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Still Current at: 16 August 2004
Updated: 13 August 2004

Flag of Gabon
Gabon
 
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with extensive amendments throughout. The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • There is no British Embassy in Gabon.
  • The threat from terrorism is low. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Terrorism

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

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.

Political Situation

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.

Local Travel

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.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

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.

HEALTH

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.

GENERAL

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: bcdouala@yahoo.co.uk.


CONTACT DETAILS

Address:
 
British High Commission
Avenue Winston Churchill
BP 547
Yaounde

Telephone:
 
(237) 222 05 45
(237) 222 07 96

Facsimile:
 
(237) 222 01 48

Email:
 
BHC.yaounde@fco.gov.uk

Office Hours:
 
GMT: Mon-Thurs: 0645 - 1145, 1300 - 1445
Fri: 0645 - 1245
Local: Mon-Thurs: 0745 - 1245, 1400 - 1545
Fri: 0745 - 1345

Website:
  http://www.britcam.org/


See Also:
  Travellers' Tips: Gabon
UK Overseas Mission: Gabon
 
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Know Before You Go
The FCO strongly recommends that all travellers abroad take out comprehensive insurance.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing our travel advice, neither Her Majesty's Government nor any member of British consular staff abroad can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained therein.

LATEST TRAVEL UPDATES

Turkey (16/08/04)
Iraq (16/08/04)
India (16/08/04)
Spain (16/08/04)
United States (16/08/04)
Maldives (13/08/04)
Reunion (13/08/04)
Ghana (13/08/04)
Gabon (13/08/04)
Chad (13/08/04)
Togo (13/08/04)
Nigeria (13/08/04)
Israel and the Occupied Territories (13/08/04)
Nepal (13/08/04)
Iran (13/08/04)

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GLOBAL TERRORISM WARNING
You should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in public places anywhere in the world. Be vigilant, and take sensible precautions. See Risk of Terrorism.

NEW TRAVEL ADVICE LAYOUT
Please bear with us as we make presentational changes to our 217 Travel Advice notices.
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