Nature and wildlife are the biggest draws for tourists to Gabon, a country comprised of 13 national parks and countless eco-tourism spots awaiting discovery. More than 10 percent of Gabon’s land is dedicated to the conservation of the natural environment and its animals. Loango National Park and its wallowing hippos are among the most unique attractions, not to mention the eco-camp of Ivindo National Park, well-known for its elephant and gorilla populations.

The ancient cultures of the various ethnic groups and their rituals and traditions are worth experiencing. The vibrant capital is not only a bustling cosmopolitan center, but also a great place to explore history and everyday life, playing host to Gabon’s National Museum and other interesting things to do.

Expeditions into the great outdoors await eco-lovers in Gabon. Explore Africa is a specialty tour provider, offering nature tours through Gabon’s well-preserved national parks. Wildlife watching and safaris give visitors a glimpse into the rich animal life inhabiting the country’s jungles, 20 percent of which are indigenous to the area. The group offers everything from dense forest walking trails, to canoeing and kayaking through exotic mangroves, beach trips, and sightseeing around spectacular waterfalls.

The wilderness is the main pull, with The Wild Source offering wonderful tours through Gabon’s sprawling wetlands, savannas, jungles, and lagoons. Hippo-sighting and whale-watching lets you see the country’s biodiversity, while trekking for mandrills, boating, bush driving, and kayaking will take you to the most attractive safari locations in Gabon’s equatorial jungles.

For the best safari experiences in Gabon, check out Africa on Safari, which specializes in big mammal drives to the country’s Sette Cama area. Eco-tours around the national parks are also part of the memorable experience. Trips around Loango National Park can be very rewarding, especially for those that wish to see elephants, buffalos and chimpanzees roaming free near the coast.

Palace Travel offers everything from wildlife excursions to cultural excursions around Gabon. The group specializes in 4x4 tours, boat trips, gorilla spotting, and hiking. Bird and crocodile watching around lagoons and rivers is also popular, as are walking tours of the old towns and villages.

If a real cultural immersion is what you are looking for, Ngonde Tour offers plenty of opportunities to discover Gabon’s indigenous past. In addition to safaris and nature trips , the group offers tours that focus on  art and ancient traditions. Mama Tembo Tours is another specialist that offers cultural tours, specifically to see the Bwiti Ceremony, which is still practiced by Gabonese people who adhere to mysterious animist beliefs.