Gabon — Visas and Vaccinations
Anyone who wishes to visit Gabon is required to have a visa before entering the country. In the past, visas could be obtained upon arrival at the airport, but this is no longer an option. You also have to submit an international vaccination certificate for Yellow Fever, as well as your itinerary and reservations. Single-entry and multiple-entry tourist or business visas may be applied for in Gabonese consulates, but usually take a few weeks to process, so plan accordingly. It is also important to note that your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in Gabon.
Health and Safety
Vaccination against Yellow Fever is the only immunization required in order to travel to Gabon, but other precautionary measures should be taken to avoid diarrhea-causing diseases, typhoid fever, Hepatitis (B and E), and schistosomiasis. Dengue fever outbreaks may also occur, and there is risk of malaria in forested areas. Treat mosquito bites as more than a nuisance and always take Malaria pills when visiting high-risk areas. HIV/AIDS is alarmingly common, affecting eight percent of the adult population.
Medical facilities are limited throughout the country, so bring a first aid kit complete with anti-venom and anti-tetanus serums, especially when traveling to rural areas. It is also important to secure comprehensive medical and travel insurance before visiting Gabon.
Treat all sources of water as potentially contaminated. Boil water before use, not only for drinking, but also for brushing teeth and making ice. Cook your meats and vegetables thoroughly, and order proteins well-done when eating out in Gabon.