Sights Activities

The Musée des Arts et Traditions (s 761456; musee [email protected]; Au Bord de Mer; donation of around US$6; @ 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm) has exhibitions on tribal crafts and culture, and a great collection of masks. Just as interesting are the folk-art sculptures on the waterfront across from the Intercontinental and, a nice walk south along the water, across from the casino.

The row of ministry buildings with wacky, Soviet-inspired architecture on Blvd Triom-phal is worth a drive-by, as is the northern suburb of Sabliere, where ministers, ambassadors, the rich and the president reside.

On weekends most of Libreville heads to the beach; young people congregate in front of the Tropicana. There are pools at the Meridian, Intercontinental and Atlantique that can be used for a fee ranging from US$5 to US$15, or the price of a meal. Club Saoti (lgl 06685020) offers squash, tennis courts, bowling and other sporting activities and lessons.

There are two cultural associations that organise traditional dance performances and ceremonies. Ebando Association (®)06250917; [email protected]; www.bwiti.com) is headed up by the wacky, wonderful shaman Tatayo, a French man who has lived in Gabon forever. On site is a Bwiti temple and many young Ga-bonese learning and practicing the traditional arts. Costs are variable (if you want to do an initiation, for example), but if you want to go and hang out with Tatayo and chat about Bwiti culture it's free. It's located north of Libreville in the neighbourhood of La Sabliere. The other cultural association, Mbehg-Ntame,

BUSH MEAT

Crocodiles, porcupines, chimps, snakes, antelopes and gorillas: they're all wanted for dinner. Bushmeat - meat that comes from wild animals - is a longstanding West and Central African tradition, especially in areas where domestic animals (and thus protein) are scarce. But in recent years, eating bushmeat has changed from a necessity to a citified luxury, and new logging roads into previously inaccessible territory have made the commercial sales of endangered animal meat easier. And while conservationists are fighting to protect endangered wildlife, villagers defend their traditional lifestyles and the ability to feed their family. New laws now make a distinction, outlawing the commercial selling of endangered and protected animals while allowing traditional hunting practices to continue. Despite this, restaurants throughout Gabon still serve illegal meat at high prices.

LIBREVILLE

To Le Meridien; Maisài La Presse; Mar\na; Michéle, Train Station (8km); Owendo (S

INFORMATION

Banque Populaire du Gabon 1 C5

Belgian Embassy 2 A1

Beninese Consulate 3 C2

BGFI Bank 4 C6

BICIG Bank 5 D6

Cameroonian Embassy 6 D2

Centre Culturel Francais 7 C4

Congolese Embassy 8 B2

Cybercafé 9 C4

DRC Embassy 10 B2

Equatorial Guinean Embassy 11 B2

Foundation Jeanne Ebori 12 C4

iVullll h M Ottke 15 l>f>

Nigi>11,111 Inilw^v 17 IV

I'olviliniqii'' 11 liiiph.i 18 \W

Säo Toméan Consulate 19 C5

South African Embassy 21 D6

US Embassy 22 D6

SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES

Musée des Arts et Traditions 23 D6

Presidential Palace 24 C5

Hotel Louis 25 C3

Intercontinental 26 A2

Le Patio 27 C4

Maison Liebermann 28 D4

Somotel 29 D5

EATING ffl

Chez Wang. Costa Sylvia.

Jacky Cochon

La Dolce Vita

Le Bateau Ivre

Le Pelisson

Le Phare Du Large.

L'Indochine

L'Odika

Maquis Stand

Maquis Stand

M'bolo

Papa Union 41

Score 42 D6

To Le Meridien; Maisài La Presse; Mar\na; Michéle, Train Station (8km); Owendo (S

SHOPPING Q

M'bolo

Village des Artisans

ENTERTAINMENT E)

Casino

GaboExpo

L'Aristocrate

45 in

47 in

48 in

SHOPPING Q

M'bolo

Village des Artisans

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Nn Slli'ss

NI'A

VII'

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ENTERTAINMENT E)

Casino

GaboExpo

L'Aristocrate

Cité du 12 Mars also run by a French man (named Cristophe) is located outside of town at PK12, and there are various dances and shows performed, as well as traditional meals served. Cristophe can be reached at l§ 270990.

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