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Ogooué River

The Ogooué (or Ogowe) is the principal river of Gabon in west central Africa. Its watershed is nearly the entire country of Gabon, with some tributaries reaching into Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.

At about 900 km, the Ogooué is relatively short. It rises in the northwest of the Bateke Plateau, runs northwest and then west, running into the Gulf of Guinea south of Port Gentil. The river delta is quite large, about 100 km long and 100 km wide. The total watershed is 223,856 sq km, and consists mostly of undisturbed forest with some grassland; the average population destiny is 4 people per sq km.

The Ogooué is navigable for much of its length, and is a major artery for commerce in Gabon. Towns along the river include Loanda, Lambarene, Ndjole, Booue, Lastoursville, and Franceville near the Congo border.

The river is home to all three species of crocodile: the Nile crocodile, dwarf crocodile, and the slender-snouted crocodile.

The first European explorer was Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza in the 1870s. Persistent reports by the natives of creatures resembling dinosaurs have motivated a number of recent expeditions into the area of the northern tributaries of the Ogooué and the swamps on the western side of the Congo River.


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