Gabon

Learn about Gabon, on the west coast of Africa. It is one of the continent’s smallest, but wealthiest nations. Gabon lies on the equator and is rich in oil, as well as an abundance of wildlife living amongst its lush vegetation. Over 85 per cent of this hot and humid land is covered in rainforests. Scroll down for our printable resources below to test your knowledge.

Aerial view of Libreville, capital city of Gabon
Aerial view of Libreville, capital city of Gabon

A Little Geography…

  • Gabon lies on the Atlantic coast and borders Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. The capital is Libreville.
  • The country covers an area of about 270,000 square kilometres. The Ogooué River flows through its middle, whilst the highest peak – Mount Iboundji – lies in the centre at 1,575 metres.
  • With over 40 ethnic groups, a number of dialects are spoken, although French is the official language. The country has a population of around 2 million people. Most live in the cities, but around 40 per cent work in agriculture, growing just enough food to feed their families.
  • Although its population remains poor, Gabon itself is a rich nation. Petroleum is the country’s main export, as well as wood products and manganese metal.

A Little History…

  • The area around Gabon was originally settled by pygmies, and later Bantu tribes who joined the region in the 13th Century.
  • Portuguese explorers arrived in 1472. They named the region ‘gaboa’ (coat) because they thought the shape of the Komo River estuary resembled a coat.
  • The coast was used for the slave trade, but in 1849, France established Libreville (‘free town’) as a settlement for freed slaves. The country became a French colony in 1885.
  • Gabon gained independence in 1960, but has since maintained close relations with France. The intervening years have been mostly peaceful, with the rule of just three presidents. President Omar Bongo held office for more than 40 years, and was replaced with his son Ali in 2009.

And Some Interesting Facts…

  • Gabon has hundreds of caves carved out of dolomite and limestone rocks. Many have yet to be explored, but some have been found to be the home of orange-coloured cave-dwelling crocodiles.
  • Gabon is also home to wildlife including antelopes, monkeys, gorillas, elephants and tropical birds. In 2002, President Omar Bongo created 13 new national parks, covering over 10 per cent of the country. Then in 2014, his son Ali committed to marine reserves covering 46,000 square kilometres. These will protect marine wildlife, including 20 species of whales and dolphins, and four species of turtles.
  • The Gabon flag has three horizontal stripes. The yellow stripe in the middle represents the equator and the sun, the green stripe at the top symbolises the country’s rich vegetation and forests, while the blue stripe at the bottom stands for the sea.

The Gabon Flag

Gabon flag printables

The Gabon flag consists of 3 horizontal stripes. The yellow and green are said to represent natural resources, and blue represents the sea. The flag was officially adopted on August 9, 1960.


Our Gabon Resources

Gabon Flag Colouring Page

Gabon Flag Colouring Page

Here is the Gabonese flag to colour in. Colour the top stripe green, the middle stripe yellow and the bottom stripe blue.

Gabon Flag Printable

Gabon Flag Printable

Here is the Gabon flag, in four different sizes, ready to print and cut out. 

Gabon Location Worksheet

Gabon Location Worksheet

Find Gabon on the map of Africa, on one of our fun location worksheets (we have two levels of difficulty to choose from).

Gabon Worksheet

Gabon Worksheet

This worksheet, aimed at younger children, asks them to find out and record a few interesting facts about Gabon. Built up a set of these worksheets!

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