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Gabon Geographical Information

Rising from a series of plateaus with peaks over 1500m, Gabon consists of a narrow low-lying coastal strip and has rainforest that cover almost three quarters of the country, with deep river valleys dissecting the country into small isolated units. The rainforests have an abundant wildlife that includes gorilla, chimpanzee, leopard, mandrill, monkey, antelope and elephant. The country shares international borders with Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon in the north and on the south-to-south east with Congo. The western frontier of Gabon is formed by the Atlantic Ocean. An 800km sandy coastal strip edges the Atlantic Ocean consists of a series of palm-fringed beaches, bays, lagoons and deltas. The interiors are primarily of dense tropical vegetation, which opens out into the grassy plains of the savannah.

Almost all of Gabon lies in the basin of the 500km long Ogowe River. The Ogowe is navigable for only one third of this distance but its two major tributaries, the Ivindo and the N'Gounie, are navigable for several hundred miles into the interior. The many rivers of Gabon remain the main communication routes along which settlements have grown. The main settlements of the Bantu tribes, the Fang, Eshira, Mbele and Okande are along the Ogowe River as are most villages while the urban centres, cities and towns are concentrated in the coastal areas. The main cities are Libreville, Port Gentil, Lambaréné, Moanda, Oyem, Mouila and Franceville.

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