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Gabon offers a Spectacular array of Wildlife

Gabon is a one of the African countries that sit on the Equator, yet most of us barely know anything about this former colony of France. Today Gabon has one of the lowest population densities in the world, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not worth discovering.

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In this brief video you can find seven little known facts about Gabon.

More information about the video content bellow:

1. In 2014, Gabon became the first Central African nation to protect its threatened if abundant marine life. Nearly a quarter of its territorial sea is off limits to commercial fishing. The network of marine parks complemented an existing terrestrial protected area anchored by 13 national parks created in 2002.

2. The Gabonese capital, Libreville, got its name after the French navy captured a slave ship, named Elizia, in 1846.The 52 freed slaves were released and by 1849 had resettled near the French mission station on the site of Libreville, which translates as "Free town".

3. Prior to France's appropriation of today's Gabon, Bantu migrants, Portuguese explorers, alongside Dutch and English traders arrived and settled in the area between the 14th and 16th centuries. The Dutch, English and French soon settled in pre-colonial state known as Kingdom of Orungu. As a centre of the slave trade in the 18th century, the Gabonese coast became a departing point for the transatlantic slave trade at the end of the century.

4. The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba. After M'ba's accession to power, civilian liberties were restricted. However, when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power.

5. One of the most urbanized nations in mainland Africa, 87% of Gabon's population reside in urban areas, according to the UN's 2014 World Urbanization Prospects. While this striking figure is more than double the regional average (40%), National Geographic reports that an impressive 44% of Gabon's 1.38m population live in the capital, Libreville.

6. Hip-hop has been popular in the Central African region since the 1980s. Even current President Ali Bongo released an album and is known to appear on stage to perform among local rappers while on the campaign trail.

7. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.

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