Last updated: 23 Jun 2020



Gabon is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Congo. The 800km- (500-mile-) long sandy coastal strip is a series of palm-fringed bays, lagoons and estuaries. The lush tropical vegetation (which covers much of the interior) gives way in parts to the savannah.

Visit the National Museum in Libreville, which contains some of the most beautiful woodcarvings in Africa, especially the indigenous Fang style of carving which influenced Picasso’s figures and busts.

Walk the winding route from Libreville to the beach of Cap Estérias, where the rocks abound with sea urchins, oysters and lobsters: on the way, pass through a forest of giant trees. This is a good place to swim.

Visit Lambaréné, the town made famous by Doctor Albert Schweitzer, the tropical disease specialist and musician. Schweitzer Hospital is open to visitors as part of it has been made into a museum. A tour on Evaro Lake can be organised.

The villages of M’Bigou and Eteke are famous for their local crafts and gold mines and are well worth a visit.
Capital:  Libreville (LBV)
Currency:  Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Language:  French. English and Arabic are widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA:  + 241
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1; Apr 12, 13, 17; May 1, 24; Jun 1; Jul 31; Aug 15-17; Nov 1; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right (International Driving Permit and international insurance are required.)
Best Time to go: May to September. Whale season is from July – September. The best time to see turtles is between November and January. If visiting to see wildlife, contact local national parks regarding migration patterns.
Best For: Rare wildlife, Spectacular coastline
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. Medical facilities are very limited. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. Travellers in rural areas should take anti-tetanus and anti-venom serums.
Customs: Normal social courtesies should be followed.
Local Offences / Laws: Drug possession is a serious crime. Certain homosexual acts are illegal. Photography of military installations and government buildings including the Presidential Palace is illegal
Travel Tips / Warnings: Libreville is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Avoid public demonstrations.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Gabon by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco (women - cigarettes only).
• 2L of alcoholic beverages.
• 50ml of perfume.
• Gifts up to XAF 5,000.
Prohibited Imports: Restricted imports include guns and ammunition, which require a licence from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Libreville.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Borders are closed

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of Gabon
921 Schoeman Str.(Francis Baard), Arcadia, 0083
P O Box 9222 Pretoria 0001
Tel:+27 (0) 12 342 4376/8
Fax:+27(0)12 342 4375

Visa Requirements

This is subscriber-only content. In order to have full access, please subscribe by clicking here.

SA Representative

South African Embassy
2nd Floor, “Les Arcades” Building,
142 Rie de Chavannes, Centrville, Libreville, Gabon
Tel: (00241) 774530/1
Fax: (00241) 774536

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever 
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk