Gabon Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada).
GABON - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Gabon. The safety and security situation is calm, but tense. The situation could degrade rapidly.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to au Gabon. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can lead also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Expect an increased military presence
- Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
- Limit your movements as much as possible
- Contact your airline or travel agent before travelling to check your flight’s schedule and availability
Pickpocketing, theft and “smash and grab” robberies occur.
Vehicle break-ins are common, particularly in markets, transportation hubs and areas frequented by tourists.
- Keep car doors locked, windows and your belongings out of sight
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Crime is more common in Libreville and Port Gentil than in rural areas.
- Although rare, violent crime occurs, including business and residential robberies and armed attacks
- Be vigilant at all times, particularly in Libreville and Port Gentil
- Avoid walking alone after dark, even in places visited by tourists
- Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, including beaches, particularly at night
Resisting a robbery can lead to further violence.
Fraud involving the use of a credit card and ATMs occurs in Gabon. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.
Driving can be hazardous. Outside urban areas, road conditions are poor and there are very few road signs. Insufficient lighting and overloaded vehicles also pose hazards. If possible, use a four-wheel-drive vehicle, particularly outside urban areas.
In the event of a traffic accident, go to the nearest police station to avoid possible confrontations.
Cooperate with local authorities and avoid travelling after dark.
Towing and repair services are not widely available outside Libreville.
Public transportation such as trains or buses are available.
If you’re taking taxis in the cities, negotiate the price before getting in the cab. Taxi drivers may pick up more than one fare at a time. Drivers may charge more if they don’t pick up any other fares during your ride. Most taxi drivers automatically double their fares after 9 pm. Avoid taking taxis alone, particularly at night.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Gabonese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Gabon.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Gabon. Consult the Embassy of the Gabonese Republic for information on how to obtain a visa.
Tourist/Family visits visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
If you reside in Gabon, you must obtain an exit visa a few weeks before departure.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - January 17, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country.
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms correctly or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 3 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
You may be asked to prove your identity and date of entry into the country. Failure to provide internationally recognized identification could result in detention. Carry photo identification, such as a photocopy of your passport, and keep another photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
You should carry an international driving permit that must be used along with a Canadian driver’s licence. It can only be used for the first 30 days of a visit in Gabon.
Drivers must carry on their person or in the vehicle:
- a valid licence
- proof of insurance
- proof of inspection
- a reflective vest and an emergency triangle
- a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Gabon.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Gabon, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect harsh punishments including jail sentences.
Gabonese law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Gabonese society. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Gabon.
The currency in Gabon is the African Financial Community (CFA) franc (XAF).
Exchange rates are those quoted by the Bank of Central African States. Euros and U.S. dollars are widely accepted, but high exchange charges may apply. Credit cards are accepted only in Libreville’s large hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.
ATMs are available, but cash withdrawals are limited. If possible, use cash for all transactions.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy seasons extend from October to mid-December and mid-February to May. Some roads outside urban areas may be impassable during these periods. Monitor local weather reports and plan accordingly.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 177
- medical assistance: 1300, 0174 or 0880 (for SOS Médecins)
- in Libreville dial 18 01 74 09 55 or 01 76 15 20
- in Port Gentil dial 07 63 93 63 or 01 56 27 75
Libreville - Consulate of Canada
Yaoundé - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Cameroon, in Yaoundé, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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