flag Gabon Gabon: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Gabon e-Visa
Diplomatic Missions of Gabon
For Further Information
Latest Travel News in connection with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (International Air Transport Association)
 
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.
 

Return to top

Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
There is no public transport system in Gabon, hence taxis are the easiest and fastest way to get around in cities. They can have different colours (in Libreville, they are white with a red stripe; in Port-Gentil they are blue and white) and can be of two types: private taxis (known as 'une course') or collective taxis (known as 'une place’). Taxi fares range from CFA200 to CFA1000 according to the cities, with higher fares at night.
Maps of Urban Networks
Via Michelin (detailed map of Libreville)

Return to top


Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Léon-Mba International Airport (LBV) 12km/7.4 miles 20 minutes SOGATRA operates a bus service between the airport and the city centre No Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
In Gabon distances are long and generally the road are in poor conditions, hence travelling by plane can be a good option (with airlines such as Afrijet).
Buses operate connecting major towns and can be taken from the local gare routiere (bus station). They usually run on paved roads and are a cheap way of transport. SOGATRA is the state bus company. Another option is the “taxi-brousse” (bush taxis) and “clandos” (minibuses, so-called as they are unregistered). They leave when full (can be overcrowded) and they are the cheapest way to travel around the country, however the vehicles are often dilapidated.
The Transgabonais Railway line, run by SETRAG, is the main transport artery of the country. The Trans-Gabon railroad operates between Owendo (Libreville) and Franceville four times a week. The trip is 670-kilometer long and lasts 14 hours.
Travelling by boat is also an option. Passenger boats are usually referred to as 'pirogues'. River trips from the mouth of the big river at Port- Gentil to Lambarene are available several days a week; as well as between Libreville and Port-Gentil (with the possibility to take cars onboard).

Return to top

Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Afrijet Yes No
Air France No Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Return to top

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Cars can be rent in major cities. When travelling outside urban areas or during the rainy season, a 4x4 is recommended as most roads are unpaved (there are less than 800km of tarred roads in Gabon). However, renting a car can be expensive. Check points are common. In Gabon the driving sidekis right. An international driving license and international insurance are necessary to drive around the country.
Road Maps
Ezilon - Gabon road network
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin Gabon

Return to top

Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Among the historical sites of Gabon, the most important are: the Kaya-Kaya Rock art site (with its 280 petroglyphs carved with metal tools); the historic town of Lambaréné; the Lastourville Caves (used since ancient times for magical ceremonies); and the Ayem rock art in Ogooué-Ivindo (with its prehistoric rock carvings).
Cultural
The National Museum of Arts and Traditions in Libreville offers an insight on Gabon's traditional arts with its huge collection of cultural masks and tribal crafts. Other imporant museums include the Gabon National Museum (also displaying a wide collections of masks, sculptures, carvings and artworks) and the French Cultural Centre, where several musicals, exhibits, recitals, and other cultural initiatives take place.
Nature
Gabon has a rich wildlife and beautiful landscapes, with 11.25% of the country's territory proclaimed as national parkland, with rainforests, savannah and white-sand beaches.
The main national parks include: the Lopé National Park (a Unesco World Heritage Site populated with elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and mandrills); the Loango National Park (with forests, savannah and lagoons where hippos find their habitat, together with whales and dolphins that populate Gabon's sea); and the Mayumba marine park.
The Leconi Canyons are the country's main attraction, with its twin canyons and its rocks that glow red and gold at sunset.
Religious
The main religious points of interest are the Cathedral Sainte Marie and Notre-dame de Lourdes in Libreville, the Evangelic Center of Bethanie, St louis and Sta Ana in Port-Gentil.
Thermal
Gabon is not rich in mineral and thermal water.
Beach
Many beautiful deserted beaches can be found on the Atlantic Coast of Gabon. Pointe Denis and Ekwata in the northern area of the country and Mayumba and Sette Cama in the south are among the most famous beaches. Port Gentil and Cap Estérias also welcome tourists and are suitable for skin diving.
Winter Sports
The climate of Gabon is not suitable for winter sports.
Outdoor Activities
Being rich in natural parks and wildlife, Gabon is an interesting destination for trekking enthusiasts (wildlife tracking is becoming the country’s main attraction, with its fauna of gorillas and chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, leopards, etc).
The Atlantic coast of Gabon offers several beautiful uncrowded beaches, suitable for different kinds of water sports and activities. Mayumba National Park is suitable for bodysurfing and humpback whales watching.
Shopping
Traditional masks, carvings and bieri (ancestral sculpture) made of natural materials such as wood, raffia and feathers, are typical of Gabon and are still used in religious ceremonies and activities. Original Fang masks in particular have a high value at art auctions throughout the world.
Crafts from local villages, clay pots, fang masks and stone carvings can be bought in the Akebe-Plaine and Mon-Bouet markets in Libreville. The M'bolo complex is Libreville's biggest shopping centre, with many small shops. The Village des Artisans Arts & Crafts, also in Libreville, is another location where Gabonese souvenirs can be bought, though most of the goods are imported. In informal shops it is normal to bargain.
Tourism Organisations
Gabon Tourism

