Exploring Tourism in Gabon
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Point Denis

Makokou, Gabon

Point Denis is popular primarily because tourism development hasn’t reached there yet and best known seaside resort in Gabon. Though it’s a quick boat ride from Libreville, it feels like another world. The beach runs for several kilometres and ends where the Pongara National Park begins. The laid-back town has comfortable restaurants, small boutique hotels, and great water sports.

Point Denis is a major breeding ground for the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Between 1 800 and 2 000 nests are laid annually on its beaches. Recent studies by Dr Sharon Deem, formerly of the Wildlife Conservation Society, note that the worldwide turtle population is being threatened by man's activities. One such activity is the development of Point Denis. Turtles find their way to the sea by using the light from the moon shimmering off the water as a reference. Man-made artificial lights at night disorientate the female turtles during laying season as well as the hatchlings trying to find their way to the water. As a result, many turtles head off in the wrong direction and can die from starvation and dehydration.

Nests are also destroyed by visitors who drive vehicles, mainly quad bikes, on the beaches. Another problem is the pollution from the nearby town of Libreville. Turtles often mistake plastic bags in the water for jellyfish, their principal food source, and die if they ingest them. Nevertheless, there is a growing environmental movement in Gabon, protection of the turtles being one of their priorities. So, be sure that you will take caution to cure the wildlife on the trip to Gabon.

Wildebeest are found in the area, as well as a diverse population of monkeys, birds, snakes, and other reptiles. Humpback whales can be seen in the sea.

On the western side of the island, you’ll find only locals and a wilder coastline. It’s a place where you’ll immediately know that you’re near-equatorial jungle. If you’re looking for solitude and long introspective walks with gorgeous scenery, Point Denis is your place.

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