Presentation

Tourism and ecotourism

Infrastructures touristiques
 

The landscape in Gabon has many assets for tourism. As part of the Congo basin, the planet’s second lung, Gabon has fauna and flora that are among the most diversified in the world. Animal species are extremely varied: chimpanzees, gorillas, crocodiles, elephants, hippopotamuses, humpback whales, dolphins and turtles... There is also a wide variety of plant life present in Gabon. For example, more than 400 different species of tree have been counted. 

The main reason for developing tourism is to encourage people to discover the wealth of Gabon's natural resources and at the same time strive to protect the environment and ecosystems. 

See the Travel Diary (tourism heading) to find all the information and addresses you need to organise your trip and your stay in Gabon. This Diary also reveals the true facets of a country which has skilfully conserved its true authenticity: natural resources, arts and ethnic groups. 

The tourism sector in Gabon

The three main urban centres, Libreville, Port-Gentil and Franceville, concentrate the majority of European tourists, with a proportion in the order of 70%, with French tourists predominating. 

The clientele for tourism comes from two main sources:

  • demand from abroad, mainly Europe, for discovery trips, fishing, and especially business… and long term stays (1 to 3 weeks)
  • demand from residents. These are generally short stays (2 to 3 nights at most or long weekends, normally) which are largely repeated in the course of the year. 15 sites spread across the country offer discovery activities and matching accommodation:
  • Pointe Denis, Ekwata, Nyonié and Port-Gentil;
  • Oguendjo Tarpon club, Loango, Gavilo, Sette Cama, Gamba, Lambaréné, La Lopé, Koulamoutou, BaKoumba, Franceville and Evaro. 5 of these sites are open for deep sea fishing:
  • Sette Cama, Oguendjo Tarpon club, Loango, Gavilo and Gamba.


Well aware of the importance of the economic and social issues at stake in tourism and ecotourism, Gabon's rich natural, cultural and craft heritage makes it a unique destination. 

Gabon refuses mass tourism, which would destroy the environment and local culture. It wishes, on the contrary, to develop high quality tourism, which protects nature and people, preserves biodiversity and the culture of local population groups, which in turn contributes high added value to Gabon's economic and social development. 

Important projects are currently being established in Gabon, in particular the privatisation, renovation or construction of hotels such as the ultramodern Laaico complex. In addition, the 13 National Parks set up in August 2002 by the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba, make it possible to create a wide range of tourist products to broaden the offer in tourism. 

Gabonese tourism is fully expanding, and must therefore develop its organisations in order to:

  • modernise and strengthen the existing reception facilities in the provinces and in the vicinity of the nature reserves;
  • revitalise the activity of travel agent for enhanced tourism chartering,
  • involve those economic operators who have the capacity to promote tourism in the country, particularly abroad.