Your guide to being an expatriate in Gabon

Caffeinate Your Gabon Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Nestled between Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo in Central Africa, Gabon is a thriving country known for its vast oil reserves. With an overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $17 billion, Gabon has a high Human Development Index, making it one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. However, poverty and income inequality continue to be major issues, with over 56% of the population living below the national poverty line.


Expat destinations in Gabon

Demographics of Gabon:

Ethnic groups

Fang (41%), Bapounou-Bateke (18%), Obamba-Shira (14%), Teke-Mpongwe (7%), Mbundu-Kasai (6%), Gabonese Creoles (3%), Pygmy (1%)


French (official) 67.5%, Fang (Bati, Fenyi) 16.5%, Bapounou-Bateke (Eshira) 6%, Obamba-Shira (Logolo, shira) 4%, Teke-Mpongwe (Teke) 3.6%, Mbundu-Kasai 3.2%, Gabonese Creole (Fang-Creole) 1.1%, Pygmy languages 0.9%

Religion Overview

Religious practices in Gabon include Christianity, traditional religions, and animism, which see spirit worship as a path to divinity. The Christian majority have an estimated 70% of the population following Catholicism.

Major Religions


Gabon's climate is tropical because of its proximity to the equator, with a wet and dry season. The average temperature is between 24-26°C (75-79°F). The wet season runs from March to June and from September to December, with heavy rainfall up to 400mm a month during peak season.

Economy Overview

The Gabonese economy is heavily reliant on the resource extraction industry, particularly for the export of crude oil and gas. The significant investment in infrastructure has kept the economy stable and positions Gabon as Sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest oil producer after Nigeria. The service sector accounts for 49.6% of the economy, with finance being the most developed service in the country.

Key Industries

  • Oil and Gas Production and Exportation
  • Forestry and Wood Products Production
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Production
  • Mining and Quarrying
  • Manufacturing Industry

Major Companies

  • Perenco-Gabon
  • Gabon Oil Company
  • Elian Gabon
  • Compagnie Gabonaise de Reserve Gazières (CGR)

Culture and Language Overview

Gabon has a rich cultural heritage characterized by its diverse mix of ethnicities, including Fang, Bapounou, Obamba, Teke, and Mbundu-Kasai. Gabonese culture is expressed through rituals, music, dance, and visual arts, with traditional festivals featuring prominently, such as Loloma and Ndamanga. The country's political and economic stability has led to the emergence of Gabonese Creole, a language spoken by Gabonese Creoles and natives born to either an African or European parent.

Cultural Highlights

  • Loloma Festival: An annual cultural festival celebrated in the Gabonese coastal region in May. The festival features music, dance, and traditional masks, and locals indulge in seafood and local drinks.
  • Ndende Festival: An annual cultural festival held in June that celebrates the traditional dance and drumming performances of Gabonese children.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Gabon covers an area of 267,667 square kilometers (103,343 sq mi), with marine resources occupying nearly 75% of the nation's territory. Its eastern neighbor is the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), and the west borders the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.

Notable Landmarks

  • Ivindo National Park: Located towards the northeast of Gabon, this national park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, and over 150 bird species.
  • Loazi National Park: Loazi National Park, south-west of Gabon's capital Libreville, protects an African rainforest that remains largely untouched by human activity.
  • Campo Ma'an National Park: Established in 2002, Campo Ma'an National Park is home to several endangered species such as Duiker, Robin's Colobus, hippopotamus, and Western Lowland Gorillas.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • African Unity Day (May 25)
  • Independence Day: Commemorates Gabon's independence from France (August 17, 1960)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Armed Forces Day (December 7)

Political Stability

Gabon's political stability is high, with President Ali Bongo overseeing a government characterized by respect for democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. Gabon's economy benefits from stable and predictable oil prices, enabling Gabon to maintain political stability and avoid deep recessions that affect other African economies during oil price slumps. However, Gabon still faces corruption and income inequality, with recent political protests rooted in these issues.

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