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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 7 Mar 2010
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Gabon visa at border?

Any recent experience if visa are really issued at the border when entering from Cameroon? (German passports) Some post here suggest so but noone really seems to know for sure.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2010
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Hi, we crossed from Cameroon to Gabon in June 2009. Definitely no visa available here after crossing the bridge from Cameroon to Gabon. There was just a checkpoint where the official lets you pass after having checked that your passport has a Gabon visa. Gabon customs and immigration is done 25-30 km south in the next town called Bitam. Customs was easy, immigration took a while, they needed various photocopies of your passports, visa, etc. which can be done in a fax/copy shop opposite for inflated prices...

GPS waypoints:

Cameroon customs: 2° 19.549'N , 11° 26.148'E
Cameroon immigration/police: 2° 17.694'N , 11° 26.813'E

Gabon/Bitam customs: 2° 4.935'N , 11° 29.389'E
Gabon/Bitam immigration: 2° 4.759'N , 11° 29.558'E

BTW, going north from Gabon to Cameroon would have been a different story, as we would have been able to get a Cameroon visa on arrival.
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  #3  
Old 29 Mar 2010
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Micha,

If you got the Cameroon visa at the border coming from gabon, how much would it have cost? I was not aware you could get the Cameroon visa at any border at all?

Thanks for any information.
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  #4  
Old 1 Apr 2010
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crossed to Gabon 3 days ago, officer said it is difficult getting visa at the border, but not impossible. Not sure it is worth trying, did not tell me the price.
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  #5  
Old 1 Apr 2010
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Language

If you do not speak french, its better you get your visa before the border.

I spent two days at that border (in 2008). There was a German guy there and he was kept for about 8 hours, finally sorted it out.

Not speaking french makes everything a triple hassle as the two officials we met could not/did not/ want to speak anything else.

An Italian couple (with good french) in a LR came in and left in 5mins to the visa processing point which is (as stated before) some 40km inside.
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Port Harcourt, Nigeria
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  #6  
Old 9 Apr 2010
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Note that getting a Gabon visa in Lome (overnight) is the easiest place currently (and also for DRC).

Abuja takes 7 +working+ days for about 85 Euros - no budging on that apparently??? Or pay 52,000 Naira (260 Euros!) for the 'express' fee of 3 days!

The embassy in Yaounde is a horrible place - they are arrogant and complacent. The trick of collecting your visa the day after applying without paying the express fee does not apply anymore.

They only issue 20 visa's a day now!

An Italian couple were granted theirs on different days despite applying at the same time (numbers 20 and 21 as they were shown). It is hard to even get in the embassy when you go to collect the visa - they say come at 2pm to collect it, but keep you waiting until 5:30pm.

Different people have had different experiences, I guess it depends if the stampers and signature makers are around and if there is more than 20 applications a day.

Sadly Gabon seems to treat most foreigners with distain from my recent experience. Some won't even acknowledge you if you don't speak good French. Border people ran from efficient to corrupt. Detained a Swedish guy for 6 hours just outside Oyem for no reason. Others had troubles with the police just after the border bridge, I "I only speak english mate" 'ed my way through with no trouble. A constantly smiling kiwi idiot is best gotten rid of quickly I guess (Sweet as bro really confuses those who speak a little English).

I would suggest getting a visa beforehand as it is not a friendly hassle free border to approach without a visa etc.

Visa stamps are done at the Police just before and opposite the Shell station in Bitam. They have computers and attached web cams and everything!

All the points are in the tracks3africa West Africa maps - well worth the 12 odd Euro's.

Great roads in Cameroon and Gabon when they are sealed by the way!
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  #7  
Old 26 Apr 2010
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Just returned from Gabon and DRC embassies here in Yaounde.

Gabon opens at 9:00 (although the security guard last night told me 8:00). I went straight in, filled the form, and gave them my passport + 1 photo, no other docs. Oh, and some CFA's - 50,000 for Weds (it's Mon now), or +20,000 to collect next day at 12:00. I have to say I didn't find them impolite etc., and was out the door by 9:20. Just a bit pricey, but nothing like the 52,000 NIARA they wanted in Abuja. How much did they want in Lome?

So then to the DRC. Again very easy, but pricey. They wanted 60,000 CFA for 2-day service, or 70,000 for same-day, and 2 photos. So hopefully return there tomorrrow if I get Gabon as promised, pay for same day service in DRC and whole job done in two days.

And NO MORE VISAS REQUIRED!
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  #8  
Old 26 Apr 2010
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^ That's good news Ian. Could I ask, do the Gabonese offer a multi entry visa in Yaounde, or just single? Any idea on price?

Also, a price of the Gabon visa in Lome would be appreciated if anybody has one.
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  #9  
Old 26 Apr 2010
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Dave - I think there was a question about how many entries, - but I only put "1" as that's all I need - so don't know if more CFA for multi.

Yeah I'd be interested (or maybe p####d off!) to know the price in Lome. But certainly rule out Abuja if you're in a rush. When I was searching the net for that embassy, I came across a story where they'd been booted out of their old premises for not paying the rent, as they were not supported properly by Libreville! So maybe they're trying to make ends meet now - but they have a very smart new office.

Assuming these two turn up OK, I have to say generally how much easier it has been getting visas here than in UK (partly as I live 180 miles from London). My failed attempt to get a Nigerian one off Trafalgar Square was the biggest embassy-hassle yet by a long shot, very frustrating.
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  #10  
Old 26 Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanC View Post
When I was searching the net for that embassy, I came across a story where they'd been booted out of their old premises for not paying the rent, as they were not supported properly by Libreville! So maybe they're trying to make ends meet now - but they have a very smart new office.
Ha ha!! Kind of reminds me of reading about the DRC ambassador in Japan selling of the embassy in Tokyo during Mobutus reign to take advanatge of high property prices! Yet no account of where the money went was ever declared. Incredible!

Thanks Ian, appreciate all the information. Yep, the Nigerian embassy in London are notoriously difficult. Bamako or Accra are infinitely easier (generally). Thanks again. Keep enjoying the journey, I cant wait to get back out there, Im very envious of you!
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  #11  
Old 26 Apr 2010
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Ian, hopefully not, but don't absolutely expect your visa on Wednesday. I had the same experience, but they are very corrupt in there, and only issue 20 visas a day.

I went at the time I was told only to be told to come back the next day at 2pm. Went at 2pm, told to wait until 4pm, which turned into 5:30. Sadly this also mean't waiting over the weekend. So it took me a week to leave Yaounde for that one bloody visa.

Only when it rained did they actually let us back into the embassy to wait. I got mine, but two Italians submitted theirs on the same day (married couple) and they gave only one of them a visa and made the other wait until the next day.

Oh, I saw them eating oysters one day and drinking Champagne the next.

So take a hat and some water when you collect, you may be waiting outside now they have your money for oysters ;-)

Hopefully not, good luck!!!
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  #12  
Old 27 Apr 2010
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Oh dear. Sadly, your prediction is slowly unfolding "The Boss" (not sure if that's the ambassador?) is about as much use as a chocolate teapot! It seems that he's not been in yet this week, probably supped too much champagne, or eaten some dodgy oysters.

Went back today at 12:00, told to come back 2:00-2:30. Waited til gone 3:00, then told to return at 4:00-4:30, so gave them a bit longer and returned at 5:00. Now told to come back at 10:00am, but somehow I'm not optimistic that it'll be ready. So am already adding one day in Yaounde, but have a feeling it may be more somehow - just hope it doesn't go to the weekend. Actually the impression I got was that the guy on the desk was really embarassed - and he was quite happy speaking english.

My LP says Gabon wants to encourage eco-TOURISM! And their motto being "?????, Work, and Justice" - so maybe they should turn up for WORK and give me JUSTICE by refunding my express fee?

Just glad I'm only around the corner, not t'other side of city. Nicest hotel I've stayed in in Africa yet, although at CFA 30,000 maybe it oughta be, includes breakfast and is very spacious, clean, tidy, and has good WiFi (Meumi Palace N3.89240 E11.51284). And Yaounde (this area at least) isn't a bad place - but it would just be nice to get going!
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  #13  
Old 28 Apr 2010
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Been there today exactly as instructed, 10:00, 15:00, 17:00. Now have to go back at 10:00am tomorrow - that'll be my NINTH visit (so far)!

I wonder how long they'd take if they were trying to discourage tourists!?!
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  #14  
Old 29 Apr 2010
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Well I actually did get it at about 3:45, after turning up at 10:00am, and then being told to come back at 3:00pm That was 10 visits in total. Moral of this story? GET GABON VISA IN LOME!

Back on the road tomorrow at 10:00 if DRC visa ready as promised....
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