Do People in Libreville Speak English?

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Do People in Libreville Speak English?

Libreville is the capital city of Gabon, which is located in Central Africa. Gabon shares borders with Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo. Gabon was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. French is the official language of Gabon, and it is spoken by almost everyone in the country. English is also a widely spoken language in many parts of the world, but what about in Libreville? Do people in Libreville speak English?

The Answer

The short answer is yes, some people in Libreville can speak English. However, English is not widely spoken or understood in Gabon, and French is the primary language of communication in the country. According to statistics, only 20% of the population of Gabon speaks English, and this number is likely even lower in Libreville.

The History of Language in Gabon

France colonized Gabon in the late 19th century, and since then, French has been the dominant language in the country. Historically, the Fang, Bantu, and Batéké people inhabited the region before French colonization. These groups have their own respective languages, but they are not widely spoken in Gabon, and most Gabonese speak French. The country’s senate recently passed a law that makes Gabonese languages compulsory in schools. The move is seen as a way to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of different ethnic groups in the country.

English in Gabon Today

While English is not a widely spoken language in Gabon, it is becoming more common as the country engages in more international trade and commerce. English is the primary language of international business and trade, and more and more Gabonese are learning English to take advantage of global opportunities. Additionally, Gabon is a popular destination for tourists, and many tourism-related businesses have English-speaking staff.

What Languages Should You Know If You Are Traveling To Libreville?

If you are planning a trip to Libreville, it is always a good idea to know some French. French is the primary language spoken in Gabon, and it is spoken by almost everyone in the country. Knowing some basic French phrases can help you get around the city, order food, and ask for directions. Additionally, it is always helpful to learn some local phrases in Fang, Bantu or Batéké, and English.

Final Thoughts

While French is the dominant language of communication in Libreville and in Gabon as a whole, English is still a valuable language to know, especially for business purposes or if you are a tourist. Knowing basic French is essential to communicate with locals, and it can make your trip to Gabon more enjoyable. Language is an essential part of culture and heritage, and in Gabon’s case, it is an integral part of the country’s history. Looking ahead, we can expect to see English becoming more prevalent as Gabon continues to engage in international trade, but for now, French remains the primary language spoken in Libreville.

An Insider’s Guide to Libreville, Gabon

Libreville is the capital city of Gabon, located on the west coast of Africa. While French is the official language, English is widely spoken in the city, especially in the tourist areas. Libreville’s rich combination of African and European cultures makes it a unique and vibrant destination worth exploring. In this insider’s guide, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive travel guide to Libreville, including local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Local Attractions

1. Pointe Denis Beach – Located on the north side of Libreville, Pointe Denis Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand and crystal-clear waters. You can take a boat ride to reach the beach and spend the day sunbathing, swimming, and sipping on refreshing tropical drinks.

2. Marche du Mont-Bouet – This bustling market is one of the liveliest places to explore in Libreville. You’ll find a wide array of goods, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and colorful fabrics.

3. St. Michael’s Cathedral – This stunning cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in Libreville. Its gleaming white facade and dramatic arched entrance make it the perfect place for photography.

Dining Spots

1. Le Bistrot Parisien – This charming bistro serves up delicious French dishes, including steak frites and escargot. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a must-visit spot for foodies.

2. Chez Rénée – This family-owned eatery offers a mix of African and European cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients. The must-try dish is their grilled fish served with plantains and cassava.

3. Les Chenapans – This stylish and modern restaurant offers a fusion of European and African dishes, including smoked duck and grilled octopus. The outdoor seating and colorful decor make it an ideal spot for a date night.

Cultural Experiences

1. Gabon National Museum – The museum houses a rich collection of artifacts, art, and objects from Gabon’s history and culture. You can learn about the history of Gabon and its people through interactive exhibits and displays.

2. Centre Culturel Français – This cultural center hosts regular live music performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions. It’s an ideal spot for those looking for a dose of local culture.

3. Village des Artisans – Located on the outskirts of Libreville, this artisanal village is home to local craft makers producing everything from wood carvings to woven baskets. You can browse the crafts and even try your hand at making your own.

Local History

1. Presidential Palace – This grand building is the official residence of the President of Gabon. Its colonial architecture and impressive gardens make it worth a quick stop for a photo.

2. The Monument of the First President – This monument honors Gabon’s first president, Leon M’ba, who was instrumental in Gabon’s independence from France. The statues, fountains, and gardens make it a picturesque spot for a stroll.

3. L’Eglise St. Pierre – This 19th-century church is one of the oldest buildings in Libreville and provides a glimpse into the city’s rich colonial history.


1. Pongara National Park – Just a short boat ride from Libreville lies Pongara National Park, a serene jungle paradise with miles of white sand beaches. You can hike the trails, spot local wildlife, and relax on the secluded beaches.

2. Cascade de la Dardougou – This beautiful waterfall is located just outside of Libreville and is a hidden gem worth discovering. The plunging waterfall and surrounding jungle make it a magical spot for nature lovers.

3. Village des Tortues – If you love animals, be sure to visit the Village des Tortues, a conservation center dedicated to protecting sea turtles. You can learn about their work and even get up close and personal with the turtles in their natural habitat.

In conclusion, Libreville is a multifaceted city that offers tourists plenty of attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions. From stunning beaches to bustling markets to hidden waterfalls, there is truly something for every traveler in this vibrant city.


Do People in Libreville Speak English?

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