Gabon

Gabon

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Gabonese Republic is located in central Africa at the Equator, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. The population is about 1.6 million people. There are many indigenous languages spoken, but Fang, Mbere and Sira are the most common. Gabon’s government is a multiparty presidential republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Gabon gained independence from France in 1960. Although the country has more than 40 ethnic groups, Gabon has not experienced the ethnic conflict like other African countries and is one of the more stable countries in this region. Gabon’s economy depends heavily on oil and mineral reserves, giving the country a wealthy per capita income compared to many African countries. However, there remains a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, and most people live in poverty.

The government has made efforts to promote eco-tourism. About 10 percent of the country is designated as a national park system. The country has 13 national parks, along with beaches, rainforests, and wildlife, including gorillas and elephants. At this time, infrastructure for tourism, such as transportation, is lacking.

Currency XAF: Central African franc
Language French
Capital Libreville
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Gabon. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Malaria

Malaria risk exists throughout the year in the whole country.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 1)

There is increased risk for travellers spending a lot of time outdoors or visiting game parks. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A in Gabon.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis B in Gabon.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Gabon, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Cholera

Outbreaks of cholera occur in Gabon.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever occurs in this country.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in this country and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Zika Fever

Zika virus can occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Gabon.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers 1 year of age and older. However, the vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, where water and food may not be safe.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Gabon.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Anti-malaria medication is recommended for travellers going to Gabon. Recommended medications are atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is present.

Safety and Security in Gabon

Emergency Numbers

177 Will not work on all mobile networks
1730
1300
18

Operators may speak French only.

Personal Safety

There is a high level of both petty and serious crime in Gabon, particularly in Libreville and Port-Gentil. Travellers should remain alert to personal surroundings, keep valuables and cash out of sight, and avoid showing signs of affluence.

Avoid isolated or poorer areas of towns. Avoid walking alone at night, even in tourist areas.

Avoid walking alone on beaches during the day, and totally avoid beaches at night.

Only use taxis from a source, such as a hotel or restaurant. Do not hail a taxi on the street.

In Libreville, there have been some carjackings. Keep car doors locked and windows closed. Do not stop to pick up hitch-hikers.

There are strict penalties for possession and use of illegal drugs.

Homosexuality is not widely accepted, and some homosexual acts are illegal.

Serious crimes, including serious assault, carry the death penalty.

Photography of military sites, government buildings and the Presidential Palace is strictly prohibited.

Political Unrest

Political demonstrations have taken place in Libreville and Port Gentil. Avoid all protests and large public gatherings as any of these situations can turn violent without warning.

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