Ivindo National Park

In a forest clearing in Ivindo National Park, a parade of female elephants brings its young into the sun to play in the creek. The calves mimic their mothers, raising high their trunks, testing the air for the scent of danger. With their smaller tusks, ears, and bodies, forest elephants are able to move quickly through the trees. In 2002, Gabon officials established the national park system, setting aside more than 10% of the national patrimony for 13 conservation parks. More recently, the government introduced measures to secure the parks and protect wildlife from poaching and illegal ivory trading.
Photo © 2008 Charles Eilers
Peace Corps Volunteer
Nigeria & Ethiopia 1966-69

GABON

Gabon/République Gabonaise
Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the equator, between Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Narrow coastal plain, hilly interior, savanna east and south. 267,667 km2 (slightly < CO), 1% arable.

Capital Libreville (.62M)

Population Pop 1.6M (6.0//km2)

Life expectancy 52 years

HIV/AIDS 5.2%

Literacy 63%

Lang(s) French (OFFICIAL), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi

Religions Christian 55-75%, animist, Muslim <1%

Ethnic Groups Bantu tribes, including 4 major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba), other Africans and Europeans

Gov’t Republic, Multiparty Presidential Regime

GDP/cap $16,000

PCVs 1963-68, 1973-2005; health and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, education, and environmental education. VOLUNTEERS SERVED 1,460.

Nat’l holiday Independence Day 17 August (1960)

indigenous design from Gabon

From Mbigou-style stone carving.
Copyright © Julie Olsen

Map of the world

Focus word for 2012 - "Friendship"

French (OFFICIAL): Amité (ah-mee-tyay)
Fang: Angome (ahn-go-may)
Myene: Ndegho (nday-go)

Films

The Lost Coast of Gabon, Jon Bowermaster (2007)

Books

Adventures in Gabon: Peace Corps Stories from the African Rainforest
by RPCV Darcy Munson Meijer, 2011
Book Description
Anecdotes by more than thirty writers who served between 1962 and 2005. A collection of the best stories contributed to the Gabon Letter.

Kids' Books

Gabon: Philippe Ngome's painting "My family goes to market"
by Touba, Jacquiline
Publisher: New York: PowerKids Press, c1997
ISBN-13: 978-0-8239-5102-4
24 pages
Ages 8-12