Living in Gabon guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Gabon.

About Gabon

Gabon's enlightened conservation policies and the 'Green Gabon' programme, as well as a zero-tolerance attitude to poaching, make the country appealing to conservationist and wildlife enthusiasts. However, it is still relatively unexplored and is mainly visited by primate researchers, oil executives, and French people (around 10,000 French expatriates are thought to be living in Gabon).

There are 43 living languages in Gabon, but the official language is French, as Gabon only gained independence from France in 1960. Various elements of the French culture can still be enjoyed in the country ' including the cuisine ' which is another potential attraction for European expats. Its low crime rates and political stability also make it appealing to expatriates and, although the country's infrastructure is still hugely underdeveloped, it has very few geopolitical or demographic pressures, which is a relief to those relocating from overseas.

With a population of just under two million over 267,667 km², this predominantly Christian country enjoys the highest GDP per capita on the continent thanks to its oil reserves. Although Libreville is the country's capital, where there are the most employment opportunities for expatriates, Port Gentil (known as POG) is referred to as the small economic capital of the country due to its proximity to the oil fields.

Oil revenues account for a good chunk of Gabon's GDP. As the Gabonese economy relies heavily on its oil reserves, there are many job opportunities for expatriates in this sector. However, in order to preserve so much of what makes the country special, there is a call to keep a tight lid on logging, palm oil plantations, and oil drilling in Gabon. In recent years, there has also been a great deal of criticism about the country's over-reliance on falling oil revenues, as well as speculation that supplies could run dry in the next decade. This has meant that a shift of focus to high-end tourism is starting to be seen, which is likely to create more opportunities for expats in this sector too.

Like all equatorial countries, Gabon boasts a tropical climate, which means that you can expect it to be hot and humid throughout the year. However, you can escape some of the humidity by heading to the coast. Gabon has two main seasons ' a rainy season between February and May, and a dry season from late May to mid-September.

Quick Information

Capital : Libreville
Official Languages : French
Currency : Franc
Area : 267667 Km2
Population : 1545255
Calling Code : +241
Timezone : Africa/Libreville

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