Port Gentil

Travel Guide Africa Gabon Port Gentil

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Introduction

Port-Gentil is the second-largest city of Gabon, and its leading seaport. It is the center of Gabon's petroleum and timber industries. The city is located on a delta island in the Ogooue delta with no bridges to the mainland. Nearby Cape Lopez is Gabon's westernmost point. It had a 2013 census population of 136,462.

In 1473, the Portuguese navigator Lopo Gonçalves sailed near Cape Lopez. In 1722, pirates led by Bartholomew Roberts fought a battle in the Cape Lopez Bay against the Royal Navy. The encounter ended in Roberts' death. The settlement was established on Mandji Island in the delta of the Ogooué River by the French, who signed a treaty with the Orungu people in 1873. It was used as a base for the expeditions of de Brazza into the interior, then in 1894 a customs post was set up, becoming the nucleus of a trading center that included Hatton & Cookson, John Holt, Woermann, Société du Haut-Ogooué, and Compagnie d'Exploitations Forestières Africaines. The main products were initially rubber and ivory, gradually supplemented by woods, particularly okoumé for plywood.

The town was named after the French colonial administrator Émile Gentil in 1900. After World War I it became a port for timber, but it grew rapidly only after Elf began oil exploration in the area. It received its first bank branch when Bank of West Africa (BAO) opened a branch there in 1928.

A 1947 population of 4,500 grew to 21,000 by 1960. An oil refinery was established by SOGARA in the 1960s, with natural gas added in 1968.

The town is now known for its hotels and its nightlife, while attractions include the St Louis Church (built in 1927), a zoo, a casino, beaches and a golf course, as well as the wildlife in local swamps.

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Weather

The Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies Port-Gentil's climate as tropical wet and dry (Aw). Despite the fact that the city lies in close proximity to the equator, Port-Gentil experiences noticeably warmer and cooler periods of the year with average temperatures in July (the city's coolest month) hovering at around 23.5 °C and average temperatures in February and March (the city's warmest months) at around 27 °C. Port-Gentil features a lengthy wet season that runs from October through May and a relatively short dry season that covers the remaining four months. The city receives roughly 2,000 millimetres of precipitation annually.
The highest recorded temperature was 38.0 °C on 26 February 2016; the lowest recorded temperature was 13.2 °C on 1 August 1953.

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Getting There

The city has an airport, Port-Gentil International Airport, serving as the main channel of transportation with the world. Regular flights connect it with Libreville, capital of Gabon.

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Getting Around

There are plenty of shared taxi services for which the price of a drive is negotiable, starting usually at 400 CFA Francs. The taxi fare usually doubles for night drives. A premium price (doubled fare) is requested for passengers travelling beyond paved roads, given the hardships of the road, lack or non existence of illuminated roads at night, or pedestrians randomly walking on the road.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Gabon is 241.
To make an international call from Gabon, the code is 00.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 13:15 on Jul 29, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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