Gabon is a developing nation in west central Africa. French is the official language. Facilities for tourism outside the capital city, Libreville, are available, but often limited.
A passport is required. A visa must be obtained in advance. Visas are not obtainable at the airport upon arrival. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Gabon, 2035 20th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, telephone (202) 797-1000. Travelers may also contact the Gabonese Consulate at 18 East 41st St., Ninth Floor, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 686-6720. Overseas inquiries should be made to the nearest Gabonese Embassy or Consulate.
Petty thievery is common in urban areas. Violent crime such as armed robbery, while not common, does occur. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of Stateís pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Medical facilities in Gabonís major cities are limited, but generally adequate for routine or basic needs. Medical services in rural areas are generally unavailable. Some medicines are not available.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions which differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Gabon is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor, limited
Travelers are routinely stopped at police checkpoints. Because of poor to non-existent street lighting driving at night may be extremely hazardous. Pedestrians and animals frequently share the roadways.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that countryís laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Gabonís laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Gabon are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
Americans living in or visiting Gabon are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Gabon and obtain updated information on travel and security within Gabon. The U.S. Embassy is located on Boulevard de la Mer in Libreville. The mailing address is B.P. 4000, Libreville, Gabon. The telephone numbers are (241) 762-003/4 or 743-492.
As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Gabon, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Gabonese civil aviation authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Gabonís air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at (618) 229-4801.
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