This advice has been reviewed and reissued with extensive amendments throughout. The overall level of the advice has not changed.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The threat from terrorism is low but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Please read the “Security and General Tips
” and “Risk of Terrorism when Travelling Overseas
” pages for further information and advice.
Crime is increasing, particularly in Libreville and Port-Gentil, including incidents of robbery and armed attacks. You should take sensible personal security precautions and maintain a high level of vigilance in public places. We recommend that you avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewellery in public. You should avoid isolated or poorer areas of towns and walking alone at night. We advise you to be cautious on quiet or isolated beaches in and around Libreville and avoid them altogether at night.
Public demonstrations in Port Gentil have on occasion turned violent. You should avoid demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings.
A presidential election is due in December 2005.
Road conditions are poor in most local areas and driving can be hazardous. During the rainy season from October to mid-December and mid-February to May many roads are passable only with a four-wheel drive vehicle. You should avoid travelling by road at night. Police checkpoints are common, where you may be asked to show your passport, driving licence or vehicle registration documents.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Penalties for the use and possession of drugs are severe and usually include a prison sentence.
Homosexuality is not widely accepted in central African society and some sexual acts between members of the same sex are illegal.
Taking photographs of military sites and government buildings is forbidden.
British nationals require a visa to visit Gabon. To apply for a visa and to obtain further information on entry requirements, please contact the Gabonese Embassy in London: Gabonese representation in the UK
You will be asked to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival in the country. Failure to do so may result in a further vaccination being administered, for which a charge is made.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the Gabonese Embassy in London: Gabonese representation in the UK
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
Medical facilities are limited. Water-borne diseases, malaria and HIV/AIDS are prevalent.
You are advised to take medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information visit the Department of Health’s website at www.dh.gov.uk
or contact your GP.
There is no British Embassy in Gabon. In an emergency, you can obtain consular assistance from the British Honorary Consul in Libreville (tel: +241 76 22 00; fax: +241 76 57 89).
We encourage visitors staying longer than one month to register with the Honorary Consul.
The nearest British diplomatic mission is in Yaoundé, Cameroon (contact details below). You can also contact the British Consulate in Douala, Cameroon:- Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon SA, Boulevard de la Liberté, BP 1016, Douala, tel: +237 3 422 177 or 3 428 145, fax: +237 3 428 896, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.