Last updated: 21 Dec 2021



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 2022: 

Jan 1; Apr 17-18; May 1, 3; Jun 6; Jul 10; 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

Last updated: 09/09/2021

Gabon is open for travel with various health measures in place. Passengers are subject to a PCR test at their own cost to on arrival.

Form requirements

  • Passengers must complete and print a Health Information Form prior to departure to Gabon. The Health Information Form has to be completed online here. Electronic versions are not permitted.

Test requirements

  • Passengers are not permitted to enter Gabon if they are not holding a paper copy of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours prior to departure. A digital copy of test certificate will not be accepted.
    • This does not apply to passengers 6 years and younger.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Passengers aged 6 years and over will be required to undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at their own cost (20,000 CFA), and remain in quarantine until the results of the test are received. Passengers may complete the payment for the test on arrival on the Libreville Leon M'ba International Airport (LBV) website.

Accommodation requirements

  • Passengers must hold a reservation for their 24 hour hotel quarantine made prior to departure, obtained online.
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Passengers who hold proof of being fully vaccinated;
    • Diplomats;
    • Passengers travelling for medical treatment, provided holding supporting documentation;
    • Unaccompanied minors under the age of 18; or
    • Crew members.

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

South African passport holders do not require visas, for tourism or business purposes for a stay not exceeding 30 days. Passengers do need to be in possession of a valid passport (plus copy) and proof of sufficient funds.

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