Gabon

Cameroon and Gabon are little developed and barely known as tourist destinations, yet together they have it all – from lush

rainforests and idyllic beaches to harsh desert savannah and every imaginable landscape in between. It is not only the scenery which is extraordinary. With seafarers, hill tribes and pygmies, its residents are a diverse and intriguing cultural mixture from across the continent. It is little wonder this area has been labeled ‘Africa in miniature’.

Even less is written or known about Gabon. Over three-quarters of the country is covered in the Gabonese Jungle Belt rainforest. It is the biggest intact forest area in Africa and one of the largest in the world. Gabon also boasts Africa’s second largest freshwater delta – the Ogooue Delta. Thanks to these two intense vegetations, Gabon hosts a huge range of wildlife and plants with some great hiking trails.

Cash

The currency in Gabon and Cameroon is the CFA Franc which is fixed to the euro. For up to date currency information, check the Currency Converter.

Although you would probably expect Cameroon to be a budget destination, it is actually fairly expensive for independent travelers. If you want to live well you can expect to pay $150 to $200 a day or more. By sticking to street vendors dishes, drinking bottled water (soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are expensive) and staying in basic rooms it is possible to get by on $25 to $50 per day. This is the same in Gabon where comfortable travel is mainly limited to Libreville with its vastly overpriced hotels.

It is not customary for people to tip but they do expect presents from wealthy visitors – and being foreign you will be deemed wealthy. Therefore expect to pay 10% to 15% in restaurants in the main cities.

When it comes to changing money, it’s best to take euros with you. You can change euros in banks and in some hotels, however to get the best rate you’ve got to go to the echangistes (money changers). Not quite illegal but not completely official either, this is where you can make the most of your cash. Don’t go on your own but ask the hotel you’re staying in to call them in or your trustworthy driver if you have one. Don’t be foolish by asking any stranger in the street where you can change money as you’ll become a prime target.

Make sure you hang to your small change as it’s very difficult to get in Cameroon. It’s indispensable to buy fruits, nuts, little things from the market or on stalls by the side of the road.

 

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