Blogs from Gabon, Africa

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Africa » Gabon » West » Port-Gentil May 2nd 2018

At the beginning of the of the last oil boom in 2007, I read a Time Magazine article entitled ”The World's Most Expensive City” about the town Port Gentil located on the coast of Gabon. (http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1599163,00.html). It painted a vivid picture of a latter-day mineral boom town suffering a severe inflationary bubble and consequently awash and drowning in petro dollars with all the associated vice-y excesses. The resource curse is, however, double-edged. When the oil price tanked in 2014, the effects soon followed and three years from the 2014 crash Port Gentil presented a very different type of “ville petrolier” than it had in 2007. Arriving at the small airport from Libreville you notice oil company charters are still going strong ferrying oil workers to the fields. One consequence of the down turn was the flight ... read more
le petroleir

Africa » Gabon July 24th 2017

One of the things we knew even before we moved to Gabon was that we we wanted to explore as much as the country as possible. So after months of planning, Teun, myself, my brother and four other friends set off on a road trip around Gabon. We planned a route that took us around the center of Gabon and included several different parks. In planning our trip we used the Bradt Guidebook to Gabon (no, I’m not receiving any money to mention it, but it is the only (as of early 2017) English language guidebook for Gabon), and, as we live in Gabon, we gathered information from friends that had already traveling around the country. While the Bradt book was extremely helpful in planning our trip and finding our way around, we did find some ... read more

Africa » Gabon » North July 23rd 2017

Back in February, our good friend Ann was preparing to leave Gabon and wanted to do one more trip before she departed. A look on the map set the destination: Ivindo National Park. Ivindo is famous for its waterfalls and also appeared in the latest Tarzan movie. Little did we know that Ann’s reputation (always excitement when on a trip with Ann) would follow us…. Teun, Andrea and our two friends, Ann and Aly, left Friday afternoon just after work and had to wait for the ferry at Mayumba. Ferry is a nice word for a little 2 car floating pontoon thrusted with a single 40hp outboard engine…slightly overconfident Teun quickly drove up the ramp of the ferry, but the rear right tire missed the narrow ramp and the car became stuck precariously on the ramp. ... read more

Africa » Gabon » West » Libreville June 6th 2017

I'm happy to have found a country where very few of my fellow travelbloggers have blogged from. Imagine, I could find only nine blogs about Gabon on travelblog.org! This is not a small country, but they have only 2 millions inhabitants in the country, and a good 600,000 of them live in the capital, Libreville. This includes a serious amount of foreigners too, coming mainly from lower incomes neighboring countries. Everybody speak french here, or one of the many different dialects. The country has been mainly turn around the oil industry as well as the wood industry provided by the huge tropical forest. As you know, oil prices are nowhere where they used to be, and it shows here. The country had develop a model where a huge part of the population was working in one ... read more
Golf de Libreville
Made it to the longest drive...nice!
Downtown Libreville

Africa » Gabon August 9th 2012

“The greatest problem with communication,” George Shaw writes, “is the illusion that it has taken place.” I had come across this quote several times in the past and, rather than understanding the core issue, I had fallen victim to its detriment – one of many of life’s self-fulfilling prophecy, I suppose. Having started a new job less than three months ago, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the ground, my feet dirty and, frankly, to get new stamps in my passport! The opportunity presented itself rather auspiciously when, less than a couple of weeks into the new job, my new boss, Sean, asked if I would join him to Gabon to help teach a ‘Communications for Development’ workshop to a team of 9 Congolese and Gabonese Graduate students, as part of a Masters’ Program ... read more
No need for electricity when you have natural equatorial light!
Inspired
FOREST MENTOR

Africa » Gabon » West » Lambaréné July 7th 2012

Saturday July 7 My writing kinda fell to the wayside after my bag was stolen. I've been so preoccupied with thoughts of all my lost photos that are meaningless to them that I haven't really felt like writing. But, new country, new thoughts so let's get back on track... Left Yaounde at 07:30 and Nico and I sat up front. Trip notes told us to exit the city the way we came in which is hard when we screwed it up the first time! But, past the breweries we went and after asking directions only a couple times, we were on our way south to the border town on Eking. Thick lush jungle again accompanied us and we drove along in companionable silence. It's been almost four months and we were leaving West Africa and crossing ... read more
Bush camping
Heading for the Congo!

Africa » Gabon » West » Libreville July 12th 2011

Last time we talked about the Marché Mon Bouet and the Sabière. Today I’ll talk about the sea food market—Port Moel and Quartière London. The port moel is one of the principal ports of Libreville. There you find a sea food market. I got there was because that I was about to hold an arriving BBQ. The price was not expensive. I bought a 1.8kg carp at 5000 FCFA which is about 8 euros. (1 euro= 656 FCFA) Then after I got to Chinese market, which was not so far from the port. It was run by a person from Northeast China. I found it big and I got what I wanted. In Gabon, there’re lots of Chinese workers who are in the construction field, telecommunication field or even fishing industry. Then I went to the ... read more
the same disguise
Julie and Nolwenn
the result

Africa » Gabon » West » Libreville July 10th 2011

This morning I went to the biggest market of Gabon: Marché Mont Bouet. After 20 minutes’ drive, I was driven to the Petit Paris. Comparing with the Chinese street market in the 1990s, this market is much more than disorder. So many people were around me that I worried about my security and, of course, my bag. I didn’t dare to take any photos. This market is really big. Many shops sell Chinese manufacturing products. It seemed the market in my hometown in my childhood. I just felt that I got in a time machine, but the faces were not the same. I bought a small gift for my friend, because it was her birthday. I knew her when we were in France. This friend gave me a lot of help when I was I Libreville. ... read more
Party ending
Doris and Melyne

Africa » Gabon » West » Libreville July 9th 2011

I waked up with a one-hour time difference. I decided to get out. I was a little bit worried by the new environment about the security without doubt. Finally I got a city tour with my first guide: Michelle. Transport: There’re not buses or trams in the city. But “taxi” is the main public transport. You can share the taxi with the other people or you can make a “course” that means the taxi driver will just take you on board. The starting minimum fare is only 100 F CFA. But attention, because the “taximan” can tell the tourist from the citizens, and they’ll ask much more than it should be. Never should you put a doubt if your proposition is so low, they are always greedy. I can’t give you more advice, but if you ... read more
sunrise on air
Michelle
Over the beach

Africa » Gabon » West » Libreville July 8th 2011

I get started from Nancy, France. After two hours’ train, two hours’ transit, one hour’s late and several hours’ flight, finally I arrived at Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. Several things shocked me. Firstly is the color of people changed, I don’t mean white change to black, I mean that there were much more Asian faces at that airport. I can tell most of them were from China. Addis Ababa is an important transit point in Africa. The Chinese workers were sent to any corner of Arica. By chance, I took the same flight with several Chinese workers. They spoke neither French nor English. Secondly the airport had only one shabby toilet in the waiting area. I didn’t expect a luxury toilet, but at least clean and comfortable. There was only one for more than thousands ... read more
beside the sea
Entry chez Yvette
seaside view




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