Libreville

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Libreville is one of the continent's most expensive cities. There are huge hotels, office buildings and wide highways, but if you go away from the central area it looks more like the average African city. You will also find many classy shops where anything is available, but you will have to pay big for it all.

The Musée des Arts et Traditions is hard to find, but definitely worth a visit. The museum has a great collection of Fang, Téké and Mitsogho masks, musical instruments and other indigenous art. There is a Mitsogho temple as well. In the African Craft Center, masks and woodcarvings are sold. More artifacts can be purchased at the bustling Marché du Mont-Bouët, 1 kilometer east of the center.

A good orientation point when you're exploring the city is l'Eglise St-Michel in N'Kembo, a kilometer inland from Mont Bouët. Its façade is covered with mosaics and it has 31 wooden columns showing biblical scenes. The columns were carved by a blind man.

As in many African cities, you will also find an example of money wasted in Libreville. The Palais Présidentiel was built in the 1970's at a cost of some US$800 million (mainly because expensive Italian marble was used).

There are a few good, quiet beaches north of Libreville, including Cap Estérias, Pointe-Dénis and Ekwata Beach, all situated near a forest area. There are some small fishing villages nearby and accommodation is available at Pointe-Dénis, although it is possible to camp on the beach as well.

Libreville's airport is also north of town and so is the railway station. The seaport is in the town of of Owendo, 10 km (6 miles) south of the city center. Transportation around the city is by local bus system, taxi or minibus, but both are fairly expensive. It is also possible to rent a car.

There is plenty of accommodation and restaurants can be found all over Libreville. The city has many bars and nightclubs as well.


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Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    0 23 N
Longitude: 9 27 E
Elevation:  n/a

Population: n/a
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: n/a

Hours from UTC: 1
Daylight savings time: n/a

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Country phone code: n/a

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