Gabon

Driving Directions Gabon

GABON is a small republic in west-central Africa that straddles the Equator. It comprises the land which surrounds the Ogooué river basin and its tributaries, and most of the country covered with lush tropical rainforests.

Beyond the coastal plain and the flatter land of the valley bot­toms, Gabon is ringed by upland plateaux and mountains ranging in height from 900-1,575 meters or 3,000-5,167 feet.

The forests con­tain a huge diversity of plants and animals, including commercially valu­able trees that harvested for export. It was at Lambarene in east Gabon that Albert Schweitzer, the medical missionary, had his hospital.

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The climate is hot, humid, and typically equatorial with little seasonal variation. Until the 1960s, timber was virtually Gabon’s only resource, and then oil was discovered. By the mid-1980s, Gabon was Africa’s sixth-largest oil producer, and other minerals such as manganese, uranium, and iron ore exploited.

Deposits of lead and silver have also discovered. Much of the earnings from these resources have squandered, and around two-thirds of the Gabonese people remain subsistence farmers growing cassava, sugar cane, plantains, and yams. The country has great tourist potential but, because of the dense hardwood forests, transport links with the uninhabited interior are very difficult.

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