Gorilla in Loango National Park

Gabon

Gabon is bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the north by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, and to the east and south by the Congo. The 800km (500 mile) long sandy coastal strip is a series of palm-fringed bays, lagoons and estuaries. The lush tropical vegetation (which covers about 82 per cent of the interior) gives way in parts to the savannah. There are many rivers and they remain the main communication routes along which settlements have grown. Of the 40 or so Bantu tribes, the largest are the Fang, Eshira, Mbele and Okande. Only a small percentage of native Gabonese live in the towns, as the population is concentrated in the coastal areas and the villages along the banks of the many rivers, following a more traditional rural style of life.