Gabon is a country in Central West Africa that has managed to keep its biodiversity and rainforests pristine, which is why people choose this country as a vacation destination. If African countries are what you are into, then you will surely like Gabon and what it has to offer. You will spend a lovely time there. Because of its oil and mineral reserve, Gabon is doing a little bit better than all the other African countries. Its wealth has been put to good use to improve people’s livelihoods. And you will be able to see that as you walk among them.
First things first, you should know that Gabon has one of the most lenient visa policies in the world. You will most likely need a visa but getting on is easier than you think. You do not even have to visit a diplomatic mission to apply for one. There are 8 visa-exempt nationalities, all of them from Africa, but the rest of the world does not have it hard either. Depending on your country of origin, you are either eligible for a visa on arrival, or you can apply beforehand for an electronic visa. If you do qualify for an e-visa, Fast Track Visa can help you acquire it in as little as 4 business days. Some people are eligible for both, which is why we suggest the electronic visa. That way, you do not have to stay in line at the visa on arrival counter once you get to Gabon.
An important thing to remember is that if you want to enter Gabon on an electronic visa, you need to arrive via Leon Mba International Airport in Libreville. It is the only checkpoint that will consider the travel document valid and grant you access.
The best time to visit Gabon is June through September. That is when the climate is a little bit cooler. Since we are talking about a tropical climate, the rest of the year is always hot and humid, so you need to pack accordingly. After all, we are talking about a country on the Equator. It can get really uncomfortable. Even so, if you go when the temperatures are bearable (up to 25 degrees Celsius), you should have an easy time coping. But if not, take all precaution. Hydrate and wear adequate clothing. Covering up will make you more comfortable than not wearing any clothes, and do not forget the sunscreen.
As to what you can do in Gabon, you can take your pick. You will not lack activities. For one thing, you should know that Gabon has many beaches, waterfalls, national parks, and inland fishing facilities. Also, let’s not forget about the Crystal Mountains. You can go hiking, which will give you some amazing opportunities for sightseeing. You will have the chance to see some fantastic views. Don’t forget your camera.
Safari is yet another thing you can enjoy while in Gabon. You will find several safari camps, many of which have modern facilities with air conditioning, good food, transportation, and so on. You can go spot wildlife which includes elephants, monkeys, buffalo, parrots, and other local fauna. Mangroves are also available for tourists, and you should not miss it. It is an unforgettable experience that you will remember for years. Taking a boat among the trees is a bit chilling if you have never done it before, but you will not regret giving it a shot.
The local cuisine in Gabon is nothing out of the ordinary. However, you can find western cuisine is in the larger cities. There are many restaurants that prepare good food, to your liking. Drinks are also available. You will find cheap beer, it is called Regab, but you should definitely try the fruit juices. You can find them in shops, and they taste like no other juice you have tasted before. The flavor is so intense that it is a bit hard to return to the products you can find in stores at home.
If you want to get around with ease in Gabon, you should learn a little bit of French. French is used by about 80% of the population, while the other 20% speaks Fang, Mbere, and Sira. Since we cannot expect you to learn those, French is more accessible. English is not widely known, so any French you know is a real asset. However, the language is not difficult to learn, especially if it has been taught to you in school. If not, you should learn a few phrases before boarding your plane.
Accommodation in Gabon can be found with ease. There are several international name hotels in the larger cities but rest assured that you can find more economical alternatives as well. If you plan to stay for longer, you can find an apartment for lease, which will save you some cash in the long run.
As far as health is concerned, we recommend that you do not drink the tap water. Always buy bottled water. However, what you need to remember is that malaria is pretty common in Gabon, which is why you should get your shot before you leave and have your doctor prescribe some malaria pills. What will help is to bring a net when you travel so that you can avoid mosquitos, and repellent sprays are a must. At the same time, about 5% of the adults in Gabon have AIDS or are HIV positive, so you need to be careful about that too.
The people of Gabon are usually very friendly. They will make you feel welcome, and they are incredibly hospitable. They will most likely try to help you with everything you may need during your trip.
All in all, Gabon is a small country, with a small population, but it is welcoming and has plenty to offer. The sights are beautiful, the people are nice, and you will be occupied with all kinds of activities during your stay. You will create wonderful memories, establish beautiful relationships with the people, and you will remember this trip as one of the best.