- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Gabon because of the high levels of serious crime.
- Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
- You should avoid demonstrations, large crowds and rallies as they may turn violent.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Gabon. The Canadian Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon provides consular assistance to Australians in Gabon (except the issue of passports). The Australian High Commission in Nigeria can also assist Australians.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Gabon for the most up to date information.
Valid Yellow Fever Vaccination and Cholera Certificates are required for entry into Gabon.
Gabon is listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. You may be required to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country. If in doubt, check with your airline.
If you have visited Gabon in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on entry into Australia.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
Civil unrest/Political tension
You should avoid demonstrations, large crowds and rallies as they may turn violent.
We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Gabon because of the high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
Petty theft is common throughout Gabon. Violent crime, including robberies, carjackings and armed attacks, also occurs, especially in the cities of Libreville and Port-Gentil. Security risks increase when walking alone and on beaches, particularly at night.
Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Gabon.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Driving in Gabon can be hazardous due to poor road conditions, poorly maintained vehicles, local driving practices and inadequate lighting, especially outside urban areas. Pedestrians and animals on the road pose additional safety risks. Traffic accidents are common. You should avoid travelling at night. For further advice, see our road travel page.
There are police road blocks throughout the country and you may be asked to show identity and motor vehicle registration papers.
Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.
When you are in Gabon, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences.
Serious crimes, including murder and serious assaults, carry the death penalty.
Homosexual acts are illegal.
It is prohibited to photograph military sites and Government buildings, including the Presidential Palace.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australian overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Information for dual nationals
Our Dual Nationals brochure provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our 'Travelling Well' brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
Medical facilities in Gabon are limited in major cities and very basic to unavailable in rural areas. Up-front payment is usually required and the inability to pay will often delay treatment. In the event of a major illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate medical facilities would be necessary. Costs for a medical evacuation would be considerable.
Malaria occurs widely and throughout the year in Gabon. Other insect-borne diseases (including yellow fever, chikungunya fever, filariasis and African sleeping sickness) also occur. We encourage you to take prophylaxis against malaria and take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing, and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, polio and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before travelling. We recommend you boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Gabon is high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For information on our advice to Australians on how to reduce the risk of infection and on Australian Government precautions see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Where to get help
Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Gabon. By agreement between the Canadian and Australian governments, the Canadian Embassy in Yaounde, in neighbouring Cameroon provides consular assistance to Australians in Gabon. You should register your presence with the Canadian Government. This service does not include the issue of Australian passports. The address is:
Place de l'Hotel de Ville
Telephone: (237) 223 2311
Facsimile: (237) 222 1090
You can also obtain consular assistance from the nearest Australian High Commission which is in Nigeria:
Australian High Commission
48 Aguiyi Ironsi Street
Telephone (234 9) 461 2780
Facsimile (234 9) 461 2782
If you are travelling to Gabon, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the above Embassy or High Commission you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The rainy season is from October to December and February to May when flooding occurs and some roads may become impassable. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children brochure.
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia.
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Gabon and you should take care not to offend.