Getting a Visa for Gabon at the Border with Cameroon

After spending a day at the Gabonese embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon I was so annoyed I decided I wasn’t going to visit Gabon.  They were asking for all sorts of completely unnecessary documents, and the staff manning the front desk couldn’t be more rude.  I had decided that visiting Gabon wasn’t worth my time here at the embassy miserably.

I changed my plans to instead cross into Congo from Cameroon, until I met a Dutch couple who heard that getting a visa for Gabon at the border with Cameroon might actually be possible.  I searched online and all the forums and heard no information either way.  It almost seemed as though every other traveller just assumed you needed one and got one prior so the question of whether you actually need on never came up.  Thus, we decided to give it a try.

When we arrived at the border of Gabon and Cameroon, it turned out that the visa process was not only possible but completely hassle free.

Bitam, Gabon

The town of Bitam where immigration into Gabon is processed

This is how I got my visa for Gabon at the border with Cameroon.

Basically, once you arrive near the physical border you’ll go through the typical exit procedures for Africa.  You’ll stop at a police checkpoint where they’ll give you your exit stamp from Cameroon. Then, just 100m away you stop at customs.  Another 3km down the road the gendarmerie takes your information and you cross the bridge to Gabon.

Once you get to the Gabonese side of the Congo-Gabon border you’ll arrive at a police checkpoint.  He asked for my visa, I told him that I didn’t have one yet and he basically said “no problem, you’ll get it in Bitam.”  Not a hint of concern, not the slightest sense given that what I was doing was out of the ordinary.  The police make you fill out a fiche to take with you for immigration.  Then, just up the hill you stop at the gendarmerie so they can put your name in their ledger.  You’ll hit the road again and pass a customs office where they didn’t even get out of their chairs for me.  After that it’s 27km to Bitam and the immigration office.

The immigration office is in a building on the main road in Bitam that says “National Police and Immigration” or something like that.  When you go in there they might ask you to fill out a form and will definitely ask for a passport photo (if you need one there’s a place right across the road).  They don’t need a photo.  You’ll then go into a room where they take your picture, print out your visa and paste it in your passport.

The cost of the visa, which is 30 day single entry, was only 40,000 francs.  In Yaounde, they charge 50,000 francs for the visa and it can take 3 days to get back to you.

The conclusion?

  • Don’t waste your time in Yaounde.
  • No one even hinted at the fact that what we were doing was strange.  This is normal procedure.
  • Both myself and the Dutch couple have vehicles, it wasn’t an issue at all.
  • This might be the easiest and most efficient visa in Africa, if done at the border rather than the embassy.
  • Get your visa for Gabon at the border of Cameroon!

Have you tried for your Gabon visa at the border of Cameroon recently?  If you have we’d love to hear what your experience was.

I crossed into Gabon on March 26, 2013


35 Comments

  1. Hey, i was wondering if you needed the hotel reservation confirmed at a mayor office, and did you need anything specific?

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    • Nothing. All they asked for was a photo copy of the passport, and you can do that across the street if you need. Just say you’re just a tourist and they’ll bend over backwards for you. So easy.

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    • i m planning to go from india to gabon,is it possible that i can get visa on border?

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      • There’s no land border between India and Gabon… if you mean at the airport, then no, it’s not possible, you need to get your visa in India.

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  2. That’s great news, thanks

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  3. Did this ten days ago, worked a gem. Thank you!

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    • Glad to help mate! Here’s to hoping the option stays!

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  4. Has anyone done this going the other way? From Bitam into Cameroon? I am having similar trouble with the Cameroon Embassy in Libreville.

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    • No idea, don’t think it’s possible though. Strange to have problems with Cameroon, they are usually really easy 🙁

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  5. Hi I am Jade from USA and I been there alone and currently in Cameroon.

    It is a very exciting traveling trip you will never forget.

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  6. Hi Brendan,
    did you hear you can also get visa on arrival at the border coming from the republic of congo??

