Surfing in Gabon
Gabon is a relatively small african country located at the central coast, just below the “Armpit of Africa. The country has significant areas of protected parkland which says a lot about the beauty and natural resources of this nation. White sandy beaches, lush green jungles, untouched wildlife and goof infrastructure should make this an easy tourist destination but surfing in Gabon is not a big thing yet. There are plenty of perfect reeling left-handers scattered along the 267km of coastline due the good exposure to roaring forties swell, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere winter months. The best time to surf is from April to October and the most consistent months are from June to September. The best things about the surf conditions in Gabo is that the water is warm year round and there is rarely any wind affecting the waves so any swell that hits the coast won’t be blown out. Another positive side is the lack of crowds. Most of the surfers in the country are expats because west africans have developed a great fear of the ocean forcing them to stay on dry land and with limited swimming skills. The great majority of surf spots are located close to Port-Gentil and the capital, Libreville. Making a surf trip to Gabon is having the opportunity to surf in a totally different place, surrounded by nature at all times and definitely out of the beaten path.
Climate in Gabon
The climate in Gabon is equatorial with hot and humid weather all year round. There is a short dry season from June to August and a dry season from mid-May to September. The temperature variation is minimal along the course of the year. The warmest months are from January to May and the coolest months are from June to September. Gabon has good exposure to roaring forties swell, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere winter months. The best time to surf in the country is from April to October and the most consistent months are from June to September. The winds are very gentle or none and rarely affect the surf conditions. The water is warm throughout the whole year and you can surf just in your board shorts.
Best surf spots in Gabon
Most of Gabon’s well known surf spots are located around Port-Gentil and the capital, Libreville, but the best waves are found down south in the Loango National Park. Here are the registered surf spots in Gabon: Gombé, Cap Lopez, Palplanche, Guegue, Ekwata, La Ferme aux Crocos, Mayumba and PG2.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $8 USD. Mid-range meals start at $15 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $30-60 USD
You should bring your own gear.
Prepaid SIM cards
Gabon Telecom is a good choice. SIM cards can be purchased from Gabon Telecom stores called agencies.
Prepaid packages start at $2 USD.
There are very few paved roads. For long distance travel the most comfortable and quick options are to take internal flights or the Trans-Gabon train.
Buses run between major centres and are very cheap.
Taxis are found in all towns. You can hire the whole vehicle, known as 'une course' or you can just buy a seat in a shared taxi, known as 'une place'.
Car hire is available but you'll need a 4WD if venturing out of town and they are extremely expensive. You’re better off hiring a driver at around $60 USD a day.
$1.06 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Inconsistent swells. Rocky reef breaks. Elephants and hippos!
How to prepare
Citizens from 48 countries, including EU, US, and Australia, need to apply for an eVisa online or may obtain a visa upon arrival. All others will need to apply for an eVisa.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella. You may be asked to show proof of your yellow fever vaccination if you come from a country with a risk of yellow fever.
Things to know
Language & Currency
French is the official language.
Central African Franc (CFA)
Best time to go
April to October and the most consistent months are from June to September.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf pictures of Gabon at #gabonsurf.