I was in Gabon between the 16 July 2019 and the 05 August 2019. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing
For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link
All prices are in francs except when the charge was in USD.
When I was there the oficial exchange rate was as follows:
1 GBP = 728.34 XAF
1 USD = 584.89 XAF
1 EUR = 655.96 XAF
The Central African Franc is also the currency of Republic of Congo and Cameroon
I applied for an the visa in the Embassy of Gabon in Luanda.
I needed two copies each of
Proof of income
In addition you need to feel an application form available at the embassy and give a date of entry from which your visa will be valid.
The process was pretty painless payment was 35,000 kwanza because I wanted it in 24 hours. If you are prepared to wait 4 or 5 days it would be 27,000. The location can be found in maps me (-8.808503,13.250267)
Getting in the country
Getting into the country was quick and painless
I drew money out of ATMs in Libreville but it was hard to find some that worked. The only ones that worked FO me where those of Ecobank
Gabon SIM card
I got Airtel and paid 4000 XAG for 1Gb which included a free SIM and an extra 2Gb as a new customer
Coverage was good along my route.
Food and drink
Other than in towns where there are supermarkets (huge Geant Cassino in Libreville where you can find everything) , the shops in the villages have limited stock.
You will find bread in most biggish villages and in some markets with fruit and vegetable stalls. Bread price seems to be fixed around 125
Soft drinks cost somewhere between 450 and 700. Bottled water can be really expensive, I paid up to 800 for 1.5 lt bottle.
Food is OK. I mainly eat in market stalls when available. Delicious big fish and plantains for around 2500. Skewers of chicken go for around 500.
On the Road
I cycled mainlybon tarred roads and found them to be OK.
Getting off the road when the big lorries approach is a good idea as the roads are quite narrow. Small mini buses drive at high speeds.
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.
Always check your government’s travel advice for Gabon before making your decision.
As a solo older female I never felt unsafe during my time in the Gabon even in remote places. I found people to be welcoming and friendly. Everyone responds to your greetings no one ever asked me for money or anything.
Ndende – Catholic Mission – Really welcoming. Camping on grass. Water tap and the priest will charge your gadgets. Nice supermarket nearby. Latrine. See I Overlander for further information.
Mouila – Catholic Cathedral Camping on grass. Non driking water. Pit latrine and a plug on the outside of the priest’s residence. Not as warm as Father Delphin in Ndende but helpful and polite.
Fugamou – Stayed at Sisters of Inmaculate Conception. Sister Madelaine was lovely and gave me some of their delicious home made yogurt. Small clean room. Shower and toilet with running water and electricity. Left a 5000 donation.
Massika – Camped at Village Chief – No electricity – Pit latrine. Helpful chief
Lambarene – St Francis Xavier Catholic Church – Room for 5000. Running water and electricity. Beautiful views, over the river. Camping possible for free
Libreville – Maison Lieberman – 14000 for the most basic. VERY fast WIFI. En suite with cold water. Clean. Cheap cafe across the road
Bifoun – Camped at the School in a baranda of an empty classroom next to the director’s house. The gendarmerie up the road refused me. The empty classroom has a working socket and I managed to have a bucket shower.
Ndjole – Camped at the Hospital Friendly people. Water tap (non drinking)
Mevang – Camped at the Village Chief’s. Very welcoming. No water drinking or otherwise but could get some for a wash in a water hole within walking distance. They need to walk a long distance FO non treated drinking water and although they offered I bought water for cooking/drinking in the local shop – expensive 800 fracs 1.5lt bottle.
Lalara – Camped at the Village Chief’s. Welcoming. No water drinking or otherwise but could get some for a wash in a water hole within walking distance. I couldn’t figure out where they get the non treated drinking water from so I bought water for cooking/drinking in the local shop – still expensive 750 fracs 1.5lt bottle. Pit toilets were absolutely filthy one of them was alive!!!!
Mitzik – Hotel Ada Eya – After yesterday’s experience time for a treat 15500 for a double room ensuite with cold water but spotless. Nice cheap local food up the road
Nkolabona – Village Chief Really welcoming. They gave me a room. Drinking water pump across the road. Bliss
Oyem -Sainete Therese D’Angone Catholic mission Really welcoming. Camped in the baranda. Shower and toilet with running water.
Bitam – Camped at the Catholic Mission Really welcoming. Shower and toilet with running water. They invited me to eat with them, delicious local food.