Location: West Central Africa
• Capital: Libreville
• Language: French, Fang
• Population: 1,489,010
• Total Area: 267,668 sq km
• Currency: Central African CFA
• Curious Alcohol Fact: Gabon is one of the interesting African countries with a branded and widely consumed beer brand –Regab.
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 9.30 liters
• Most Popular Drink: Regab (national lager)
Gabon Traveling Video:
The Republic of Gabon is a former French colony and it become independent in 1960. Gabon is a country blessed with abundant natural resources: timber, crude oil and manganese. In terms of manganese production, Gabon is at the top. The countries surrounding Gabon are Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of the Congo but the western part of the country is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean. Like many of the other Francophone nations on the continent, Gabon maintains a very strong relationship with France, its former colonial master, and much of the French culture is visible in many parts of the country especially the capital city of Libreville. Like its neighboring Equatorial Guinea, Gabon has an equatorial climate and it is as if the rains never stop falling.
The Republic has around 40 different ethnic groups and the largest of them all is the Fang. That reminds me of Equatorial Guinea where the Fang is also a major ethnic group. Other Gabonese belong to the following ethnic affiliations: Nzibi, Bapunu, Miyene (Orungu and Mpongwe), Bacota, Sira, Sheke, Vili and the Pygmies. It is really a diverse nation. Most of the Gabonese are Christians of the Roman Catholic denomination, and many of the citizens are involved in farming, fishing and forestry. In my sojourn across this wonderful African nation, one thing that I was always sure of getting was a warm reception, either in a Pygmy village or in a Fang settlement. Africans have a way of making you feel at home and treasured.
In most of the eateries and restaurants in the capital city of Libreville, you can always order for French meals and other continental dishes and these do not come cheap. However, if you really want to stimulate your taste buds, you have to go traditional. In the villages, many of the meals are made from cassava, sugar cane, yams, beef and fish. Fruits are quite common and cheap. The rural dwellers sure know how to enjoy a balanced diet.
In many cities, towns and villages in the country, drinking is a favorite pastime. And for many of the citizens, the cherished drink is Regab, the national beer. This beer has been around since the mid-1960s and is still incredibly popular with the populace, both rich and poor. However, if you heart desires a bottle of Bordeaux or Burgundy wine, you will have to wait until get to the classy restaurants of Libreville.
In Gabon, music is the very soul of national life and I must confess that I saw that with the impressive rumba performances. I also attended some festivals where soukous and makossa songs were blaring from the speakers. It was hip-swinging and gyrating all day. Gabon is a country where you will get the real definition of music. In the city, hip-hop, rock and jazz are the styles of many youths.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA)
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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