While it is true that this Central African country is best suited to the more hardened traveller, it nonetheless offers a host of exciting wildlife and wilderness experiences. The highlights include the full variety of forest species, lowland gorillas, buffalo, elephant and chimps especially, which are all best seen within the huge rainforest systems of Loango, Ivindo and Lopé National Parks. And Loango has the added attraction of whale-watching during the summer months.

Others may choose the historical and cultural appeal of São Tomé, a short flight into the Atlantic Ocean from Libreville, or the stunning beaches of BomBom on the island of Principe. And wherever you go, the birding is prolific with a host of endemics and specials.

Those in search of the less-trodden destinations will certainly not be disappointed, but all visitors need to know that Gabon does not have a well-established tourism infrastructure.