Lope-Okanda Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape, Gabon
This area is located along the southwestern border of the province of Ogooué-Ivindo and the northwestern border of Ogooué-Lolo Provinces in Gabon. The core protection area covers 4,912 km2 and is located at the transition between the dense and well-preserved tropical rainforests and the savannah. The landscape areas exhibit diverse exotic species, large endangered mammals and their habitats. The site illustrates the adaptation of different species to the ecological changes during post-glacial climate change as well as the disappearance of various ethnic groups. These groups left relatively well-preserved cultural sites in the area, such as peaks, caves, and natural shelters, smelting workshops and 1,800 rock carvings. Neolithic and Iron Age cultural relics and rock art reflect the major migration routes of the Bantu people and other West African nations. This cultural migration determined the historical development of sub-Saharan Africa.