Visiting Libreville and Lambarene in Gabon is one of the best African Safari experiences with Eco Adventure Safaris on our 5 Days Safari in Gabon.
Day 1 – Libreville Radisson Okoume Blue Palace Hotel or similar Visiting Libreville and Lambarene
Upon arrival at the Leon Mba International airport in Libreville, you will be welcomed by our staff members after immigration formalities and immediately ushered to your private car for a 25-minute hotel transfer. Check-in, dinner and overnight at Radisson Okoume Blu Palace
Day 2 – Libreville – Lambarene Albert Schweitzer Guest House
Visiting Libreville and Lambarene In the morning, we will leave Libreville to Lambarene via Ndjole and Bifound. Given the current state of the road, the drive takes about 5 hours to attain Lambarene. Although completely paved, the road experiences some rundown portions with few potholes that make the ride slow in some sections. The way to Lambarene is scenery to the greenery of the massive rainforest that covers almost the entire country. Adjacent to the main road are few clusters of small villages that lays along the bank of the road, making the drive across habitats and landscape very scenic, with encounters of the local people going by their daily activities mostly consisting of subsistence farming, petit commerce, small-scale fishing, poaching, palm wine tapping and livestock. You may notice that every front door is virtually a small shop along the way and every front house is shaded by tropical fruit trees like mangoes, papaya, orange, lime, avocado etc… We expect to reach Lambarene in the afternoon where we visit visit the Albert Schweitzer old hospital now turned into an amazing museum. Lambaréné is best known for the hospital built in 1913 by Albert Schweitzer, the famous theologian and humanitarian mission doctor who consecrated a great part of his life fighting against tropical diseases in the region. This hospital still has the glance of Albert Schweitzer, and the second one he built in 1926 still exists and is partly converted into guesthouses, a museum, and partly inhabited by local people. A new hospital has been built early in the 80s, more uphill and barrack where the nurses used to live until 1981 is converted into adequate guestrooms. Time permitting, we will also explore the small, beautiful town of Lambarene in the late afternoon. Lambarene is quite widespread; the town is dotted by a fish market at the riverside, a few old buildings mostly missionary posts, as well as series of several nearby lakes. Our short sightseeing tour this evening brings us across the Francois Xavier Cathedral, the lakeside fish market and other places of interest if time will allow us to visit.
Day 3 – Visiting Libreville and Lambarene Radisson Okoume Blue Palace Hotel or similar
We leave Lambarene this morning for Libreville which we attain in the early afternoon.
Highlight of the morning consists of 4 – 5h drive over a tarred road fringed by verdant fields of tropical fruit trees, picturesque rainforest landscape, cluster of villages of Bantu people, as well as series of bridges crossing the mighty Komo River and other affluent of the Ogoué River. We expect to reach Libreville in the early afternoon and after we check-in at our hotel, we spend the rest of the day unwinding. Overnight at Radisson Blue Okoume Palace or similar
Day 4 – Libreville city tour + Bwiti Exerience in the Afternoon Radisson Okoume Blue Palace Hotel
We leave the hotel this day after breakfast and embark on the exploration of the city of Libreville. A former French colony, Libreville is one of the smallest cities in central Africa replete with French colonial relics in the form of architecture, language, town planning and even people habit in the daily life course of life. The city is strategically settled along the ocean, stretching its 20km over white sandy beach fringed with coconut trees as far as eyes can see.
With the discovery of oil in the early 70’s, the city has greatly modernized itself thanks to forestry, manganese and petroleum money among others. It is a small port city that doesn’t attract many leisure tourists, but it does welcome more business visitors. There are however few interesting highlights to experience during our city tour; this includes:
The Church of St Michel, a fascinating building with mosaics in front and amazing large carved columns that illustrate Bible stories. It was carved by a blind Gabonese man, and each column depicts either a real-life scenario or a bible verse including the creation, Adam and Eve, Tower of Babel, and many others. The interior has a display of traditional painting and carvings, the whole building reflects African art and traditions at its best, with the wood columns around containing scenes from Christian gospels.
You will spend few minutes here watching the extremely detailed woodwork then, leave for the St Mary Cathedral, another interesting landmark of the advent of Christianity in the country.
The Art and Tradition Museum, a newly built museum that displays ancient masks, musical instruments, traditional costumes, artwork, history and modern life objects. Next to the museum is the art market, a must see in Libreville as you may want to purchase some souvenirs back home.
The mosque, the central market, the Angondje Stadium, are few places to visit during our day tour.
With a population of approximately 1’000 000 inhabitants, Libreville is still under a large-scale project of urbanization. From the old seaport Môle next to Boulevard Triomphal Omar Bongo to the new presidential palace, you find wide roads and avenues, colonial buildings of art deco, luxury hotels and restaurants, nice public service buildings, supermarkets and much more. You will be driving across a gigantic commemorative statue nearby the presidential palace, more than thirty thousand social housing units constructed just few years ago, additional km of newly surfaced, the beautiful 40’000-seats stadium that hosted the 28th edition of the African Cup of Nation in 2012… Libreville is a town which is replete with a lot of French colonial buildings. From the north to the south of the city are major districts that worth the detour; this includes the Batterie IV Quarter Louis (known for its nightlife) – Mont Bouet and Nombakele (the busy commercial district) – The district of Glass (the first European settlement in the country) – The major industrial area of Oloumi – the residential area of Lalala and much more. Sightseeing in Libreville also includes a trip to the ‘Boulevard de l’indépendance’ which runs along the water and is your primary point of orientation in town. The heart of the city is in between the presidential palace and the Novotel, the Presidential palace being one of the true heritages of the country. It is a highly ornate and well-preserved site one which draws a lot of crowds in Libreville.
In the afternoon, go for a Bwiti ceremony in Bolokoboué in the Cape Esteria Region and return in the evening.
Day 5 – Libreville – Day tour to La Baie Des Tortues Luth in Pongara National Park Return flight
We leave the hotel this day at 8 am and drive to the Michel marina where we board the boat and go for a 30 min transfer to La Baie Des Tortues Luth, an exclusive resort flanked on the ocean right inside the Pongara National Park. We will spend the entire day here and during our stay, we have an array of highlights that range from game drive in the park with buggy bike to many other leisure that can be available in a beach resort. Wildlife in the forest includes encounter with Dwarf Buffalo, Forest Elephant, antelopes, birds, and others. On the water side, deep game and many other fishing activities are available on demand, as well as turtle safari in the night along the beach. Pongara NP is world renown for being one the best sites in the country for leather back turtle that roam the beach between October and March. Visiting here just for a day tour won’t give you the opportunity to go for a turtle safari in the night, however, you can just relax on the white sandy beach, try yourself with a Ping-pong or badminton game, or swim in the beautiful pool of the resort.
By 4 pm, the boat leaves for Libreville which is attainable after about 20 minutes and from the pier, you are transferred to the hotel for dinner and airport transfer.
END OF THE TRIP
Visiting Libreville and Lambarene