This port on the Komo River is the capital of Gabon and is a trading and shipping centre for timber, rubber and cocoa. The city was founded as a holding station for slaves waiting to be transported away from Africa in the 1840s.
Freed slaves from the ship L’Elizia were sent here in 1848 and it was named Libreville (Freetown).
The city is very interesting culturally with a thriving market and St Maries Cathedral, the carved wood church of St Michael, the Arboretum de Sibang, Nkembo and the enormous palace housing the president. Gabon’s carved facial masks are internationally celebrated, such as the n'goltang (Fang) and the relicary figures of the Kota. Each group has its own set of masks used for various reasons. They are mostly used in traditional ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals. Traditionalists mainly work with rare local woods and other precious materials.
The international airport is located 11kms from the city and it is also the embarking station for the Trans-Gabon railway line to Franceville.
Alongside the Komo Estuary is the Pongara National Park and behind Cap Esterias is Akanda National Park with its famous migrating waterbirds.
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Our Recommended Tours
A little known island, Sao Tome is in the middle of the world! Breath taking scenery, waterfalls, black and white sand beaches, rainforests with extensive cocoa plantations.
Drop everything and get some sunshine.
Sao Tome Island, Gabon - 8 days/7 nights.
Update May 2013: TRIP NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE Explore Gabon including Lope National Park, Lekedi National Park, Loango National Park and the Wonga Wongue Reserve.
An adventurer's safari in Central Africa discovering Gabon
Libreville and 4 Gabonese National Parks - 13 nights/14 days
Join marine biologists from the Organisation for the Protection of Sea Turtles on Sao Tome and Principe for conservation work with turtles and whales from an Island Resort.
Witness Leather, Loggerhead and Green turtles nesting on island beaches
Principe Island, Gabon - 11 days/10 nights