Gabon Facts for Kids

Gabon also is known as the Gabonese Republic, is a central African sovereign state on the west coast on the equator.

The country is bordered to the north by Cameroon, to the east and south republic of the Congo, to the northwest by Equatorial Guinea and to the west the Gulf of Guinea.

  • The country’s total land area is 267,667 sq km (103,347 sq miles) and the capital city is called Libreville and it is also the largest city.
  • The total population of the country is 1,979,786.
  • The official language is French.
  • The country gained independence on August 17, 1960, from France.
  • The national anthem is called “La Concorde” (The concord).
  • The national motto is “Union, Travail, Justice” (Union, Work, Justice).
  • The people of Gabon are called Gabonese (Gabonaise) with the major religion being Roman Catholic with other fractions like Islam, Bwiti and indigenous animistic religion.
  • The currency used is called Central African CFA franc (XAF).
  • The natural resources of the country include niobium, uranium, manganese, phosphate rock, iron ore, cement, natural gas, petroleum, gold and diamond.
  • The major industries are manganese, ship repair, lumbering and plywood, textiles, food and beverages, cement, chemicals and petroleum extraction and refining.
  • The country makes $6.803 billion (est. in 2010) on the exportation of timber, uranium, manganese and crude oil while it spends $2.433 billion (est. in 2010) on the importation of foodstuff, chemicals, construction materials and machinery and equipment.
  • Orungu the Myeni kingdom was started in Gabon in the 18th century. In 1875, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza a French explorer started the Franceville in Gabon then in 1885, the French invaded and gained control of the area, the Bantu group chose to inhabit the town.
  • The state of Colorado in the United States is literally bigger than the entire country of Gabon.
  • There are roughly 800 personnel in the defense forces of Gabon.
  • Local Gabonese cuisines are rarely available in cafes and restaurants in the cities, the restaurants prefer to serve cuisine from Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal even though foods from Gabon are known to be different and delicious. Gabonese foods are normally based on fish, manioc paste, cassava, and rice; the rice and cassava got from their agriculture and the fishes from the rivers. The dishes are also known to have a lot of meats and tropical fruits from wild boar, snakes, porcupine and antelopes, bananas, sugarcane and pineapples.
  • Gabon is described as a male-dominated country with the men controlling the family and financial decisions. The males are also dominant in the military, governments and schools, the females are allowed to be outspoken but they mostly are left to carry out manual labor for the family.
  • An important part of the Gabon culture is Mask making and Face painting for rituals. Most times the style differs between ethics but the purpose is always either to mark celebrate important life events or to praise their ethical ancestors. The important life events could be express cultural identity, agrarian rites and funerals, for spiritual protection or to help promote fertility. The mask concept does depict fluidity in the culture as the male gender can be seen sometimes with masks that show female faces. The masks are made to include exaggerated features, geometric shapes, stylized and realistically detailed faces.
  • There are hundreds of dolomite and limestone caves in Gabon and many of these caves have still not yet been explored.
  • Some of the largest nature parks in the world are in Gabon; the country has about 80-85% of its land covered by rainforest and almost 12% of those are used as national packs. Also more than 777 species of birds are currently present in Gabon because of its rainforest.
  • 80% of the total population of Gorilla in Africa call Gabon home.
  • Gabon is considered a young country because the population of people in their 65s and above is roughly %3.5
  • Gabon was the destination where the popular United State TV series “Survivor” took place in 2008.
  • The country is very rich in tradition and has excellent mythology and folklore tales. There are works to keep the tradition going by storytellers like the ingwala among the Nzebis and the mvett among the Fangs. The Gabonese music are also not as popular as those from the Cameroon and Republic of Congo but have an array of folk styles and pop stars like Annie Flore batchiellilys and Patience Dabany.