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Central Gabon

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A move South in Gabon, until I am almost at the Southern border with the Republic of Congo. I have enjoyed my time here so much I don’t want to leave yet, and so swing North and East, aiming to cut directly through the middle of the country. My map and GPS show the road I aim for as a major highway, and major highways in Gabon have been great, so I expect it shouldn’t take to long.

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At times I follow a perfect gravel road

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Camping wherever I can get off the road

After half an hour of pavement I am confused when I turn off onto a tiny potholed dirt road. A local taxi driver sees my confusion and confirms this is actually the road I want when I say the name of a town shown on my map. Oh well, this must be it.

What follows is three days and two nights of bumping along a tiny gravel road, cutting right through the mountainous region of Gabon. Each night I simply drive until I am exhausted, and find a place off the road to setup camp. For the three days I only see a handful of vehicles, always clustered around the little villages I pass through. The road is already impressive (though old and maintained) and I am staggered to see teams of Chinese surveyors walking the roads taking line-of-sight measurements and readings. I can only assume a massive upgrade is in the works.

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The rainy season here is intense!!

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Occasional mud pits kept things interesting

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Roaming in the jungle

At times the road is amazing, at times it degrades into a muddy slip-n-slide. At more than a few river crossings I wonder if I will be able to continue, and always find a way across on everything from concrete bridges built with a major highway in mind all the way down to a pile of sticks and logs.

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Surely this pile of logs is strong enough…

gabon jeep bridge 720x480

Another impressively hand-made bridge

Unfortunately, the tiny biting bugs have persisted, and on consecutive nights I have to dive into the Jeep at 7pm and zip up all the mesh windows, turning the inside into a sweltering hot box. At times monkeys dart across the road, though I don’t see anything bigger.

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Gabon is the first country I have seen where people tend to gardens

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Getting off a road to find a campsite

I am extremely happy I chose to get off the major North/South highway and explore off the path in Gabon!

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Sunsets continue to impress

-Dan

8 Responses

  1. Daniel Szumilas says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of driving lately. It’s is interesting how the gravel is reddish there, maybe because of the soul? I would definitely be worried leaving the Jeep on the bridges to grab pictures but they are probably sturdier than they look.

    Anyways, keep going and I’m rooting for you.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hey Daniel,

      Gabon looks small on maps, but I can assure you it is not!
      Yes, the bridges are stronger than they look, and I also often put the camera on a tripod with a remote shutter release and drive over…

      -Dan

  2. Lou amorim says:

    As a Wrangler owner and world traveller myself I am truly enjoying following your adventures. Sadly my Wrangler only sees pavement. Stay safe!

  3. Dave says:

    Hi Dan,

    Just cruised by and really enjoying reading about your trip. It looks a little hairy in places and being on your own you really need to get a winch. I don’t do any mud stuff to speak up but a fair amount of Empty Quarter & Liwa Oasis desert driving solo so never go out without a winch and sand anchor.
    I am in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and also a Jeep Wrangler guy so if you drift off course in Africa and end up in the UAE I can give you my old warn winch but you have to get here before one of the other Abu Dhabi 4×4 dune bashers claims it.
    Anyway looks like a great trip and keeping writing posts and taking great photographs and stay safe.

    Cheers Dave

  4. Dave says:

    Opps I see you do have a winch! Good to see that!

    Cheers Dave

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