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Country Focus: Gabon

Here is an incredibly brief look into the country of Gabon!

Gabon Flag (Green = forests, blue = ocean, yellow = equator)

Gabon is one of the smaller countries in Africa and is situated near the equator on the continents west coast.

The indigenous people of Gabon were the Pygmy people however they were soon overtaken by the Bantu people, around the 14th century, who came to dominate sub-Saharan and central Africa.

The first Europeans, the Portuguese, arrived during the following century and began trading with the locals. The area was named Gabon, from the Portuguese word ‘Gabao' which is a coat like piece of clothing that was said to resemble the shape of the local river.

By the 16th century the Dutch, English and French had all arrived in the region and the salve trade was in full swing. In the late 1830s-early 1840s the French established a protectorate over the coastal regions of Gabon, establishing a treaty with local chiefs. In 1885 France ignored the treaty and occupied Gabon, though it did not administer the region until 1903.

Gabon is located in Equatorial Africa (Google Maps)

In 1910 Gabon was then one of the four nations (the others being the French Congo, French Chad and Ubangi-Shari which is now part of the Central African Republic) that were combined into French Equatorial Africa. The capital was Brazzaville which is located in the Congo.

In 1960 Gabon was granted independence by France and since then the country has experienced periods of instability as well as relative stability. Of recent time however there has been more instability, including a failed military coup.

Loango National Park, located along the Gabon coast is considered “Africa’s Last Eden”, a phrase coined by naturalist Mike Fay. The region is home to elephants, hippos, leopards and of course gorillas. Approximately 85% of the country is covered in rainforest which supports the concept of a ‘jungle paradise’ untouched by humans. In fact most of the nation’s population live in the cities so most of the rainforests are ‘uninhabited’.

I hope you've learnt a little about one of the lesser known countries in Africa! This blog was inspired by a story I wrote about the story Tarzan. To see this story follow this link:

-This was a blog I wrote a few years ago with the intention it just be shared amongst friends and used as a way to explain more about the country Gabon. I am now sharing it on this blog for the benefit for all. To view the references please see the reference section of the World Portal page on this blog.

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