Gabon is the most politically stable and safest country in Central Africa, with time and patience travel is easily possible here.
Nevertheless – as with many trips to countries that do not meet our usual standards – there are a number of things to consider so that the vacationis also relaxing all around. The many small things that we take for granted in everyday life and which can be replaced very quickly even if lost, should be included in the holiday luggage in a replacement version. This includes, for example, a second pair of glasses or a second pair of contact lenses in the event that they are broken or lost.
The country is often seen as one of the upcoming ecotourism destinations, around 10% of Gabon’s land area has been protected by national parks. Best known is the Reserve de la Lope, but also in Ivindo National Park or Loanga National Park there are unique opportunities to experience the wildlife in the tropical nature of Gabon: as you can on a trip in the rainforest lowland gorilla or forest elephant see on the On the other hand, you can observe whales, dolphins and sea turtles on a trip to the Gabon.
Gabon, like most African countries, has its own artists. These are mainly active in carving. Other countries are known for their music, dance or paintings. Gabon is famous for its artists who carve particularly delicate objects out of wood. The peoples of the Fang, Kota, Punu and Tsogo are particularly well versed. The craft has been passed down from generation to generation. Almost exclusively religious figures are carved throughout the country of Gabon.
A special style was created in Kota, in the east of Gabon. This type of carving always represents the ancestor of the individual clans. The tricks consist of a wooden block that is carved to size. Then the oval face with the typical facial features, a full mouth, is sculpted and then covered with foil and lamellae made of copper foil. An attachment is often placed over the heads. This has the shape of a crescent moon. These figures even inspired Pablo Picasso to some of his paintings. These figures can be found in several art works by Picasso. A whole series of these motifs was created in 1907, where he processed the figures as a template.
Area: 267,667 km² (land: 257,667 km², water: 10,000 km²)
Population: 1.58 million residents (July 2011, COUNTRYAAH.COM), making Gabon one of the poorest in Africa.
Various Bantu peoples make up the majority of the Population: 35.5% Mpongwe, 15% Mbete, 14% Punu and 11.5% catch). The first residents in the Gabon area, the Pygmies, make up only 1.5%. There are also around 60,000 French people living in the country, most of them in the cities.
Population density: 5.9 residents per km², this is one of the lowest values in Africa.
Population growth: 1.999% per year (2011, CIA).
Capital: Libreville (approx. 590,000 residents, 2006).
Here is a current list of the largest cities in Gabon.
Highest point: Mont Iboundji, 1,575 m
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean, 0 m
Form of government: Gabon has been a presidential republic since 1961. The constitution dates from 1991, the last change was made in 1995. The National Assembly has 120 members and the Senate 91 members. The head of state is directly elected every 7 years. Gabon has been independent of France since August 17, 1960.
Administrative division: 9 provinces: Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime and Woleu-Ntem.
Head of state: Ali Bongo Ondimba, President since September 03, 2009
Prime Minister: Raymond Ndong Sima, Prime Minister since February 27, 2012
Language: The official language in Gabon is French. Fang is widely spoken and various Bantu languages such as Eshira, Batéké, Bapounou or Bandgabi are spoken.
Religion: About 65% of Gabon’s residents are Christians (about 60% are Catholics, 5% are different Protestant churches). Traditional African religions are common. About 5% are committed to Islam, and their number has increased steadily since about 1998.
Local time: CET. There is no changeover between summer and winter time in Gabon.
The time difference to Central Europe is 0 h in winter and -1 h in summer.
Telephone code: 00241 or +241
Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz
Gabon is located in western Central Africa. The Atlantic Ocean borders the country to the west, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to thenorth of Gabon,the Republic of the Congo to the south and east of the country.
Here you can find a detailed topographic map of Gabon.
Gabon extends from the 885 km long Atlantic coast, which is partially lined with mangroves, to the east to the Congo Basin. The north of the coast with Cape Lopez (on which Port Gentil is located) and the Gabon estuary (funnel-shaped river mouth, Libreville is located here) has good conditions for ports. The southern section of the Atlantic coast, on the other hand, is a spit coast without ports.
The west of Gabon is characterized by the coastal lowland, which extends about 200 km inland and then gradually increases to the low Guinea threshold with cut low mountains. The northern and eastern Gabon is covered by a highland that reaches heights of 500 to 700 m. Island mountains can also reach up to 1,000 m here.
Gabon is crossed by numerous rivers, which are important traffic arteries due to the often impenetrable rainforest. The largest and longest river (1,050 km on the territory of Gabon) is the Ogowe, which has cut deep gorges into the Gabon highlands.
Most people in Gabon live on the shores of the Atlantic and on the rivers.
The vast majority of the country (approx. 75%) is covered by tropical vegetation. The primary rainforest is declining more and more due to agricultural activities and is being replaced by secondary forests. The rainforest locally changes into wet savannah, and dry savannah also occurs in the southeast of Gabon.
Population in Gabon
This map of Gabon population distribution was created by the Worldmapper team. Densely populated areas appear bloated, the area of sparsely populated areas is reduced. The shape of the grid has been preserved; an underlying map with the original geographical extent helps interpret the map. The distorted map should help to present abstract statistical information clearly.
Passport: is generally required for trips to Gabon, the passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the visa expires.
Visa: is generally required.
All visa applications are sent to the Direction Générale de l’Emi-Immigration (DGEI) in the capital, Libreville, for processing. It is important to make sure that the authorization number of the DGEI is noted on the visa.
Visas can also be issued at the airport in Libreville if an accredited Gabonese travel agency has been consulted prior to departure. However, this visa is only valid for 72 hours and must be extended with the Direction Générale de l’Emi-Immigration (DGEI).
Required Documents: Tourist Visa: passport that must be valid for at least 6 months – 2 original passport photos (no scans) – 2 original, completed visa applications (note: copies and faxes are not accepted) – booking confirmation for a hotel in Gabon – travel booking confirmation via Hin – and return flight
Business Visa: additionally a company letter from the company about the duration and purpose of the trip with confirmation of the cost – invitation letter from the company in Gabon
An addressed and prepaid envelope (registered mail) and proof of payment for the visa fees due must be enclosed with the application by post.
You can download the Gabon Visa Application Form here.
Visa fees for Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Tourist and business visas: 80 euros, express processing: 120 euros.
Validity: Tourist Visa: 90 days. An extension to a maximum of 6 months is possible in Libreville.
Processing time: approx. 3 weeks for a tourist visa, approx. 1 week for a business visa, 3 days for express processing.
Vaccinations: Information on required international vaccination certificates that are required for entry into Gabon can be found in the Gabon – Health chapter.
Entry with children
Germany: The German children’s ID card is not accepted by the authorities in Gabon. Children need their own passport (children’s passport or electronic passport) to enter Gabon.
Austria: own passport for children.
Switzerland: own passport for children.
The same visa requirements apply to children as to their parents. Minors under 16 years of age do not need to have their own visa.
Children traveling alone require a legalized letter of approval from the guardian, which is issued in French.