Discover Libreville, the capital of Gabon

Come and visit Libreville, Gabon's political and administrative capital. The city is located right on the coast, to the North-West of the country. It is an extremely populated city, home to over a million inhabitants and representing over half the country's total population. Libreville expands along Gabon's estuary and thus enjoys its strategic seaside position to impose itself as an important economic hub. Libreville is a recent city, created in 1849 by freed slaves - hence its name ("Libre" meaning "free" in French).
The town can be accessed directly from Léon Mba airport. There are also international flights landing there. Air France offers regular airline tickets to Libreville. When travelling from London, the flight time to Libreville is about 8 hours, without counting lay-overs (in Paris or Amsterdam). Once there, you won't suffer from the time difference as Gabon is in the same time zone as London.

When booking your trip, best opt for the dry seasons - going from May to September and from December to January. The two rainy seasons should indeed be avoided, so you can enjoy the city at its best.

Before you leave, make sure you comply with all the administrative formalities required by Gabon.

Libreville, a city marked by its own past

Libreville is a town that has evolved gradually over time, according to the various colonisation periods. The town still shows vestiges of that time, even though many are now in very bad condition. To immerse yourself in local past and culture, we recommend strolling through the city's many districts. To start with, discover the historical centre - Sainte Marie - overlooking the sea. You can admire the cathedral and Aumale fort - remnants of the French colonial period.
You can also admire vestiges of the American Protestant Mission by visiting Saint Michel's church in the Nkembo district. Its architecture and sculpted wooden pillars are absolutely magnificent.
Don't miss out on the Plateau, where you can discover the monumental Presidential palace, erected in 1977. Other modern constructions can also be discovered, such as Gabon's Senate for instance.

When visiting Libreville, you can also wander around the many popular districts, and discover the warm and welcoming local atmosphere. Libreville's cultural life is a spectacle of various inspirations. Music and dancing are extremely important for locals there, and you will no doubt be impressed by the different dance shows presented during traditional or festive ceremonies. Similarly, you can discover more by visiting Gabon's museum of arts and tradition. Its collection of craft objects and tribal masks will give you a glance of local culture.

Libreville - its markets and cuisine

During your trip to Libreville, do not forget to discover the town's various markets. There are several, all as lovely as the next. The largest is that of Mont-Bouët - closely followed by Nkembo market. These typical African markets sell all kinds of food items, objects and day-to-day artefacts. If you are looking for fresh fish, head to the seaside markets such as Port Môle or Oloumi - slightly further out from the city centre.
When wandering through the markets and shops, you can get a taste of Gabon's local cuisine - in which a lot of fish is used. Indulge in a delicious meal in a seaside restaurant or in the Montée de Louis area - renowned to be the best.

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