Gabon offers a trip off the beaten track and despite its immense potential, this destination is rarely included in the travellers’ bucket list. Despite its unique fauna made up of emblematic species such as the forest elephant, gorilla, manatee, forest buffalo, humpback whales and leatherback turtles, still well protected within thirteen national parks, including the Lopé, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gabon still has a long way to go before becoming one of the most popular destinations of the continent.
The ‘’ Livres du Gabon ’’
A meeting with the writer of “Livres du Gabon” showed us how meaningful our initiative to promote sustainable tourism in Africa is because you can never really know a destination perfectly. The local population is the only real source of knowledge of their country. All the travel guides in the world would never be able to give in depth information on Gabon as well as the locals would unless the travel guide’s writer lived there for a while, and even then, it’s highly unlikely .
Through this book, we understand that Gabon is a destination that is really worth the visit. Even with all the information, photos and maps transcribed in this book, we discover a country like we have never been shown.
About the author : Ralph, who are you?
Ralph, or Raphaelito for close friends, but my surname is Messi Ralph. I am a native of the Green Yellow and Blue tricolor nation, which is none other than Gabon, the most beautiful country in the world.
I started out as a computer graphics designer, and for the love of images I embraced photography to make it a nutritious profession.
Tell us about your project
“My project is a documentary book that brings together all the localities of the country, in order to promote them on the cultural and tourist level, to finally make them known to the world so that the cultural heritage and also tourism are transformed into an economy.
There is nobody behind this great project, unprecedented for Gabon. If there is anyone behind me, it is the Gabonese people who have helped a compatriot to do work for the country. Between the study of the project and its completion, I can count 7 years, from 2013 to 2020, to achieve this result. This project allowed me to be in contact with the local population, a diverse and warm population. I was able to meet them and discover traditions that are still preserved, magnificent sites that I stumbled upon during my adventures.”
This project can also be adapted for other countries wishing to promote their homeland through images and texts because it has really been a source of enrichment and unique learning.
What motivated you to start this project?
“Officially I don’t know. One day the idea came to me and I started shyly, but strangely the more I doubted the more I went. Then I went for it, and I didn’t stop.”
What did it bring you?
I can dare say that today I am no longer culturally confined, because before this project, I was unable to name 10 cities or 10 ethnic groups in my country. So now I can say out loud that it got me to know my country.
Can you tell us about your book? What is it talking about and who is it talking to?
My book is the most beautiful work of general presentation that currently exists in Gabon. It presents Gabon from another angle, because it is a book without ethnicity, without religion and without political imprints. Just a book made for the Gabonese and the friends from Gabon. It is for investors and locals who understand that the West is not their home.
What do you think of responsible and sustainable travel?
The theme is wide, but I will sum up my remarks by saying that sustainable travel is only responsible when it manages to generate economic resources for the local populations who cheerfully welcome travellers from all over the world.
Gabon is an incredible destination for lovers of nature and culture. A trip to this country will take you out of your comfort zone and discover the authenticity of Africa. Timuntu Travel organises responsible trips across the country and in collaboration with our friend Ralph, we can show you places that we have never told you about.