The savannah, the mangrove swamp, but especially the Gabonese forest, abound with some 190 species of mammals, 70 species of reptiles and more than 600 species of listed birds, present only in Central Africa or endemic to Gabon. In addition, Gabon's biodiversity is of additional interest thanks to the environment in which they can be observed. Have you ever seen hippos surfing the waves or elephants romping by the sea? The many species of trees (more than 800 species), in the heart of the forest as well as around rivers (mangroves), or amazing varieties of orchids are so many treasures to discover by the tracks that criss-cross the country or on the river in a pirogue. And all this in a still virgin environment!
13 parks to shelter an exceptional natural heritage :
President Ali Bongo's policy, clearly stated in favour of the economic development of "Gabon Vert", has involved the National Parks Agency (ANPN), which reports directly to the presidency, to promote tourism adapted to an environmental approach. Thirteen national parks have been created by Omar Bongo to safeguard this priceless natural heritage, representing 11% of the territory and more than 30,000 km². Many organizations, some of which are already active on several sites, are mobilizing to help manage this network. The support of the international community makes this bold undertaking an example to follow. In June 2017, at United Nations headquarters, Ali Bongo also announced the creation of 20 marine protected areas, covering 26% of Gabon's marine area.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette