GabonOfficial Name: Gabonese Republic
6 months remaining
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
1 page per stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Telephone: +(241) 01-45-71-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(241) 07-38-01-71
Fax: +(241) 01-45-71-05
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Gabon for additional information on U.S. - Gabon relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
A passport, visa, and proof of vaccination against yellow fever are required for entry into Gabon. For additional immunization information, visit the CDC’s Health Information for Travelers to Gabon.
Obtain your visa in advance of traveling to Gabon from the Embassy of Gabon, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009, (202)-797-1000, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Consulate of Gabon, 22 East 42nd Street, Suite 519, New York, NY 10168, (212) 683-7371, ConsulatGabon@aol.com. Visit the Embassy of Gabon’s website for the most current visa information. Short-term visitors to Gabon are permitted to stay for up to 90 days. U.S. citizens with a residence permit (carte de sejour) must obtain exit visas from the Direction Générale à la Documentation et l’Immigration (DGDI), before departing Gabon.
Travelers coming to Gabon from countries without a Gabonese embassy can apply for a visa online via Gabon’s “E-Visa” program. Applications submitted online are processed by the DGDI, and the visa is issued at Libreville International Airport upon arrival. Access to the online application site is not dependable, however, and there have been reports of difficulty in paying the fee required on arrival, due to the lack of access to local funds or ATMs at the security check point in the airport. Payment is only accepted in Euros or Central African Francs (XAF). The cost is 70 EUR or 45,000 XAF for a one- to three-month single-entry visa, or 185 EUR or 120,000 XAF for a six-month, multiple-entry visa. A 30 EUR processing fee must also be paid for either visa.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Gabon.
Gabon may deny entry to people coming from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)-affected countries.
Safety and Security
Political rallies and social protests may occur spontaneously in Libreville. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational or violent. Be aware of your surroundings and personal security at all times. Avoid large gatherings, protests, demonstrations, and any other event where crowds congregate.
There have been instances of tanker hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea, including one incident in July 2013 where a tanker was hijacked off the coast of Gabon.
In the event of a fire, dial 18 in Libreville. In Port Gentil, dial 07-63-93-63 or 01-56-27-75.
Crime: Petty theft is common. Violent crime is more common in urban areas. We have received reports of armed robberies in homes, restaurants, and at beaches frequented by foreigners. Police response time is often slow.
If driving in Libreville, take extra precautions against carjacking and theft. Keep car windows up, doors locked, and valuables out of view. Even in daylight, thieves may open unlocked vehicle doors to snatch valuables. We recommend against riding in a taxi alone or late at night. Carry identification at all times to minimize the risk of harassment at police checkpoints.
Avoid poorly lit streets and unfamiliar areas of the city, especially at night. Avoid beaches after dusk. Carry a minimal amount of cash and avoid wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, especially in markets and restaurants. In a robbery or carjacking, comply with the attacker to avoid injury.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (241) 01-45-71-00. The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line to reach the police is 177 (not available on all cell phones). For the police, call 01-76-55-85 in Libreville and 01-55-29-12 (Central Police Station) or 07-36-22-25 in Port Gentil. Operators often only speak French.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Language: The official language of Gabon is French. English is not widely spoken or understood.
Identification: You should always carry identification and proof of legal immigration status in Gabon in case you are stopped at a police checkpoint. Examples of identification include a residence permit (carte de sejour), U.S. passport or a legalized photocopy of your U.S. passport, biographic information page, and your Gabonese visa page. City hall offices in Gabon can legalize passport photocopies for a nominal fee.
Photography: Taking photographs of the Presidential Palace, airport, and military or other government buildings is strictly forbidden.
Official Corruption: Official corruption is common, but paying bribes is strongly discouraged and may make you a target for further attempts at securing bribery payments.
Currency: Gabon is largely a cash economy. Credit cards are accepted at only a few major hotels, and, because of the high rate of credit card fraud, you should exercise caution when using them. Traveler’s checks can be cashed or dollars exchanged for Central African Francs (XAF) at hotels and banks. ATMs are available in major urban centers and dispense XAF. Exercise caution when withdrawing funds from ATMs.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Gabon. Although there have been no reports of violence against LGBTI persons, discrimination, including in housing and employment, is a problem. As a result, most LGBTI individuals choose to keep their status secret, except in trusted circles. The fear of stigma likely leads to an underreporting of incidents.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. While in Gabon, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with “physical, mental, congenital, and accidental” disabilities and requires access to buildings or services for persons which such disabilities. Most public buildings, however, do not provide adequate access. There is some societal discrimination against persons with disabilities and treatment facilities are limited.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical facilities in Gabon's major cities are limited, but may meet basic needs. Visitors should be aware that credit cards are not widely accepted in Gabon, and hospitals almost always expect payment in cash up front before rendering service. Medical services in rural areas are unavailable or of very poor quality. Some medicines are not available locally; carry your own supply of medications to cover your entire stay. For medical emergencies in Libreville, the emergency room at El Rapha Polyclinic, a private clinic, can be reached at 07-98-66-60 An ambulance can be requested by calling El Ralpha directly or by calling 13-00 from a Gabon telecom landline for other ambulance services (SMUR, SAMU).
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
- Yellow fever
- Dengue fever
- Diarrheal illness
- African trypanosomiasis
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Travel by road in Gabon can be hazardous. Drive with your car windows up and doors locked. Travelers are routinely stopped at police checkpoints within cities and on roads to the interior. You should comply politely if stopped, but avoid encouraging requests for bribery. Use extreme caution when driving after dark. Two-lane roads are the norm throughout Gabon. Roads to outlying cities are usually unpaved. There are many dangers, including large potholes, absence of road signs, poor-to-non-existent streetlights, timber-laden trucks, and the presence of pedestrians and animals. Construction work is generally poorly indicated. Drivers may change lanes or stop unexpectedly. Lane markings are frequently ignored. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for travel beyond the paved road to Lambarene, especially during the rainy season.
Roadside assistance and emergency medical services are available in Libreville, but they may not be dependable. These services are nonexistent outside of the city. Service stations are available along main roads, but vehicle repair facilities are not always available.
Traffic Laws: To drive in Gabon, you must have a Gabonese driving license (permis de conduire), vehicle registration (carte grise), proof of insurance (assurance), proof of vehicle inspection (visite technique), fire extinguisher (extincteur de feu), triangles (triangles), and first aid kit (boite de soins de premiers secours). The police may verify that you have all of the required documentation and equipment if they stop you on the road or at police checkpoints. During your first 30 days in Gabon, you are permitted to drive with a U.S. or International Driver’s license. Talking on a cell phone while driving in Gabon is against the law.
Public Transportation: Taxis in Gabon are considered safe. Travelers usually share a taxi, but, for a higher fee, taxi operators will allow passengers sole use of the taxi. Use a hotel taxi when possible. Before entering a taxi, check that the taxi has seatbelts and negotiate the rate for your trip. Bus service exists in Libreville, but buses are infrequent and routes are not generally convenient. Rail service remains available but infrequent, and travelers should expect lengthy delays.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Gabon, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Gabon’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.