Flights to Franceville Known as both Franceville and Masuku this is not a very large city (under 100,000 people live there) and it is located in the south-eastern part of Gabon. The infrastructure is quite good, with plenty of paved roads, street lights and great hotels for travellers. The common language in Franceville, as well as through most of Gabon, is French which makes it reasonably easy to communicate during your stay.
The local airport for flights to Franceville is the M’Vengue el Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba International Airport (airport code: MVB), but there is no service from Johannesburg. So you can arrive at the Leon M’ba International Airport (code: LBV) in Libreville and get a local flight to Masuku with Nationale Regionale Transport or Allegiance Gabon. To Libreville, you can fly with South African Airways with a transfer in Luanda or with Kenya Airways to stop in Nairobi.
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The Tourist Attractions of Franceville:
The city started life as a village named Masuku but when it was chosen as the home of French slaves it was renamed Franchville, and then later Franceville. Today it is know by both names.
Of course, the main attraction within the city is the busy marketplace. Most of the goods are locally grown fruits and vegetables but you can also find friendly vendors who are selling clothing, household goods and some souvenirs. Bushmeat is common in Franceville, so you may see tables with python or monkey meat for sale.
There is a nice set of waterfalls at Poubara where there is also a major hydroelectric dam on the Ogooue River. They are not particularly high but they are wide and very lovely. There is a very narrow rope bridge that crosses the river near the falls, which is a popular spot for dramatic photos if you dare to cross.
Bateke Plateau National Park
Not far from Franceville to the south is the Bateke Plateau National Park. It is crosses the border into the Congo so you do need to take care not to go too deeply into the park. The area is mostly forest with a number of valleys and plateaus to add some variety to the views. You can see many native animals, such as elephants, chimpanzees and other monkeys, buffalo, hippos and duiker antelopes.
Mwagne National Park
The Mwangne National Park is farther away from Masuku and a bit smaller than the Bateke Plateau National Park though it also lies on the border with the Congo. Elephants are quite common in this park, particularly around the large watering hole. You can also see many kinds of antelope and a huge population of birds. Though the wildlife is abundant, most people come to the Mwange Park to see the elephants.
When Should You Visit?:
It is generally hot and humid in Franceville, with quite a bit of rain for most of the year. The temperature will be around 29C (85F) all through the year, with it being a little hotter in March and April and then a little cooler in July. Since July is also the very driest month of the year, that usually makes it the best time to plan a visit to avoid the more extreme weather. It’s usually around 27C (81F) then, and it will drop a lot during the evenings.