Gabon, a country along the Atlantic coast of Equatorial Africa, has protected parkland that makes up more than 10% of its area. The forested coastal terrain of its famed Loango National Park shelters a diversity of wildlife from gorillas and hippos to whales.
Lopé National Park consists of mostly rain-forest. Akanda Park is known for its mangroves and tidal beaches. With its seemingly endless rain-forest now safeguarded by the 2003 decision to turn an incredible 10% of the country into protected national parkland, Gabon is Central Africa’s most progressive and traveler-friendly destination, although the competition is admittedly not too fierce. Despite being far ahead of many of its unstable, war-torn neighbors, tourism in Gabon remains extremely DIY – you’ll either have to put yourself into the hands of a travel agency, or negotiate the poor roads, infrequent transport options and the almost total lack of reliable infrastructure yourself. Outside the cosmopolitan metropolis of Libreville, the country’s only real city, Gabon is an undiscovered wonderland of thick jungle, white-sand beaches, rushing rivers and ethereal landscapes. Bring either plenty of money or plenty of patience, but definitely don’t miss out on this Eden-like travel experience.
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