The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Gabon is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located between the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea on the coast of western Africa, its climate is tropical (always hot and humid).
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate (recognition of lifetime validity is uncertain) is required for all travelers aged ≥ 1 year.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2016) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the whole country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 90%, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax 10% combined.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Low risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Low risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking) exists throughout the country, mainly in Libreville, Port Gentil, and on remote beaches.
High risk of petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in crowded places (including markets, public transportation, and areas frequented by tourists). Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles is common.
Scams involving ATMs and credit cards have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in the cities of Libreville and Port-Gentil, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities.
Piracy (involving commercial vessels) occurs in coastal and international waters.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
The rainy season is from October through December and from February through May. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Gabon
- United States: [+241] 01-45-71-00; ga.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+241] 01-44-29-65; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/gabon
- United Kingdom: U.K. does not have an embassy or consulate in Gabon.
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Gabon.
Gabon's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.gambiaembassydc.us
- In Canada: www.ambassadegabon.ca
- In the U.K.: www.gabonembassyuk.co.uk
- In Australia: [+61] 2-9907-8707
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.