Terrain shapes and bedrock
The central and eastern parts of Gabon are dewatered by the river Ogooué. A network of tributaries breaks down the slopes to the horseshoe-shaped interior highlands. The lower part of the river with its large delta divides the coastal plain into a northern and a southern part. The former has a pronounced uneven coastline with Cape Lopez as the westernmost cape and the deep penetrating Gabon Bay further to the north. Bedrock exposures of eg. Limestone and sandstone from the Cretaceous period occur in several places. The southern part of the coastal plain is much narrower, often no more than 30 km wide, and consists of sandstone and alluvial deposits. The coastline here is more leveled with numerous sand reefs and lagoons inside, which is a result of the south Atlantic, northbound Benguela stream material transport along the coast.
Inside the coastal plain, the highlands take a wide arch of plateaus and granite mountains, 300-600 m high. At its highest is the Chaillum Massif (about 900 meters above sea level) with the highest peak Mont Iboundji (1,576 meters above sea level). In the northwest, the Kristallbergen, which forms water divisions in this part of the country, is spreading.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Gabon’s location on both sides of the equator results in a tropical rainforest climate in the country with high temperature and humidity. The amount of precipitation amounts to 1,500–3,750 mm per year, mostly in the northwest, and the rain falls mainly between September and May. The period June to August is almost completely rainless but has high humidity. The temperature shows little annual variation and stays around 27 °C as a daily average.
Plant-and animal life
The country’s natural vegetation is made up of about 3/4 of rainforests and the remaining areas in the eastern parts of partly deciduous forests. The deployment of forests has been very moderate, and still 75% of the country is forested, of which a considerable part consists of primary or unaffected forests. So far, mainly individual valuable species of wood, among others. of gabon, ebony and mahogany species, plucked. In the southeast and east, forests have long been replaced by a moist savanna with elephant grass after a long cultural impact. Along the coast, especially around the Ogooué delta, are mangrove forests.
A good 3,000 species of vascular plants are known, which reflects that the African rainforest area is still relatively poor in species compared to the forests in the Amazon and Southeast Asia. The rainforest is the most humid and best developed near the coast. It is most abundant in the northwest on the border with Cameroon, where there are also a significant number of endemic plant and animal species.
Among the country’s mammals are many higher primates, including lowland gorilla, chimpanzee, drill, mandrill, several species monkeys, black colobus (Co’lobus sa’tanas), and prosimians: potto, Calabar Angwantibo and three species Galago, further African elephant, African golden cat (Profe’lis aura’ta), buffalo, sitatunga, bongos, duikers, dikdikar, hippopotamus, bush boar, ground pig and giant ant (Maʹnis giganteʹa).
The bird fauna includes, among other things, pigeons, turakos, parrots, kingfishers, bulbils and sunbirds. There are three species of crocodiles, though nowadays relatively few. Among the herbivores, especially western tree frogs are richly represented. Eye-catching insects include termites, migratory ants and goliath beetles.
In 2010, Gabon had four national parks and several major nature reserves, among others. the coastal Wonga-Wongué, which houses lowland gorilla and chimpanzee.