Return to top

Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
There are no specific vaccination requirements to enter Gabon (except for vaccine against yellow fever which is required for travellers arriving from all countries if they have more than 1 year of age). Nevertheless, WHO and foreign ministries of various countries recommend the following vaccines before entering the country: Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis B and Rabies. Vaccination against Measles is also required.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
CDC Health Information for Travelers to Gabon
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
U.S. Department of State - Gabon Travel Information
Government of Canada - Gabon Travel Advice
OSAC - Gabon Crime and Safety Report
 

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance 1300, 1399
Fire 18
Police 177
 

Return to top

Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Libreville (GMT+1)
Summer Time Period
There are no daylight saving time clock changes in Gabon
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Gabon is a tropical country crossed by the Equator, and has a hot and humid climate. In particular, in the north and in inland areas there is a short dry season (from June to August), while in the central and southern part of the coast the temperatures cool down during the dry season. In the southern part of the country, the dry season is longer (from around mid-May to mid-September). The temperatures vary little over the course of the year in the north and the centre of the country, with highs of around 30°C from January to May and 25°C from June to September. From June to September there is almost no rain (though the humidity is high); with occasional rain in December and January. During the remaining months, rainfall is often heavy.
A big part of Gabon’s territory is occupied by forests and mangroves, except the extreme east, occupied by the savannah.
For Further Information
Ministry for Transports and Logistics
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

Return to top

Eating

Food Specialties

Gabonese cuisine includes many African traditional ingredients, but it has also been influenced by the French cuisine. The main dishes include:

  • Fufu, made from pounded cassava
  • Braised fish
  • Brochette: meat-skewers
  • Nembwe, chicken cooked in a soup made from the pulp of pine or palm nuts
  • Atanga, a fruit that is boiled, with its flesh being spread on bread
  • Beignets, a deep-fried choux pastry
  • In general, cassava is the main starch.
Drinks
Régab (Régie Gabonaise des Boissons) is a local beer. Palm wine is also common.
Dietary Restrictions
In Gabon, many plant species used for ritual purposes.
Muslims (around 6% of the population) normally do not eat pork meat (unless it is “halal”, which means it is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) nor drink alcohol.
The drinking age for alcohol is 18.

Return to top

Paying

Domestic Currency
CFA Franc
ISO Code
XOF
To Obtain Domestic Currency
ATMs in Libreville and Port-Gentil generally work only with Visa cards, although MasterCard sometimes works at branches of UGB. ATMs can run out of money before the weekend.
Money (mainly EUR and USD) can be converted in banks and exchange bureaus (XOF is pegged to the EUR).
Possible Means of Payment
Cash is by far the most common payment method. Credit cards are only accepted at top-end hotels.
Travellers' cheques are not used in the country.

Return to top

Speaking

Official Language
Although Gabon did not formally adopt an official language, French is used for education, justice and andministration.
Other Languages Spoken
Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Business Language
French
Getting Some Knowledge
Visit the website of Omniglot to learn the basics of the Fang language
Free Translation Tools
Fang-English Dictionary :

Return to top

Useful Resources

To Find an Apartment
Immobilier Gabon
Property24

To Find a Job
Glassdoor Gabon
Careers in Africa
Career Jet Gabon

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: November 2022