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Expat guide to relocating to Gabon and settling in tips

Expat guide to relocating to Gabon and settling in tips

Living in Gabon

Gabon is a beautiful place with an abundance of wildlife and plenty of things to see, do and explore for both tourists and expatriates alike. Take time to explore the mangrove swamps of the Muni River estuary or get to know the locals and their traditions. The official language of Gabon is French so this could be a good language to brush up on before you go.

Due to the rich oil reserves which once made Gabon one of the wealthiest states in sub-Saharan Africa this in turn attracted expats from all around the world. If you and your family are planning to relocate to Gabon, read our guide for useful tips and advice on planning ahead and how to settle in once you are there. 

Gabon Libreville

Expat Clubs


PWC- Port Gentil Women’s Club - A local community group of expat ladies and Gabonese women.
Email: pwc.pog@gmail.com  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pwc.portgentil     

Couture’ & ‘Bricolage- sewing and crafts, quite a few English ladies meet up in this group (Wednesday mornings)
There are also various walking groups, book and movie clubs where you can meet other expats to socialize and possibly learn a new language! You might also think about offering to teach part time to local children, this can be both fun and rewarding as well as a great past-time. 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/couture-et-bricolage/152008994851498  

International Schools 


American International School of Libreville
AISL, like other American Overseas Schools, was initially established to offer educational opportunities to children of the U.S. Embassy staff. Since that time, the school has been in many interesting locations, one being in the Ambassador's garage. Today, over 25 nationalities are represented in the school community. AISL continues to provide an excellent American-style education aligned with benchmarks and curriculum standards and by using technology as the main tool of instruction.
Curriculum: American
Address: BP: 4000 Libreville (Gabon)
Telephone: 241 01 74 33 32
Email: aislgabon@gmail.com  
Website: www.aislgabon.com

International School of Gabon Ruban Vert
The school is based in State of the Arts facilities on a 7 hectares green campus in the heart of Libreville (7 main buildings with full Internet connectivity: Early years with a dedicated media centre / Primary with its own multipurpose science laboratory / Secondary and a 300 square metre library / Administration / Dining hall / a 250 seat Auditorium with 5 Dance/ Drama /Music/ Multimedia / Art studios / Multisport gymnasium).
Curriculum: IPC / IMYC / IB
Address: bp 2144 Libreville
Telephone: 241 01 44 26 70
Email: admissions@ecolerubanvert.com  
Website: www.ecolerubanvert.com  

Local News in English


Gabonews - An English website operating from a country where French is the main language in all aspects of life. Keeping in line with GABONEWS’ philosophy of innovative and pioneering ideas, the news website was launched with the primary idea of exporting Gabonese culture and touristic assets to the world.
Website: en.gabonews.com

Country Information 


Country Information for Gabon
Location: Africa
Capital City: Libreville
Other Important Cities: Port Gentil, Lambarene, Lope National Park       
Currency: CFA Franc
Language: French
Calling Code: +241
Internet TLD: .ga
Electricity: There are approximately 10 providers of power in Gabon however you may need to apply to the  Société d’Energie et d’Eau du Gabon (SEEG) before you can get connected. The supply is not always consistent so quite often you’ll find a generator in place to bridge the gap in supply - appliances run on 220V.
Emergency Numbers:
Police: 1730
Fire: 18
Ambulance / Medical emergency: 1300 to 1399
 
Country Information 
en.wikipedia.org

Embassy Information


Algeria
BP 4008, Libreville
Telephone: +241 01 732 318

Angola
BP 4884, Libreville
Telephone: +241 730 426

Belgium
Quartier Bas de Gué-Gué. B.P. 4079, Libreville
Telephone: +241 732 992

Benin
BP 3851, Libreville
Telephone: +241 737 682

Brazil
Boulevard du Bord de Mer. Pont de Gué Gué. B.P. 3899. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 0144 2263

Cameroon
BP 14001, Libreville
Telephone: +241 732 800

Central African Republic
Libreville
Telephone: +241 721 288

China
Boulevard Triomphal Omar Bongo. B.P. 3914. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 743207

Congo (Democratic Republic)
BP 2257. Libreville
Telephone: +241 743 253 or +241 731 161

Congo (Republic)
BP 269, Libreville
Telephone: +241 732 906 or +241 730 062

Cote d’Ivoire
Charbonnages, BP 3861. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 738 270

Egypt
Quartier batterie 4 bord de mer. (opposite the l'ancien hôtel). Immeuble Floria 1, 3rd floor dialogue. 4240 Libreville.
Telephone: +241 732 538

Equatorial Guinea
BP 1462, Libreville
Telephone: +241 751 056

France
1, Rue du pont Pirah. P.O.Box 2125. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 0179 7000

Germany
Address: Boulevard de l'Indépendance. Immeuble les Frangipaniers. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 176 01 88 (01 760 188)
Email: amb-allemagne@inet.ga  

Vatican Apostolic (Vatigan City)
Boulevard Monseigneur Bessieux, 1322. B.P. 20330. Libreville
Telephone: +241 744 541

Italy
Cité de la Démocratie, Villa n. 35. B.P. 23731. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 017 42892 or +241 017 42893

