Gabon - Giving something back


Giving something back

Tourism can be very beneficial for Gabon, as tourists not only bring economic benefits, but also make a significant contribution to biodiversity protection. Additionally, travellers obviously have a direct impact on the places they visit. To optimise the positive impact and minimise any negative effects of your travels, try to favour locally owned businesses, buy locally produced goods and food, support durable tourism initiatives, and use and save energy, water and other resources efficiently and in keeping with local practices.

Avoid places that use limited resources like water and electricity to the detriment of local people. Observe but do not disturb natural systems. Minimise your waste and don’t leave any litter. Use only biodegradable soaps and detergents, and NEVER order viande de brousse (bushmeat), including elephant, gorilla, chimp and monkey, forest antelope (duikers), crocodile, porcupine, bush pig, cane rat and pangolin. Commercial hunting for bushmeat is the primary threat to wildlife populations, not to speak of the considerable threat to human health.

More information on ethical tourism is available from Tourism Concern (Stapleton House, 277–281 Holloway Rd, London N7 8HN; tel: 020 7753 3330; www.tourismconcern.org.uk).

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Gabon articles

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Traditional arts: statues and masks

Author Annelies Hickendorff explores the unique features and religious background of Gabon’s famous mask and statue art.

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Forest-based communities

Gabon’s indigenous forest-based communities, the so-called ‘Pygmies’, are located throughout the country and continue to face discrimination, as author Annelies Hickendorff explains. 

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Bwiti

Author Annelies Hickendorff describes the traditional beliefs and practices of Bwiti, the most widespread male secret society in Gabon.

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