Gabon: a country of rainforests along the equator

Gabon is one of the wealthiest, most peaceful and most problem-free countries on the African continent this country has proud people.
The black panther is the national symbol of Gabon. For this reason, you may see a lot of images of black panthers all around the country. I see a lot of soccer fans on the streets who paint their bodies with the colors of the Gabonese flag.
I took the road early in the morning, heading from the capital city to the town of Lambarene, called Galua in the native language. The road is not good and for this reason, the trip takes a long time. Our guide tells us that there is no road at all in the inner parts of the country, so I thank God we have one. When we come to the equator, we stop. Gabonese people have placed a sign at one point they have also drawn a parrot on the sign, one of the symbols of Gabon. We continue our journey between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Open-air restaurants and some of the dishes served there. (Photo: Saim Orhan)
h2Seeing what vendors offerh2 We stop at one point where, by the road used garments and items are offered for sale. Vendors ahead also sell bananas, berries and other types of fruits and vegetables. The vendors thought that we are French. They said that the French had made them look bad on TV in footage they shot at that location.
Dead monkeys, lizards and antelopes are sold on the side of the road. A very long time must have passed since the death of one antelope and it appears that the monkey suffered from extreme pain when killed. Some people in the country love eating monkeys and lizards.
This is not a very long distance to travel, but it still takes a lot of time because of the road conditions. We arrive at a bridge over the Ogooue, the longest river in Gabon. The river, 1,200 kilometers long, originates in the Republic of the Congo, enters Gabon and then flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge over the river is also the longest in the country, and we enjoy the view.
Instead of spending time in downtown Lambarene, we want to travel to the rural areas of natural beauty. We rent a boat and take a river trip this time. We are curious about rural areas away from the city center.
I have been to different places in the world well, it turns out it is my destiny to b by the Ogooue. This is indeed a very large river. Our journey will take nearly an hour. We will see what surprises we have during this trip.
The currents in the river are pretty strong Gabon has a lot of freshwater springs. There is no shortage of water in the country. The surroundings of the river consist of rainforests. Green is everywhere, unlike in many African countries. There are huge forests alongside the river. We move along, enjoying the magnificent view and scenery.
There are many interesting fruits in the rainforest. We slow down when we see a giant tree and approach it while on the boat. I reach out for a fruit called “avom” our native guide tells me I can eat it.
This is the first time I try this fruit and I am curious about how it tastes. I tell my friends that I hope nothing happens to me. The nut in the fruit is very large, but the fruit tastes very good. The local people love it. There are many varieties of tropical fruit in the world.

Fishermen and fishing boats along the shore in Libreville.
h2The splendor of the riverh2 We continue our trip along the river. The surface of the river is flat and we are surrounded by beautiful scenery. I cannot help but start taking photos. We move forward on the river very peacefully. The native person who rides the boat knows the area pretty well. He goes fast on the river. He knows the deep and shallow parts, which makes him an expert in his field. He tells us that there are crocodiles in some parts of the river as well as pythons.
The first missionaries who settled in the country reached the inner parts using the river because it was hard to get through the rainforests. The river has served as a guide for many Western settlers in the past. They took tons of logs from these beautiful forests. Then they arrived again to exploit the natural resources.
The Ogooue has different branches we pick one of these branches and continue this beautiful journey.

(Photo: Saim Orhan)
hr h2span style=”color:#B22222Quick factsh2 Capital: LIBREVILLE Language: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, BapounouEschira, Bandjabi Government: Republic multiparty presidential regime Chief of state: President Ali BONGO ONDIMBA (since Oct. 16, 2009) Head of government: Prime Minister Daniel ONA ONDO (since Jan. 27, 2014) Area: 267,667 square kilometers Population: 1,672,597 Gross domestic product (GDP): $19,200 (2013 est.) Religions: Christian (55-75 percent), Animist, Muslim (Less than 1 percent)


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