Lambarene

Overview

Introduction

Gabon's third-largest city, Lambarene (pop. 30,000) is on an island in the Ogooue River, which is almost 0.5 mi/1 km wide at this spot. The town is closely associated with Dr. Albert Schweitzer—it's where he lived, worked and died. (A philosopher who recognized the need for better medical care in Africa, Schweitzer became a surgeon in his 30s and moved to Gabon. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.) You can take a short trip by pirogue to the site of the famed humanitarian's home, grave and mission hospital, which is still in operation. A small museum at the hospital chronicles Schweitzer's life. A pirogue ride on the nearby lakes and lagoons can also be arranged to see hippos, crocodiles and beautiful birds. We suggest taking a half-day trip—shorter trips don't go far enough into the bush. 100 mi/160 km southeast of Libreville.

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