Gabon: holidays, climate
|January 1||New Year|
|January February||Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|March April||Easter (Easter Monday)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May 6||Day of the Martyrs|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|August 16||Independence day|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|November December||Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
Source: Countryaah – Gabon Holidays
The climate in Gabon differs within two areas, the coast and the interior.
On the coast, the north has the coolest climate. Here the daily average temperatures are around 28-30 °C. In July they can even drop to 26 °C. At night they are 22 – 24 °C. The rainy season lasts from September to May. Most of the precipitation falls in October with about 23 rainy days. In the south the climate becomes more volatile. Temperatures increase by about one to two degrees and the average rainfall days decrease.
The climate is in the north more stable. There the average daytime temperatures are around 27-30 °C all year round. At night they drop to around 20 °C. There are two rainy seasons, each with 15-20 rainy days per month. The first lasts from February to the end of June. The second, when it rains a little more, lasts from the beginning of September to the end of November. In the south, the average daytime temperatures are 26-29 °C, and here, too, it is coldest in July. At night the temperatures are between 18-23 °C, the coldest month is July. The rainy season lasts from September to March. November has the most rainfall with 17 rainy days.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that GA stands for the nation of Gabon as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ecosystem and relict cultural landscape of Lopé-Okanda
The Lopé-Okanda National Park is located approx. 300 km southeast of Gabon’s capital Libreville and covers an area of 491,000 ha = 4,910 km².
It is enclosed by the Ogooué rivers to the north and by the Offoué and Mingoué rivers to the east and west.
In the south the park is bordered by the Chaillu massif. As a result of bush fires, which were often started by humans, the rainforest was greatly reduced and savannas were created, which are well suited for settlement. Since rainforest and savannah coexist in a very small space, a variety of plants developed that could not be detected anywhere else.
In Lopé-Okanda, animals of the rainforest and the savannah live together in a very small space, such as gorillas and elephants. Archaeological finds document the history of the settlement. Tools from the Stone Age and over 1,800 rock drawings were found. Due to the archaeological finds and the peculiarities of the coexistence of savanna and rainforest animals, the region was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007.
With around 43,000 residents, Franceville, the provincial capital of Haut-Ogooué, is Gabon’s third largest city. Franceville spreads on the Mpassa River and forms the end point of the Transgabonais railway line.
Lambarene is best known for the doctor and philanthropist Albert Schweizer, who founded his infirmary here in 1924. The hospital is still in operation and can be visited by interested visitors. It contains countless personal items and devices associated with Albert Schweizer.
Libreville, the “free city,” has been Gabon’s capital and largest city with around 578,000 residents since 1960. The modern and attractive city spreads out on the Corisco Bay, i.e. at the point where the Mbé flows into the Gulf of Guinea. An interesting fact about this African city is that it was ranked the fourth most expensive city in the world in 2004, according to an assessment by The Economist. Libreville has an international airport, a port, several prestigious higher education institutions and a station on the Transgabonais Railway.
The city is structured by the chic Boulevard de l’independence, which stretches along the water, while the heart of the city beats in the area between the Presidential Palace and the Novotel. Libreville is very interesting for tourists because of the many shopping streets and the numerous sights. The most interesting buildings include the National Museum, the wooden church of St. Michel and the Cathedral of St. Marie. The biggest attraction of Libreville is probably the beach promenade (French bord de mer), where visitors and locals go to relax on the Atlantic Ocean. The promenade is lined with countless Gabonese sculptures that overlook the beach.
Oyem has around 30,000 residents and is located in the north near the border with Equatorial Guinea.
Gabun’s second largest city, founded in 1885, currently has around 125,000 residents. As the center of the fishing and overseas trade, Port-Gentil is of course very important, with cocoa and precious woods being handled in particular. But Port-Gentil has also established itself as a city with a large refinery in the petroleum industry.
Special buildings and markets
Albert Schweizer’s hospital in Labarene
The Gabonese town of Lambarene is of course known for the doctor and philanthropist Albert Schweizer, who founded his infirmary here in 1924. The hospital is still in operation and can be visited by interested visitors. It contains countless personal items and devices that were associated with Albert Schweizer.
Wooden Church of St. Michel in Libreville
The wooden L’Eglise St-Michel is located in Gabon’s capital Libreville. It is known and worth seeing mainly because of its interesting carvings. Characteristic are the large wooden pillars, which were designed by a blind Gabonese.
Libreville Hospital in Libreville
The Center Hospitalier de Libreville is the most important hospital in Gabon. It has an accident and emergency department that deal with the entire country.
Marché du Mont-Bouët in Libreville
The Marché du Mont-Bouët, which is extremely worth seeing, is located in the Mont-Bouët district, in the east of the city center. It is the largest market in the capital.
Presidential Palace of Libreville
The presidential palace of the capital Libreville was built in the 1970s at the behest of the then President Omar Bongo. Unfortunately, it is not open to visitors and cannot be photographed.
Museums and universities
National Museum of Art and Cultural History in Libreville
The Musee des Arts et Traditions du Gabon is located in Gabon’s capital Libreville. There is an extensive collection of valuable African wood carvings on display, including relics and ritual masks. You can also see carvings by Fang, whose style influenced Picasso.
Université Omar Bongo (UOB) in Libreville
Libreville is the seat of the Université Omar Bongo (UOB), which was founded in 1970. It was named in 1978 in honor of President Omar Bongo.
Akanda National Park
Established in 2002, the Akanda National Park extends north of Libreville and is easy to reach as a day trip from the Gabonese capital. The km² large park is criss-crossed by mangrove forests, which are extremely worth seeing.
Batéké National Park The
east of Gabon has a tourist attraction with the 2,050 km² Batéké National Park. Extensive savannahs are replaced by dense forests and wild rivers. Buffalo, panthers, forest elephants and monkeys cross the area as well as the Poubara river, where crocodiles live. The river can be crossed over a liana bridge. A visit to the national park also includes a detour to the Leconi canyons – impressive rock formations that rise from the savannah.
Ivindo National Park
The Ivindo National Park was founded in one of the most beautiful areas of Gabon. In addition to the Kongou waterfalls and the no less spectacular Mingouli waterfalls, the park also includes Langoue Bai, where numerous and easily observable elephants gather.
Loango National Park
In close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean you will find the Loango National Park, which impresses with its biodiversity. The national park, founded in 2002, is one of the highlights of the country. It is located about 250 km south of Libreville. The approximately 1,550 km² national park encompasses an almost untouched coastal strip over a length of over 100 km.
Numerous reptiles live in the swampy and sometimes lagoon-like hinterland – including three different types of crocodiles. Buffalo, leopards, a great number of forest elephants, hippos, antelopes, but also dolphins and whales are at home here off the coast.
The most beautiful beaches in Gabon are located along the coast of the seaside resort of Mayumba in the province of Nyanga. Whales can be seen there between July and September, while sea turtles lay their eggs there between November and January. During the holiday season, the local city delights people with its colorful nightlife.
Lopé-Okanda National Park
Information about this national park can be found above under “UNESCO World Heritage Site”
Arboretum de Sybang in Libreville
In Libreville’s Nzeng-ayong, you can visit the Arboretum de Sybang – a large tree sanctuary containing thousands of native species. However, this is not a national park !!
List of 13 national parks
- Akanda National Park• Batéké Plateau National Park• Birougou National Park
• Monts de Crystal National Park
• Ivindo National Park
• Loango National Park
• Lopé-Okanda National Park
• Mayumba National Park
• Minkébé National Park
• Moukalaba-Doudau National Park
• Pongara National Park
• Waka National Park
• Wonga Wongue National Park