The dense rainforests of Gabon are some of the most enigmatic landscapes in Africa. They are home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, which has long disappeared from much of the continent. Our Gabon holidays and tours explore this little visited gem, taking you to jungle camps of the pygmies, holders of the forest’s secrets, and learning about the ways of the first inhabitants of this land.

Discover the rituals of Bwiti, a hybrid religion encompassing some truly spectacular rituals, and travel through old colonial outposts isolated in the thick vegetation. With 80% of the country covered by primary forest and tropical savannah, iconic species such as gorilla and elephant thrive. National parks like Loango are among the best in all of Africa.

Gabon’s oil wealth makes for some interesting juxtapositions. Libreville’s glittering buildings stand in stark contrast to the simple villages of the interior, and while you’ll find the latest SUVs driving the streets of the capital, rural life is a lot more modest.

Top highlights on Gabon holidays and tours

  • Track lowland gorillas and look for forest elephants in Loango National Park
  • Take a boat trip on jungle flanked rivers, feeling like one of the first explorers in the region
  • Explore the old colonial Schweitzer Hospital at Lambarene
  • Spend the night at a Bwiti ceremony
  • Hang out with the locals in one of Gabon’s lively bars
  • Look for huge troops of mandrills in Lope National Park

It’s a sparsely populated country, just two million people in all, which means there’s an awful lot of forest and countryside to explore on a Gabon holiday.

And it is here that the country really shines, making it a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. Some 13% of the country has been designated as national parks and reserves, and although some of these exist in name only, the big hitters like Lope, Loango and Ivindo have decent infrastructure offer some unique wildlife experiences.

Our Gabon holidays allow you to discover what has been described as ‘Africa’s Eden’.

Culture

Gabon is home to a number of different ethnic groups, each with their own language, but the official language in the country is French. With its oil wealth, you’ll find that in the larger towns – and especially in the capital Libreville – it can feel a lot more ‘western’ than other parts of Central Africa, but you only need to go into the villages to discover a more traditional way of living.

With its thick rainforests, Gabon is home to some of pygmy groups, who like elsewhere have been very much marginalised. They are perhaps the most interesting of Gabon’s people, still following ancient customs and relying very much on the forest for their livelihoods.

A unique aspect of Gabonese culture is the Bwiti religion, which originated with the pygmies but has now spread into mainstream society. Bwiti ceremonies are centred on the use of the psychoactive root iboga and are used for healing purposes and communing with the spirits. These ceremonies usually last all night, with whole villages turning out to take part, dancing and drumming all night. If you get the chance to see one, it’s a truly incredible experience.

When to go on holiday to Gabon

Gabon is hot and humid all year round, sitting on the equator, but experiences two dry seasons. The long dry season runs from June to September, and the short dry season from December to January. With its many forest roads and rough tracks, it can be difficult and frustrating to travel in the wet season.

Start planning your trip to Gabon

Check out our small group tours to Gabon, Rhythms of Central Africa and Gabon Explorer. Although many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made holidays to Gabon or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Gabon Holidays and Tours

Gabon

Good for:Tribal Cultures and Wildlife