The Gabonese Republic is in Western Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Republic of the Congo.
Libreville is the capital city. Port-Gentil is a major port. Other urban centres include Franceville and Lambarene.
The terrain consists of a narrow coastal plain, a hilly interior, savanna, and mountains. The principal river is the Ogooue.
The climate of Gabon is tropical.
The Lope National Park was the first protected area in Gabon. Other National Parks are Akanda, Bateke, Birougou, Crystal Mountains, Mwagne, Minkebe, Mayumba, Ivindo, Loango, Moukalaba-Doudou, Pongara and Waka.
The Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lope-Okanda, inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2007, covers dense tropical rainforest and savannah.
Animals found in Gabon are buffaloes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, gorillas, hippopotamuses, leopards, and mandrills. Birds include bee-eaters, eagles, herons, martins, owls, parrots, shrikes, terns, warblers and weavers.
Libreville is a modern city with high-rise offices, hotels, and apartment blocks. The Presidential Palace, built in the 1970s, is a prominent building in the capital.
Construction materials used outside the cities include concrete, brick, wood, and wattle and daub. Traditional roofs are made with palm leaves but corrugated tin is often used.
The population of Gabon was estimated at 1,485,832 in 2008.
French is the official language. Indigenous languages are Fang, Bapounou, Bandjabi, Myene and Nzebi.
Over half of the people are Christian, and one percent Muslim. Many of the people have animist beliefs.
Cassava (manioc) is a staple in the Gabonese diet. Fufu, made from cassava, is a traditional food. Cassava is eaten with peanut paste, and used in sauces and stews. Other Gabonese dishes include meat and fish stews.
Maize and rice are grown. Vegetables available are aubergines, plantains, peppers, squashes, taro, tomatoes and yams.
Fruits grown are bananas, coconuts, guavas, limes, mangoes, oranges, papayas and pineapples.
Beer, palm wine, and alcohol from sugarcane are produced locally.
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