Gabon Travel Overview

Gabon Travel Overview


Official name of the state

Gabonese Republic.




According to topschoolsintheusa, Gabon is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to the north, and the Republic of the Congo to the south and east. The lush tropical vegetation (82% of the interior) turns into savannah in places. The numerous rivers are the main arteries on whose banks most of the settlements were built. There are around 40 Bantu groups, the largest are the Fang, Eshira, Adouma, Batéké and others. Pygmies also live in Gabon. The majority of the population lives in the coastal region and on the river banks.


Presidential republic since 1961. Constitution of 1991, last amendment 1995. National Assembly with 120 and Senate with 91 members. Direct election of the head of state every 5 years. Independent since 1960 (former French colony).

Head of state

Ali Bongo Ondimba, since October 2009.

Head of government

Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, since September 2016.


220 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

West Africa Time: CET +2


Overview Gabon

advice from the Federal Foreign Office: As of: 07.12.2016,
unchanged valid since: 01.12.2016

Country-specific safety information


Gabon is a comparatively safe country to travel to. Throughout Gabon, especially in the larger cities of Libreville, Franceville and Port Gentil, the usual precautionary measures must be observed (no valuables, small sums of cash spread over several bags, so as not to provoke the use of force by thieves or robbers after the break in Not walking alone in the dark). Lately handbag theft has increased; Travelers are strongly advised to lock all doors when driving. Land / road travel

Crossing Africa by land, especially through the crisis areas in the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but especially in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, is not recommended. Due to temporarily closed borders, ongoing civil unrest and high crime rates, trips to these countries are sometimes associated with very high risks.

Gabon Travel Overview



1 CFA (Communauté Financiaire Africaine) Franc * = 100 Centimes. Currency abbreviation: CFA Fr, XAF (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the value of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 CFA Fr. There are coins in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 CFA Fr.

Note: [*] Is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, State Bank of the Central African States) and used by Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic. The CFA Franc (XOF) issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO, State Bank of West African States) is not legal tender in Gabon. The CFA Franc is pegged to the Euro.

Credit cards

American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in larger hotels (please inquire when booking). Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

There are no ATMs.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 07.45-11.45 and 14.45-18.15 (Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie du Gabon).

Foreign exchange regulations

The import of local currency and foreign currencies is unlimited, mandatory declaration (without declaration, the export of any currency is limited to a total of 200,000 CFA Fr). Export of the local currency and foreign currencies only in the amount of the declared amounts, minus the amounts spent / exchanged.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currency (preferably euros) can be changed at the airport and in banks. You can exchange it for a much worse course.



The official language is French. Fang as well as the Bantu languages like Eshira, Batéké, Bapounou and Bandgabi.




The following articles can be imported into Gabon duty-free (people aged 17 and over):

200 cigarettes or cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco (women are only allowed to import cigarettes);
2 l alcoholic beverages;
50 grams of perfume;
Gifts up to a value of 5000 CFA Fr.


Business etiquette

Tropical suits or summer dresses. Appointments and business cards are common. French is the language of business. Translators and interpreting services are usually available, but knowledge of French is essential.

Business hours: Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.-6 p.m.


Chambre de Commerce, d’Agriculture, d’Industries et des Mines du Gabon (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
BP 2234, GA-Libreville.
Tel: 72 20 64.

Business contacts

Chambre de Commerce, d’Agriculture, d’Industries et des Mines du Gabon (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
BP 2234, GA-Libreville.
Tel: 72 20 64.



Dial-up remote service. No area codes. Almost all public phone booths require a phone card.


GSM 900; Mobile phone companies are Celtel Gabon SA (Internet: or, Telecel Gabon SA (Internet: and Libertis. Roaming contracts exist with Germany, Austria and Switzerland, among others.


The main provider is internetgabon (Internet: There are a growing number of internet cafes in Libreville.

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes at least a week. Urgent letters should be sent by registered mail and express mail. Post office opening times: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



In Libreville there are three colorful markets in the districts of Akebe-Plaine, Mont Boouét and Nkembo. On the edge of these markets you can buy sculptures made for tourists using old-style and traditional techniques. Carved masks (catch), small figures, clay pots and traditional musical instruments are also popular souvenirs. Opening times of the shops: generally Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Some shops are closed on Mondays.



Libreville has nightclubs with music and bars. There are several fine restaurants, but the prices are relatively high. Gambling casinos can be found in several large hotels.




There are several top hotels in Libreville and top hotels in Port-Gentil, Masuku (Franceville), Mouila, Lambaréné, Oyem, Koulamoutou, Makokou and Tchibanga. Most accommodations are quite expensive. There are more and more comfortable places to stay, especially on the coast and in cities near national parks. But also in other parts of the country you can find hotels in larger cities. More details from GABONTOUR (see addresses).


It’s free, but options are limited. Caution is advised.



Catholics (52%), natural religions (40%), Protestants (8%) and Muslims (1%).

Social rules of conduct

Dance, song, poetry and sagas play an important role in the country’s tradition. Photographing military facilities is strictly prohibited. In general, you should get permission beforehand to avoid misunderstandings. Tip: If not included in the bill, 10-15%.


Best travel time

Equatorial climate with high humidity. Dry season from June to September (best travel time) and from December to January, rainy season from February to May and from October to mid-December. Trade winds blow during the dry season.


Area code +241 Area (sqkm) 267667 Population 1705336 Population density (per sqkm) 6 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 1300

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