5. Major languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
6. Major religions: Christianity (73%), Islam (12%), Traditional religions (10%), No religion or Atheism (5%)
7. Gabon gained its independence from France in August 1960. It was formerly colonized as one of four territories in French Equatorial Africa.
8. Revenues from oil and mineral reserves give Gabon one of the highest per capita incomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, but due to income inequality about 1/3 of the population lives in poverty.
9. Rainforests cover 85% of the country and house an abundant array of wildlife, including gorillas, chimpanzees, panthers, buffalos, elephants, crocodiles, sea turtles, and nearly 800 bird species.
10. Eleven percent of the country is designated as a protected area and 13 National Parks were created for these natural preservation efforts.
11. Gabon is a tourist friendly, but off the beaten path destination. Tourist attractions include white sandy beaches, waterfalls, national parks, limestone caves, canyons, ancient rock art sites, the Crystal Mountains, and craft villages.
12. Things to do in the capital of Libreville include the markets, the National Museum, the Presidential Palace, L’Eglise St-Michel (St Michael Cathedral), Musée des Arts et Traditions du Gabon (Museum of Arts and Traditions), and casinos.