Gabon
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Gabon

© Creative Commons / Axel Rouvin

Gabon Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

267,667 sq km (103,347 sq miles).

Population

1.6 million (2013).

Population density

6 per sq km.

Capital

Libreville.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960.

Head of state

President Ali Bongo Ondimba since 2009.

Head of government

Prime Minister Daniel Ona Ondo since 2014.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.

Gabon is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Congo. The 800km- (500-mile-) long sandy coastal strip is a series of palm-fringed bays, lagoons and estuaries. The lush tropical vegetation (which covers much of the interior) gives way in parts to the savannah.

There are many rivers along which settlements have grown. Many of the Bantu people are concentrated in coastal areas and villages along the banks of the many rivers. The main cities are Libreville, Port Gentil, Lambaréné, Moanda, Oyem, Mouila and Franceville.

The Republic of Gabon moved peacefully into independence (from France) in 1960. President Omar Bongo, who succeeded Léon M'Ba as president on the latter's death in 1967 is now one of Africa's longest serving heads of state. In 2003, a change of constitution meant that Bongo could run for office as many times as he wanted and Bongo, now in his 70s, is likely to remain as president for life. Gabon's only problem in the region concerns the island of Mbagne which lies in the Corisco Bay, potentially the site of large oil and gas deposits: occupied by Gabon in 1970, it is also claimed by Equatorial Guinea.

But touristic natural resources are likely to centre around features such as stunning white beaches, an abundance of wildlife, including gorillas, panthers, parrots and elephants, and verdant forests.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 22 November 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

There is no British Embassy in Gabon. In an emergency, you should contact the British High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Gabon has closed land, air and sea borders with countries affected by Ebola, including Nigeria, as a prevention measure against the spread of Ebola. Flights and ships travelling from or via Ebola affected countries are banned. Make sure your onward/return travel arrangements are flexible and take account of these travel restrictions.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

There have been attacks of armed robbery on commercial shipping in the Gulf of Guinea.

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