Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Gabon

AfricaGabonHow To Travel Around Gabon

Outside of cities, the bus is the most convenient mode of transportation (typically 6- or 9-seater cars, but sometimes minibuses). There are a lot of them, and they’re all extremely inexpensive (e.g. 7000 XAF to go from Libreville to Lamberene). Taxis are abundant and inexpensive inside cities. For one individual, no fare shall exceed 5000. The cost of a ticket is determined on the distance traveled (and whether the driver will be able to find more fares at your destination). A two- or three-minute drive will set you back 100 XAF, while a trip from Owendo railway station to Libreville’s downtown area would set you back 2000 XAF. After 21 hours, taxi rates usually increase.

By plane

Oyem, Makouko, and Franceville/Mvengue are among the destinations served by Air Service. Franceville/Mvengue is served by Air Nationale. Except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there are flights to Franceville/Mvengue every day of the week. Africa’s Connection operates daily flights between Libreville and Port Gentil, as well as weekly flights between Port-Gentil/Libreville and So Tomé and Prncipe and Loango National Park.

By car

Although Gabon has some paved roads, a vehicle should sufficient if you are staying in one of the main towns. A 4×4 is needed if you intend on going into any of the dirt roads outside of the main towns. Gabon has fewer than 800 kilometers of asphalt roads, some of which are in poor condition. Even with a 4×4 car, traveling outside of large metropolitan areas during the rainy season is challenging.

By train

From Owendo to Franceville, the Trans-Gabon railroad runs. The journey takes 12 to 18 hours and is often delayed. Seasonal variations in train schedules exist. Trains run both directions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, according to the current schedule (Basse 2014 as of March 2015). The Omnibus and the Express are the two trains in operation. Both take about the same amount of time, although the Express makes fewer stops at smaller stations. On the Express, air conditioning is available in VIP, 1st, and 2nd class, but only in VIP and 1st class on the omnibus.

By bus

A few well-heeled Gabonese businessmen have invested in new buses for bus lines that serve the country’s major cities. Most of these buses go between and within cities with paved highways. These bus companies have significantly expanded their routes after Air Gabon ceased operations.

By boat

Boat transport is accessible along Gabon’s coast and hundreds of kilometers up the Ogooue River to Lambarene. Every day, boats depart for Libreville and Port Gentil. Every few days, river excursions are offered from the mouth of the main river at Port Gentil to Lambarene (Albert Schweitzer Hospital). Weekly boat trips between Port Gentil and Omboué (near Loango National Park) are organized by Hotel Olako and last between 3 and 4,5 hours (depending on the type of boat and engine).