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The capital of Gabon and the country’s only major city, Libreville is unlike any other African location. The oil industry has enriched the city (and the nation), the result being a gleaming, clean, safe and welcoming metropolis.
Libreville is not only a key hub for business and commerce, but a draw for the leisure tourist. And its exotic beaches, lined with palm trees, are just the beginning. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find ancient cultural roots that fill Libreville with as much pride as does its modern advancement.
Book a flight to Libreville with Qatar Airways to discover a surprisingly energetic city that is ripe for exploration.
Nowhere in Africa is “chilling out” more of an art form than in Libreville, Gabon. Calm yourself in the Pointe Denis resort or in the Arboretum de Sybang; then dance the night away to coupé-decalé rhythms.
A distinctly laid-back approach to life means that Libreville’s beach (bord de la mer) is the focus of attention for both visitors and locals. Pristine white sand covers a deep-blue Atlantic coastline, and the beach is ideal for swimming and snorkelling (although, be wary of some very strong currents at certain times of the day).
You will find yourself sharing the shore with some other locals – a series of 20-foot statues that provide a unique ambiance. And if you tire of sunbathing and swimming, consider taking a 20-minute boat trip across the bay, to the popular Pointe Denis resort.
Nearby is the Arboretum de Sybang, another must-see on any trip to Libreville. This beautiful crop of native trees sets the scene for a cool and serene experience – the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the streets. A word of advice, though: take plenty of mosquito repellent with you.
To find out more about the culture and history of the country, head to the Musée des Arts et Traditions du Gabon. It is home to an excellent collection of artefacts, with regular exhibitions showcasing the art and heritage of the nation.
Travel to Libreville and you’ll quickly discover the default setting here is “relaxation”. Le Cinéma le Majestic and Centre Culturel Français (located next to the main supermarket in the city) lets you sit back and enjoy the latest films. Included are international blockbusters, as well as offerings from the thriving African cinema scene. The centre also puts on regular music concerts and dance festivals.
The African love of music and dance can also be experienced at numerous local venues, where you can discover the joys of the vibrant coupé-decalé dance music, originating from Côte d'Ivoire.
Because of its proximity to the Atlantic, Gabon’s cuisine is dominated by fresh seafood, and you will discover excellent, family-run restaurants all along Libreville’s coast.
In the city itself, you can find plenty of dining options that range from international and North African specialities to dishes with a strong French influence. Note that Gabon’s tap water is of excellent quality, eliminating the need for bottled water and guaranteeing you a painless trip.
The best shops in Libreville are to be found in the centre of the city. For a selection of authentic African goods from across the continent, head to the Village des Artisans. An authentic African market experience awaits you at the Marché Mont Bouet, where you can pick up some bargains, as long as you are prepared to haggle.
Essential facts about Libreville
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip