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Discover 7 Intriguing Insights about Gabon: A Hidden Gem in West Africa

September 1, 2023

Photo Credit: EnjoyTravel.com

Nestled inconspicuously between Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, and the Atlantic Ocean, Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, might not be on everyone’s radar. With a population of two million and an expanse of lush landscapes, this unassuming West African nation has more to offer than meets the eye. Let’s delve into these captivating facts about Gabon.

1. A History Spanning Millennia Stretching back over 400,000 years, Gabon has been home to a diverse array of inhabitants. From the Paleolithic era to present-day Bantu and Pygmy peoples, the country’s history is woven with ancient cultures. Pygmies, recognized for their stature under 1.5 meters, have a rich history dating back to 2276 B.C., while today they constitute just 0.3% of Gabon’s populace.

2. Nature’s Green Dominance Covering an astonishing 88% of its land, Gabon is overwhelmingly cloaked in lush rainforests. These ecosystems play a critical role in absorbing carbon emissions. Notably, Gabon secured a pioneering achievement in 2019 by receiving compensation for protecting its rainforests and mitigating carbon emissions. This effort, in collaboration with the Central African Forest Initiative, earned the nation $17 million out of a $150 million accord.

3. The Equatorial Line’s Embrace Remarkably, the equator intersects with only 13 countries globally, and Gabon is proudly one of them. This geographic positioning gifts the nation with a tropical rainforest climate, where temperatures hover around 30°C and annual rainfall averages 2,500 to 3,500 mm. Symbolically, Gabon’s flag features horizontal stripes of green, yellow, and blue, with yellow representing the equator.

4. A Haven of Protection Dedicating   11.25% of its territory to protected parklands, Gabon’s commitment to conservation is commendable. Collaborating with The Wildlife Conservation Society, the government established 13 national parks covering over 10,000 square miles. This ambitious effort ranks Gabon second only to Costa Rica in terms of land allocation for preservation.

5. The Enigmatic Loango National Park Revered as ‘Africa’s last Eden,’ Loango National Park stands as a testament to Gabon’s rich biodiversity. Encompassing diverse ecosystems, from pristine beaches to rainforests, this 1,550 km reserve boasts an array of wildlife, including elephants, gorillas, and even surfing hippos, creating an unparalleled wildlife-watching experience.

6. UNESCO Recognition and Ancient Heritage The Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda, a UNESCO-listed site, stands as Gabon’s sole World Heritage Site. With a captivating blend of tropical rainforests and ancient savannahs, this site is home to a multitude of species, from iconic elephants to historic rock carvings dating back to the Stone and Iron Ages.

7. Gorilla Haven and Ecological Balance Gabon is a haven for Africa’s gorillas, housing around 80% of the continent’s population. Despite challenges, the country remains a crucial stronghold for these magnificent creatures. Additionally, Gabon shelters the majority of Africa’s baboons, playing a vital role in maintaining ecological diversity.

Intricately woven with history, nature, and wildlife, Gabon presents itself as a captivating destination, embodying both conservation efforts and natural wonder.

Credit: EnjoyTravel.com


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