Overland Gabon Travel
West Africa > Gabon
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Gabon
- 2 Entering Gabon with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Gabon
- 4 Gas price in Gabon and Diesel price in Gabon
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Gabon
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Gabon
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Gabon is a spectacularly beautiful and friendly country to visit. Much of Gabon has been set aside as National Park, so there is a huge amount of wilderness to explore, and wildlife to see.
Entering Gabon with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: March 2017
Travel Visa for Gabon
The travel visa for Gabon is easy to get, with virtually everyone who travels South getting it in Lomé, Togo. A one month visa costs FCFA50,000.00 XAF. A two month visa is twice as much, and a three month is triple. The visa can normally be collected the day after you apply, though you can pay an extra FCFA15,000.00 XAF to pick it up the same day.
Coming from the South, you can get the visa in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo for $110.00 USD
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
- (Only required for two borders near Bitam) Printed hotel reservation with telephone number.
(no copies are required, unless crossing near Bitam where passport photocopy is needed)
Process at border
- Get yourself stamped in at Immigration.
- Go to Douane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out a Passavant, valid for one month.
- If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.
- If you arrive at borders that are North or West of Bitam then you'll need a printed hotel reservation. They phone the hotel to check the reservation. They write a fiche and instruct you to visit immigration in Bitam where a passport photo copy and fiche are handed over to get your passport stamped.
Cost of entry
Entry with a Carnet de Passage is free, the passavant costs CFA10,000.00 XOF
Permitted length of stay
With a passavant it's one month.
Extension of stay
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
- Get your Carnet de Passage stamped out if you have one.
All should be free, do not pay for this.
Driving in Gabon
Recommended books for Overlanding in Gabon
Travel insurance for Gabon
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance does not seem to be required, Police never seem to ask for it for people just transiting through, though you might want to have something to show anyone looking for a bribe.
Cost of vehicle insurance
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Unknown within Gabon
Anything from your home country will be accepted.
Driving side of road
RHD vehicles are allowed without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher.
General Road quality
Gabon has a mix of excellent tarmac and horribly potholed roads. The main highway from North to south is excellent, as good as anything in the world. Off that highway many roads are good dirt, though they can get very bad during heavy rain.
Gabon has pretty good road signs, especially showing distances to the next town, and major towns further away.
As far as I know, there are no tolls in Gabon.
Bribery in Gabon
Bribery can be common, you might encounter officers at checkpoints directly asking for money or a gift. Maybe they will invent a story about why you must pay. Be polite, and don’t pay
See the bribery tips page for general advice.
There are checkpoints and random stops where Police will check all your paperwork. Don't pay. Stay friendly and polite. Never use your mobile phone or camera at check points.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas price in Gabon and Diesel price in Gabon
Last updated: March 2017 (only for unleaded)
Currency and unit to display:
|FCFA655.00 XAF per Liter
|FCFA510.00 XAF per Liter
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Most towns have stations, and they usually have both gasoline and diesel. Both are also available in small containers on the side of the road. Quality is likely very bad when bought like that. Distances are further than you think, fill up when you can!
Gas and Diesel Quality
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is not recommended out of towns and cities due to poor lighting, poor road conditions and increased police checks after 6pm in the evening. Also watch out for cars without lights.
Cars can be parked but watch out for the tow zones in major cities and also pay and display. Vehicles can be parked on the streets and usually are safe. At night try to park in compounds or other known safe zones
Special driving considerations
Like all of West Africa, expect the unexpected! The paved roads are excellent, however, with almost no potholes or speed bumps.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Gabon - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Gabon
Paid Camping is not at all common in Gabon.
Wildcamping is very possible, and many people wildcamp every night they are in Gabon. Locals are very friendly, and you should ask permission if there are people around. Almost always they will just want to shake hands then will leave you alone.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
It's not recommended to drink tap water - filter it or buy bottles.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Gabon
GPS Maps of Gabon
- Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
- Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Gabon
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Special Overland Travel interests
- Lopé National Park has the possibility to see Gorillas extremely cheaply. - see iOverlander
- Getting into Loango National Park (and Lodge) is an adventure and supremely beautiful!
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Gabon
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.