The best hiking trails in Gabon

Tural Abbasov 31 December 2021 162 views 5 min. read
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Today we are traveling to one of the most mysterious destinations among all the travel-enthusiasts, to Gabon, but where is Gabon? Gabon is a country on Central Africa’s Atlantic coast, features large sections of protected parkland. Where is Gabon compared to other neighboring countries? The country is bordered to the north by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, to the east and south by the Republic of Congo, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean, with Sao Tome and Principe islands off the coast. The country has deep ties to France and its language and culture. Libreville is the country’s capital, with the most interesting places in Gabon for urban adventure lovers. Loango National Park, with its forested coastal landscape, is home to a diverse range of animals, including gorillas, hippos, and whales. Lopé National Park is primarily made up of rainforest. The mangroves and tidal beaches of Akanda National Park are very well-known, and there is no way you can miss visiting them during your travel to Gabon.

Libreville is home to over a third of Gabon’s population. As we have mentioned above, it is the country’s capital and only real city. Paved roads, clean streets, wonderful restaurants, shockingly decent French wine, casinos, and gated communities are all thanks to an inflow of oil money. Surprisingly enough, it was later used as a slave resettlement location and an American Christian mission before becoming the colony of French Equatorial Africa’s main port. With a population of 32,000 people at the time of Gabonese independence in 1960, the city was a commercial post and minor administrative center.

aerial view of libreville

With its incredible variety of areas and attractions, ecotourism adds even more value to Gabon’s image. The national heritage is located in the extreme southeast of Gabon, in the midst of a territory produced by massive sand accumulations and covered in savannah, blending nature and local culture. Beyond the country’s natural parks lies the Gulf of Guinea, where a short boat excursion from Libreville can be arranged to see humpback whales migrating from the Antarctic seas to mate and give birth in July and August.

We could go on and on about the wonders of Gabon, but there are a few things to consider before booking travel to Gabon, one of which is the Gabon visa. We understand how time-consuming the visa application process sometimes might be, especially if you organize a family vacation. However, there is no need to be anxious because our team of specialists is always there to help you with any queries or problems during the Gabon visa application process. In any case, if you want further information on the visa restrictions for your intended destination, you can take a look at the “Services” section of the website and select your country of origin and destination.

Overall, we can easily say that Gabon is just the best place to visit if you love nature because it has one of the most colorful sights worldwide that offers various opportunities for different outdoor activities. However, as you can see in the title of our article today, our focus is a bit different, and we will be talking about the best hiking trails in Gabon. However, what does “hiking” even mean? To put it most simply, we can say that hiking is a long, strenuous trek in the countryside, usually on trails or pathways. During the seventeenth century, walking for pleasure became popular in Europe.

gabon flag

Now that we have learned many facts about Gabon and already have information about hiking, we can proceed with finding out hiking routes in Gabon and answering questions such as “What websites are best for hiking trails?”, “Which hiking trails are open?”, “Why do people stack rocks on hiking trails?” and so on.

So, firstly, what websites are best for hiking trails? Personally, my favorite is website and app for hiking is AllTrails. AllTrails is a fitness and travel smartphone app that is used for outdoor enjoyment. Hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and snow sports are all popular outdoor activities that use AllTrails. The program provides users with access to a trail map database that includes user-generated evaluations and photographs. It makes it way easier to allocate just the best hiking trails in Gabon and worldwide. Also, some of you might be wondering why do people stack rocks on hiking trails?

Almost all hikers and rock climbers rely on trails and paths to get them where they want to go. Those who are technologically skilled utilize GPS devices or their phone’s GPS to track their location. However, why do people stack rocks on hiking trails? Cairns, another way to call these stacked rocks, are put along the trail to indicate that you are on the right course. In circumstances where navigation becomes difficult, and the trail gets quickly lost, it serves as a guide to the correct way or trail. When you notice stacked rocks on a route, you’re on the right track, and the path you’ve chosen will take you to your destination.

map

However, how to find hiking trails? As hiking is one of the most simple and accessible methods to experience nature and find peace of mind, there is no need to worry if you did not grow up in the mountainous region or lived near mountains. Hiking is a sport that may be picked up at any time. Consider the distance. Hiking trails are available in a variety of lengths. Hikes as short as a quarter-mile are available in certain national parks. Wheelchair-accessible hiking pathways are also available in many locations. Also, keep in mind that some paths are loops and others are out-and-backs when calculating mileage. Determine the trial’s difficulty level. One approach would categorize trails as easy, moderate, or difficult, while another might contain more categories.

Which hiking trails are open in Gabon? One of the best open hiking routes in Gabon is located in Loango National Park. Loango National Park is located on Gabon’s Atlantic coast in Central Africa. Around the Iguela Lagoon, it protects natural areas of beach, woodland, grassland, and marshes. Forest elephants, lowland gorillas, buffalo, leopards, and hippos are among the park’s many inhabitants. Also, surprisingly enough, the Loango weaver and African river martin are two of the rare bird species that live here. You can go into the forest with one of our eco-guides. One of the finest ways to learn more about the park’s diversity is to explore it on foot. You can see elephants and buffalo, but you will be more interested in finding the less visible woodland animals and birds.

pointe-denis beach

Secondly, L’Arboretum Raponda Walker is also known as Bois des Géants. The protected area is fully conditioned for your visit; however, bear it that it is advisable to go for this breath-taking hike on a day without rain. Take into consideration that depending on the season, there may be water on the route and, therefore, more or less mud. Also, it is worth mentioning that in the booth located in the parking lot, employed staff by the park can inform the visitors of the state of the roads and guide them through the route. However, it is not considered necessary, and you can do it on your own. You can adapt the route to your taste and desire since there are different variants of greater or lesser distance, with the largest spreading to around 11 kilometers.

Pointe Denis is another one of the fascinating hiking trails in Gabon. Gabon’s most well-known coastal resort is Point Denis. It is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gabon Estuary, crossed by boats to reach Libreville. Pongara National Park is also close by. Pongara National Park is located near Libreville, Gabon’s capital, on the southern bank of the Gabon Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total size of 929 km2. Most of the national park is made up of moist tropical forests and mangrove forests. It is well-known that the vast number of fragile leatherback turtles creep ashore to deposit their eggs on the beach at Pointe Pongara, where the estuary meets the ocean. The mangroves of Pongara are teeming with shrimp and immature saltwater fish. Walking down the eternal beach, you’ll come upon the picturesque resort La Baie des Tortues Luth, which is a great location to stop for a rest. From here, a short stroll through the jungle will lead you to the first burial site of chief Rapontchombo, alias King Denis. Due to rising sea levels, the people were compelled to dig up the king’s body and rebury him deeper in the forest. Continuing south, you’ll reach Pointe de Ngombé and its lighthouse, which dates from the late 1800s. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse for amazing views of the ocean may be possible.

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