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    • Nope, I didn’t. Is that new? It certainly wasn’t the case when I was there, but that’s over a year now.

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  7. when traveling from Cameroon to Gabon what can be the overall cost in transport and immigration fees? Please also help me with directory information leading through from the border to posibly the first three towns into Gabon.

    thanks

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  8. I wish I had read this post before I entered into Gabon in April 2015.

    However, I’m not sure if this is still possible to do.

    Most people I talked to said that in the last year Gabon has really clamped down on giving visas at the border. They said it was no longer possible.

    Of course, as you know, Brendan, misinformation abounds in Africa, and you never really know what is reality until you try it yourself – and often that reality may change from day to day and person to person.

    Still, if you try to copy Brendan, just be prepared to have to drive back to Yaounde and go through the extreme hassle of getting a visa without a residency permit. It’s HARD!

    Post a Reply
    • Francis, you’re right about the misinformation. And, let me tell you that they lie to you in Yaounde. It was the Congolese Embassy that told us it was possible. I got an email from someone just 2 months ago that said it was still possible, it still took him only about an hour.
      But, as Francis says, be sure you have a back up plan like getting back to Yaounde, or skipping Gabon and going through Congo instead.

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  9. please can someone tell me if this process is thesame for citizens of the CEMAC zone crossing over to and from gabon? thanks and hope to hear from you BRENDAN. I mean with a cameroon passport or gabonesse passport

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  10. Whatzup man pliz i wana know if it’s possible to get a one week visa into Gabon at the border with Cameroon (bitam) am from Douala Cameroon

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  11. Not possible anymore. Tried on the second week of August 2015 (10/08/2015) which lead me to Ntam that boarders Congo-brazaville. Construction is on going for both from cameroon and from Congo-brazaville

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    • Thanks for the update!
      Is the road to Congo decent now? Or still rough?

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      • Hey Brendan! any news about the crossing the j kim mention to congo? im arriving to cameron on the 8th of december and will love to cross either to gabon or congo

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      • Also Brendan,
        can you be specific about what info and papers they ask in tondo gabonese embassy? maybe with a month in advance i can get that ready and is not such a hassle

        thanks!

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  12. hei brenda want to if the route as you described from cameroon to gabon is still possible to get a visa at the border to gabon

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  13. does anyone knew any route to enter mozambique by route or where to get mozambique visa on arrival of the border

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  14. Can I a Cameroonian go to Bitam from yaounde with just an ID card?

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  15. How can one process a Cameroonian visa at the Douala airport? What happens if I arrive at the airport without a visa?

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  16. I am a Nigerian, i want to travel to Gabon through Cameroon can I get visa @ the boarder?

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  17. I would like to spend my holiday in Gabon, how can I get the visa. I’m from Nigeria

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  18. Please how much can be the cost price from Cameroon to gabon

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  19. Pls what is the cost of the journey.

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  20. Please people i want to hit bostwana by road from nigeria with my car, any body with relevant informetion can please reply me or call, i also need mates who would love to embark on the adventurious journy…+2347062454507.

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  21. i am travelling from gabon to nigeria i need your advise.
    plan to start my trip tomorrow

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    • It may be possible through bitam

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  22. I am planing to travel to Gabon in two weeks time is it possible for me to get a visa at the border?

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  23. Hello I am planing to leave Cameroon by road to Gabon tomorrow I want to know If its still possible to get a visa at the border and how much please

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  24. Hello Brendan:
    I am fed up with the outrageous air fares between Cameroon and Gabon, and am considering buying a motorcycle to do the trip (I do it 3 to 4 times/year). As far as you recall, how good are the road conditions? I know the drivers are crazy, and the weather can be tricky, but…
    At what speed do the taxis or buses drive when not in towns? 90 kmh? 60 kmh?
    What proportions of the roads in Gabon are pothole free?
    Thanks,
    Chris

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