If you are looking to experience the Gabonese lifestyle, the market Mont-Bouet is a must in your sights to visit when staying in Libreville. You will get to experience how locals buy their groceries and what type of crafts they make. Soak in the buzzing atmosphere and get ready to shop!
Anything and everything
Mont-Bouet is your typical African market and the largest in Gabon, featuring hundreds of stalls selling fruits, vegetables, meat, clothing, jewelry, and even traditional medicine. At first sight, you will stumble upon a colorful river of beach umbrellas that extends block after block. Don't fear the crowds and immerse yourself in the area to explore the different stands. It is a fascinating experience just to observe, bargain, and chat with the vendors. It is a way of understanding the culture of the country you are visiting and getting to know the community. Take in the different aromas, buy some snacks and maybe souvenirs made by local artisans to take home as a keepsake of your trip. If you want to spice up your style, it is also a great place to buy fabrics, whether you are looking to redecorate your house or make a new outfit. There is a wide selection to choose from, so take your time to look around instead of buying from the first vendor.
Capture a vibrant picture
The market is a sea of colors and definitely an exciting playground for photography enthusiasts. Locals tend to dress up with bright garments adding to the vibrant feel of the place. You'll see women carrying fruit baskets on their head, children selling plastic bags, stalls with crafts and plenty of tropical fruits that make great frames. Taking pictures of the day-to-day life and the local community of Gabon is a charming experience, and you are likely to capture a treasure trove of interesting frames. Make sure to ask for permission if you want to get close shots, as some people could find it disrespectful.
Once your tour is over, don't leave without trying one of the restaurants on top of the shops of the market. They are small restaurants run by local women in their apartments. It is the best homemade African food you will ever try!
The market is not dangerous, however, when visiting don't take any valuable items with you to avoid a bad moment. Like every part of the world, there is some pickpocketing going on, so you just need to be careful. Whatever you do, don't forget to have fun while experiencing the diverse culture of Gabon.