Gabon is a 3rd world country

Travel report: The jungle of Gabon is a world full of adventure

The night, that green black, surrounds the pounding train. People crouch on their seats in the twilight and are wrapped in brightly colored cloths. They hope that the mosquitoes will find another victim.

It took a century for the Trans-Gabonese railway to transport people from Libreville across the jungle to Franceville and then release them there at the latest, in the furthest corner of the country. However, we want to get out first. It should go right into the middle of the small country on the Gulf of Guinea, overgrown by rainforest.

Just over two million people live in Gabon. Large stretches of land are deserted and there is hardly any tourism. It would be a lie if I denied that the impassability of travel, the unknown, the little information I was able to find in advance about Gabon inspires my perhaps naive spirit of discovery.

The incredible biodiversity, the special habitat that gives the threatened forest elephants and magnificent lowland gorillas a refuge, fuel my desire to set out and explore the country.

Off to the rainforest

My eyes are now on the window, although I can see absolutely nothing. The train stops for a moment, individual figures get out, get on, a crunch, a jerk, and the train snakes its way along the Ogooué River. He quietly and secretly breaks through the invisible equatorial line.

We reach the small town of Lopé around two o'clock in the morning. The sultry night hits us as we jump onto the platform. A lamp is burning on the lonely platform, a man is sitting underneath it, he is waiting for us. It's Ghislain, our guide for the next few days.