Japan
Address: Boulevard du Bord de Mer. BP 2259. Libreville
Telephone: +241 173 22 97 (01 732 297)

Korea (Republic)
BP 2620, Libreville
+241 734 000

Lebanon
BP 3341, Libreville.
Telephone: +241 731 477

Libya
BP 13483, Libreville.
Telephone: +241 443 623

Mali
BP 4007, Quartier Batterie IV, Libreville.
Telephone: +241 737 758 or +241 735 292

Mauritania
BP 3917, Libreville
Telephone: +241 743 165

Morocco
Boulevard Leon MBA. B.P. 3983. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 0144 4892

Nigeria
Ave. du Président Léon-Mba. Quartier Blvd. Léon-M'Ba. BP 1191. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 732 914, +241 732 203, 730 322

Russia
g.Librevil. Triumphal Boulevard. Omar Bongo. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 724 868

Sao Tome and Principe
Boîte Postale 489. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 721 527

Saudi Arabia
Hauts de Gue-Gue. P.O. Box 964. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 738 444, +241 731 719, 731713

Senegal
Quartier Sobraga. B.P. 3856. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 774 267, 774 268

South Africa
Address: Les Arcades Building, 2nd Floor. 142 Rue de Chavannes. Centreville.
Telephone: +241 791 150 (01 774 530)

Spain
Immeuble Diamant, 2ème. Étage. Bld. de l'Indépendance. P.O. Box 1157. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 721 264, +241 773 068

Togo
BP 14160, Libreville
Telephone: +241 732 904

Tunisia
BP 3844, Libreville
Telephone: +241 732 841

Turkey
Derriere Le Mocado, Centre Ville. BP 23802 Gros Bouquet. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 04 30 5188

US – United States
Sablière B.P. 4000. Libreville.
Telephone: +241 0145 7100, 07 38 0171
Source: www.embassypages.com/gabon

Residents Visa and Work Permit information


You will need to apply to the DGDI (Department of Documentation and Immigratiion) for your work permit. There are two types, the GC- free residency permit and the PC- fee paying residency permit, expats on contract to the Gabonese State, technical support personnel and their families and those on foreign state grants may be eligible for the free permit. All others will need to pay although this is process is most likely to be arranged by the company for whom you will be working for. Basic documents required include;
  • Completed copy of the requisite form
  • Colour passport photo
  • Copy of repatriation guarantee and presentation of the original (for fee paying permits)
  • Copy of the first three pages of your passport, one with the last visa into the country. A copy of the still valid consular card and originals of both (if you entered the country on an entry permit you will be required to produce a copy of the letter to the Airports & Border Police)
  • For renewals you will need a copy of your previous residency permit and return pf the original.
For more info, click here>>

Accommodation


Finding an apartment in Gabon is not generally difficult however finding one with all the right amenities might be! There are quite a few new urban areas under construction which will ease many housing related problems as in turn they create opportunities for new schools, shopping and healthcare facilities.

Due to the huge volume of mosquitoes which thrive in the climate of Gabon you will find apartments and living areas are regularly fogged as normal process this becomes a way of life.

Driving License


Driving in Gabon doesn’t come highly recommended! Although you can get from A to B without too much trouble, the roads are not well maintained and you could find yourself bouncing in and out of a lot of pot holes which, more often than not will be filled with water – especially during monsoon season therefore a 4x4 might be the best choice of vehicle. It’s generally recommended to drive with your car windows up and the doors locked.

We recommend you get your International Driving Permit before you go and get your foreign driving license registered with the Road Traffic Department within three months of your arrival and you will need your residency permit. To exchange your license you will need;
  • A notarised photocopy of both sides of your driving license
  • 2 official passport photos in black and white
  • A photocopy of your residency permit

Healthcare


The healthcare in Gabon can only be described as okay, it will not win awards however is definitely better than of neighbouring West Africa. The best medical facilities will be found in the private hospitals therefore we recommend you take out a comprehensive international health insurance so that you are covered for all eventualities, as it is not worth taking risks and also allows you comfortably choose where you receive medical treatment be it regular or emergency.
Note: Be prepared for endless mosquito bites and be sure to get your jabs before you go.

Clinics

Mandji Clinic
Address: Port-Gentil – Gabon.
Telephone: +241 01 55 35 56

Dr Spohie Coniquet
Address: Batterie IV, Libreville.
Telephone: +241 737 142

Dr Jean Christostome Twahirwa, Clinique du Dr Biyogue
Address: BP 3925, Libreville.
Telephone: +241 742 964

Dr Brunaud Zissman
Address: Cabinet de Groupe, BP 1044 Libreville.
Telephone: +241 743 131

Hospitals

Clinique du Dr. Biyogue
BP 3925, Montagne Sainte, Libreville
Telephone: +241 742 964

Polyclinique Chambrier
BP 2230 Montagne Sainte, Libreville
Telephone: +241 761 468 or 729302
 
Useful contacts;
http://www.uae-medical-insurance.com  
http://www.allianzworldwidecare.com
http://www.international-health-cover.com  

Weather
Gabon has two dry seasons, one May through September and December and January can also remain dry. From September to December you can generally expect a small amount of rain and from February until May they have a ‘long rainy season’ which can become very hot, humid and uncomfortable.

 

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