Gabon is a coastal nation bordering the Gulf and Guinea to the west and surrounded by the nation’s the Republic of the Congo to the east and south, and Cameroon to the North. Approximately 1.5 million people dwell within the Gabon’s 100,000 square miles.
Gabon is unusual in the sense that it is a relatively peaceful nation, and yet within its population exist over 40 different ethnic groups. The largest of these is the Fang people who make up more than 30% of the population, followed by the Bapounou people, who constitute 22% of the population. In addition to the national language of French, 32% of Gabonese people also speak the Fang language.
A number of religions are observed by the Gabonese people, but the majority (around 73%) practices aspects of Christian teachings. Approximately 12% of the population are Muslims, many of whom are foreign nationals; as much as 80% to 90%.
The climate of Gabon is dictated by its position on the equator. Therefore, 85% of the country is covered by rainforest, typical of regions that experience an equatorial climate. As mentioned, 10% of this land is protected as national parkland and are replete with fauna such as gorillas and elephants.
Gabon’s seasons are divided as follows: a short dry season that occurs from December to January when there is minimal rainfall; a long wet season that occurs from February to April, which is very warm and wet; a long dry season from May to September during which there is no rain; and another short wet season from October to November.
For entering Gabon either a tourist or business visa is required. The specific requirements can be found on the websites of your local Gabonese embassy or consulate, but in general you will need a passport with at least 6 months validity, the complete application form, your itinerary and accommodation confirmation, a proof of vaccination and an invitation letter either from a company or a family member or friend.
For expats planning on moving to Gabon for a longer period of time, the Department of Documentation and Immigration delivers two kinds of residency permits: a free residency permit, granted for example to expats working for the Gabonese Government, and a fee-paying residency permit. Both have a two year validity and can be renewed if necessary.