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3 Ways to Travel to Gabon Like An Insider

   

Journals  |  Lifestyle  |  3 Ways to Travel to Gabon Like An Insider

Lifestyle
Jun 07, 2019
“So tell me again you are from Cameroon right? No … Congo?” ← — — Neither. I am from GABON. A country located on the equator on the west coast of central Africa. Often confused with larger countries in this part of the continent — Gabon is mostly known for it’s wildlife and not enough for the people, culture, and energy that truly makes my homeland great. On a recent escape from Paris, I explored a land whose flag best describes what you see when you touch down: Yellow for the sun, Blue for the ocean, and Green for the forests. Here’s my guide to enjoying the best of these in my little corner of Eden.

SUN — LA VIDA IN LIBREVILLE

Sunrise by the Seashore

Libreville is definitely a beach city in the making. In recent years the seaside has become joyfully crowded on weekends, a mix of family beach picnics, teenagers selfies, and barefoot football games against the backdrop of the latest Naija tunes. If you set out early enough during the week you can catch some serene sights to start your day off.

Sunset at La Sablière beach-Libreville

My personal favourite is “La sablière”, not far from my home. weekdays to enjoy sunsets, especially at “La sablière” the nearest beach from my house. While most people don’t actually swim in the oceans warm water, I don’t mind being a tourist in the early hours of the morning as the sun begins to kiss the day. If you’re visiting and need a more formal way to experience this special kind of joy — head to “La Pointe Denis”, a resort just 30 min outside the city by boat. If you schedule in advance you can do this ride by sunrise and arrive at your very own ocean dream, white sand and fresh seafood included.

Pointe-Denis beach- Libreville

Lunchtime Escape

Drinks at Cap Caravane- Libreville

30 min north of the capital of Libreville you’ll find Cap Caravane, a place to relax on an ocean inlet near Akanda National Park. For an amazing lunch, select one of their floating restaurant tables and coast through the mangroves while you dine.

The Caps of Libreville are still uncrowded, with few Gabonese people around to enjoy it. Get outside of the city in the middle of the day and discover the charm of something untouched and where everything feels possible.

Cap caravane- Libreville

Get Your “Life” at Sunset

Life by Mayena is where you can definitely scope out the “scene” in Libreville. Frequented by the who’s who of the city, this cool seaside rooftop plays a mix of lounge, afrobeat, and hip-hop music. While not as cheap as some of the other bars around town, it is definitely an experience for the chic-minded. Plus, the owners have Instagram down pack — follow @lifebymayena and be the first to know about their special events and theme nights.

@Lifebymayena bar- Libreville

BLUE — OCEAN DREAMS IN MAYUMBA

Your Ocean Dream Awaits

700km away from Libreville and close to DRC lies one of the most breathtaking beaches I’ve ever seen — Mayumba. This diamond in the rough is set up for epic memories. Nestled in between the ocean and a lagoon, you can actually go Oyster Diving while you’re there. Jump into 10 feet of water, find your aphrodisiac and swim back to shore for a grilled oceanside dinner.

Barnacle covered whales and baby sea turtles dominate a landscape that hums with the whispers of the ancestors. Mayumba is the kind of place you actually want to keep a secret but the long journey alone requires you to tell at least one person alone. There’s an airport in Mayumba but there currently aren’t any flights coming in or out (hopefully that changes soon).

Desered beach in Mayumba

GREEN — INTO THE WOODS IN LOPÉ

In Gabon, the forest is everywhere, you can drive hours without crossing a (human) soul. A web of deep equatorial forest or golden savannah landscapes — like those found in Lomé — are where I’ve created several of my best memories. You have to earn the right to visit, enduring several hours of rough roads that in the end are worth it.

Morning view on the Mont Brazza in Lopé

I was suspended in time in Lopé. No Wi-Fi, just focused on the simple and beautiful things of life: long dinner discussions with my family on how we will change the world, waking up at five to take your breakfast with the sunrise, hiking Mont Brazza for the stunning views of the Ogooué River, just life-changing moments that remind you why we’re all here. It was the perfect digital break that made the business of Libreville almost charming when I returned.

Life is about the journey, not the destination they say. Exploring my country definitely made me experience this at full throttle. Every trip is an emotional roller coaster from punctured tires threatening to upend your road trip to 3 hr traffic crossing through downtown, in Gabon the charm lies in the adventures.

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