Libreville Things to Do
The Bord De Mer waterfront runs from the Embassy district to the Quarter Louis where most of the restaurants are located in the city. A walk down the main waterfront avenue is an absolute must where you will see locals relaxing on benches to people jogging to locals selling items to people watching the Gulf of Guinea. It is a microcosm of Gabon and you will see extreme wealth and poverty line the streets. The Bord De Mer is the most popular street in Gabon and you will more than likely enjoy its vibe.
Have a drink on the beach
Street vendors are set up at various spots along the beach to sell coconuts as drinks or food. If you order it as a drink, they will cut it open in such a way that you're able to drink the fluids.
These treats can be very cheap - I believe it was only a couple hundred CFA (aka less than $1).
If you aren't walking along the beach, you can still get these - we saw several taxi cabs pull over to get a drink for either the driver or some passengers. So you could probably request a quick stop and your driver will most likely know where to find the closest vendor.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Across the road from the M'bolo mall is a monument to former president Omar Bongo, who passed away in June 2009 while he was still the president. The monument is a very long billboard which has pictures of Bongo at various stages of his life and the crests of each state in Gabon.
It's not a huge attraction, but if you are in the area I'd say it's worth checking out. Especially if you are going to M'bolo anyway.Related to:
- Budget Travel
The Meridian is an institution in Gabon and not for the right reasons. Granted it has one of the...more
Good for: Families
5, Boulevard de Nice B.P 2254, (formerly InterContinental), Libreville, 2254, Gabon
Good for: Solo
Boulevard de l'Independance, Libreville, BP 48, Gabon
I was visiting a friend in Libreville for a few days and couldn't find any decent prices for hotels...more
Al Amir: Best Budget Option
Amir restaurant sits off the main road from the Bord De Mer (Indepednance Avenue). Travelling towards the airport it is the on the right side before the main presidential bleachers. Turn right just before the main grandstand and Amir is on the right past the public toilets. Dont ask. The Lebanese family that runs the place are lovely and they are super sweet. The main meals cost around 10$ US but you get your moneys worth for sure. Great place.
Favorite Dish: Without question the best meal in the place is the poulet roti which is half a chicken (BBQ) with coleslaw, french fries and a drink. They even give you pita bread. I usually eat here twice a week.
Getting to Libreville is fairly tough - most major airlines do not fly there directly. For my route, I had to fly to Casablanca and take Royal Air Maroc. Even then my flight was only a scheduled stop over in Libreville where a handful of people just got out on the runway before it continued on to its main destination of Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
Apparently the airport is suppose to have a currency exchange, but it is only open during the day. Since my flight arrived after midnight it was closed, so that made it a pain to exchange... I had to go to one of the big hotels in town and exchange there so that I would have money to check into the actual hotel I was staying at. (Sidenote: I saw Daniel Cousin checking into this hotel while I was waiting for the exchange!)
Leaving the country was even worse - two different employees tried to get me to pay a bribe to them. One from the checked luggage stand and the other was a security guard who checked bags. Both times I told them that I had no cash (even though I did) and only travelers checks, and eventually they let me go on without payment.
My flight was to Johannesburg on South African Airlines and while most airlines allow two carry-ons, they apparently only allow one (not sure if that is the airline's policy, or this airport's), so I had to check one of mine. When I picked it up at my destination I found that the handle of my checked bag had been broken. Not sure if it was done intentionally by the guy I refused to pay or just negligence. Pretty crappy either way... although I guess it could have been broken in South Africa too, I'll never know I guess.
Overall this has been the shadiest airport I've ever been to. Unfortunately, it's the only major one in the country so if you are flying to Gabon you pretty much have to use it - but I'd still suggest to avoid it if you can.
The taxis do not have meters. From the airport to town and vice versa it should cost 2 000. If it's late at night then 4 000. I've been charged 4 000 during the day too, though I didn't alway oblige, and once I got away with 1 800. Within town it's 1 000. If you want to share a taxi then it's only about 200. At rush hour you'll have to pay more if you don't want to wait. Keep in mind these rates were valid when I was there in April 2002.
5 Hotels in Libreville
Libreville Off The Beaten Path
If you come to Libreville, bring some shorts and running shoes (or just play in your bare feet)! Every day, often several times a day, you can find soccer games being played on the beaches right off the "main strip" that runs through town. Hop on in and test your skills, just be careful not to kick the ball out of bounds... and into the Atlantic Ocean!Related to: