A Quick Guide to Arriving in Libreville, Gabon by Air

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There isn’t a lot of information out there on Gabon, particularly, when it comes to Libreville.  The below will hopefully be useful for travelers coming by air and dispel some doubts about the arrival process.

Arriving and Immigration

Léon-Mba International Airport (LBV) is a small airport which is easy to navigate.  You will not need to fill out any forms, such as customs declarations, prior to arrival, but make sure you have your ticket and your passport out as you deboard.  Security personnel routinely check these as you leave the aircraft, although it’s usually nothing more than a cursory glance.

LBV is a small airport

Once off the plane, you will make your way to immigration.  There is really no way to get lost, as signs mark the way.  However, if you were approved an e-visa, you will have to pick it up at a separate window that is located to the right, just in front of the main immigration control point. Simply wait behind the yellow line until you are called and then hand over your passport and a printed copy of your e-visa authorization form which you should have received via email.

Next, you will be asked to pay EUR 85 or the equivalent in CFA.  The payment must be made in cash.  If you don’t happen to have Euros, don’t fret.  You will likely have to wait five or ten minutes before a guard will escort you outside to the main terminal where you can withdraw CFA from a bank ATM.  Once you have paid, your passport will be returned with your Gabon visa and stamp, and you can proceed directly to the exit and baggage claim.

Baggage claims is immediately after you clear immigration
The Terminal

There are not a lot of amenities at LBV, but it’s a good idea to withdraw some money here if you haven’t already done so as not all ATMs are in working order in the city, and this is definitely a cash economy (also beware that Visa is much more established here than MasterCard). Around the terminal you can find rental car offices, a pharmacy, and some eateries and coffee shops, but not much else.  There is also free WiFi at the terminal. It worth picking up a sim card here if you plan on staying for more than a week.  There is an Airtel kiosk near the taxi stand, and data plans start at CFA 4,000 (EUR 6) for one gigabyte.  This process usually takes about five or ten minutes.

After baggage claim you exit to the terminal
Leaving the Airport

Unless you have rented a car or have someone meeting you at the airport, you will almost certainly have to take a taxi to your destination.  The price is negotiable but shouldn’t cost more than CFA 5,000 (EUR 7.50) for anywhere in Libreville.  If you are staying at a hotel, just saying the name of the hotel is usually enough, but if you are renting an apartment, it’s a good idea to memorize a few key landmarks nearby, like a shopping center or a post office.  Many places in Libreville do not have a proper address, and a number of roads are unnamed.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

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