. In some restaurants in the capital you can taste meat of crocodile, gazelle, monkey and snake.

Holidays and traditions

On August 17, Independence Day is celebrated.

Transportation

You usually travel to Libreville by plane. The city’s international airport receives flights to Libreville from several African and Western European countries. The city gathers transport to the rest of Gabon, with many buses, trains and boatconnections. The train station in Libreville is in Owendo, about 10 kilometers / 6 miles south of the city center. Local transportation in Libreville relies on public buses and minibuses, but taxi is the fastest and safest way to get around the city. You can rent cars in Libreville and, although they tend to be very expensive, driving is a good way to get around the city. Libreville is a clean city with paved streets. However, off-road cars are needed to drive outside of Gabon’s main cities.

Illustrious people

Gabon is a country with a great musical tradition; In recent years a movement has developed that fuses African rhythms, jazz and soul and whose main representatives are the musicians Annie-Flore Batchiellilys, Evizo Stars, François N’Gwa, Hilarion N’goma and Onoye Sissai.

Sports

The sports that the traveler can practice in Gabon are mainly aquatic, including swimming, surfing and sport fishing on the beaches of Libreville and the Atlantic coast.

Libreville, Gabon