Outpost Expatriate Information Centre

Document Sample
Outpost Expatriate Information Centre Powered By Docstoc
					                        Outpost Gamba
                                   Inside Guide
Updated March 2010

Prepared by the volunteers of
Outpost Gamba
Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 – 10:00 A.M
Tel. +241-559333

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
1 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
This Inside Guide was prepared by Outpost Gamba volunteers.
All of the information is based upon our personal experiences of coming to, and
living in Gamba; we hope it will help to make your move go smoothly so that you
can settle into life in Yenzi camp quickly and easily once you arrive.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on


The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
1 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
On the Map                                                                                                                      4
      Expatriate Community
Then and Now (cultural aspects)                                                                                                 5
      History and Language
      Cultural Sensitivities - ‘Do’s and Don’ts’
      Museums and Galleries
      Places of Worship
The Move                                                                                                                        7
      Pre-Arrival Requirements
      Useful documents
      Vaccinations and Medical Checks
      Banking arrangements
      Helpful Publications
      Accompanied luggage
      Travelling with children
      The Essentials
      What to wear
      On Arrival / Welcome
On The Inside                                                                                                                   12
      Public Transport
The Learning Curve                                                                                                              17
      Boarding School
      Local (and other) Language Education
      Local Opportunities for Adult Education
      Employment Opportunities for Spouses
Health                                                                                                                          19
Life of Leisure                                                                                                                 20
      Libraries/ Arts and Crafts
      Going Out
Where to Turn                                                                                                                   23
      Emergency Numbers/ Useful Telephone Numbers
      Public Holidays
      Cooking conversion and size equivalents
Appendix 1                                                                                                                      25
      What you can expect to find in your house
Appendix 2                                                                                                                      27
      What to bring
Appendix 3                                                                                                                      33
      “Dictionary” for inventory

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
2 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.

    Gabon straddles the Equator on the west (Atlantic) coast of Africa. It is bordered by
    Equatorial Guinea in the north-west, Cameroon in the north and the Republic of
    Congo in the south and east. We are GMT +1.
    Gabon is slightly larger than the United Kingdom (267,667 km2) and virtually all of it
    is in the basin of the 1,200 km long Ogooué River. The Cristal Mountains in the north
    are about 900 metres (3,000 feet) high but the highest summit is in the central
    Chaillu Mountains (Mount Iboundji is 1,575m or 5,167 feet.
    In addition to oil, Gabon is rich in mineral resources such as uranium and manganese.
    Gold mining is carried out on a small scale and deposits of iron, lead and silver have
    also been discovered.
    Gabon is part of the Equatorial African tropical forest which is the second largest
    tropical forest on earth. The popular image of this region (depicted in many atlases as
    a large green blob), is a monotonous, unchanging and impenetrable "green hell". We
    prefer to think of it as an amazing “green paradise”. When flying over it, it does
    indeed look impenetrable. A common remark is that it “looks just like broccoli”, but
    once you are on the ground you can appreciate the many open spaces frequented by
    animals, the paths through the trees and the huge biodiversity.
    In July 2004, the population was estimated to be 1.3 million. About 83% of the
    people live in urban areas. As much of the interior, being dense rainforest, is virtually
    uninhabited, the overall population density is 4 per km2 . The main population
    centres are Libreville (the capital), Port-Gentil (the economic/petroleum centre) and
    Franceville (the mining centre).
    Gamba is a small town on the coast, approximately one hour’s flight (direct), south of
    Libreville. It has grown around Shell’s activities and currently has around 10,000
    inhabitants. Gamba is split into 5 areas known as Plaines. Most senior Shell staff
    (>=jg7) live in Yenzi camp which is about 12 km outside Gamba itself. There are
    about 150 houses and a few studios. Yenzi has a Shell School (Ecole Yenzi), the Yenzi
    club, the gym and an 18-hole golf course. A few minutes further down the road are
    the airport and “supermarket” (L’Economat). The terminal and offices of Shell Gabon
    are about 2 km from Yenzi. With the exception of a tarmac road linking the airport,
    the terminal and Gamba, roads are either laterite, (unsealed), or sand tracks, making
    a 4WD vehicle desirable.

    The climate is humid and tropical but is moderated by the Atlantic. During the wet
    seasons it is very wet. The annual rainfall for Libreville is quoted as 2.5 metres, and
    there are often amazing thunderstorms when it is advisable to unplug electrical
    equipment. The dry seasons are generally overcast, though still quite hot during the
    day. At night, however, it is often cool enough to need a sweater. The good news is
    that the sun does shine, mainly in the rainy season. Christmas time often sees a
    "mini dry season" when the weather can be very pleasant if not traditionally festive.

    The Expatriate Community
    Including rotators who work 28/28, there are around 70 Shell expatriate employees
    living in Gamba and Rabi, including around 25 families with accompanying children in
    Gamba. Over the years the number of families with children fluctuates significantly, for
    an up-to-date view please contact Outpost Gamba.         There are also currently 17
    expatriate contractors in Gamba. At the end of 2003, 21 nationalities were represented
    in Gamba, the 2 largest groups being British and Dutch. The expatriate workforce is still
    mostly male.     However, there is a growing number of expatriate female staff.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
3 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    History and Language
    The discovery of Stone Age tools indicates early settlements in what is now Gabon but
    little is known about the first inhabitants. By the 13th century the Mpongwe people
    were established in the country. The first contact with Europeans was with the
    Portuguese in the 1470’s. During the following 350 years, first the Portuguese and
    later the French, Dutch and English carried on a lucrative trade in slaves.
    In 1839 the French, with the agreement of the Mpongwe ruler, made the first
    permanent settlement. Libreville was founded a decade later by freed slaves. Over
    the next several years the French extended their rule inland and in 1866 they
    appointed a governor to Gabon, which was then attached to the French Congo. It
    became part of French Equatorial Africa in 1910. There are still close ties with France.
    French is the official language (there are more than 40 local languages) and the CFA
    Franc, once linked to the French Franc, is now linked to the Euro.
    During World War II Gabon was held by the free French and in 1946 it became an
    overseas territory of France. The first Gabonese cabinet was formed in 1957, with
    Leon M’Ba as Prime Minister. The following year Gabon voted to become a semi-
    autonomous republic in the French community. The country declared independence
    on 17 August 1960 and in 1961 Leon M’Ba was elected President. A military coup
    overthrew President M’Ba’s government in 1964 but French troops intervened and
    restored him to power; he was re-elected President in 1967. Upon M’Ba’s death later
    that year, Vice President Albert Bernard Bongo succeeded to the presidency.
    President Bongo, who later assumed the Moslem name Omar, was re-elected in 1973
    and retained power until his death in 2009. During the mid-seventies Gabon began to
    loosen ties with France and the French speaking regional organisations.         With
    Gabonisation, the government became a partner with many foreign firms and native
    Gabonese filled management positions once held by foreigners. Favourable markets
    for Gabonese exports, especially oil, natural gas, uranium and manganese contributed
    to rapid economic growth during the 1970’s but the economy cooled during the
    following decade. Gabon entered a period of political transition in the early 1990’s.
    Following demonstrations in 1993 an agreement was reached in 1994, and
    constitutional changes were made. A Senate of 91 members is elected and a Vice
    President is appointed by the Head of State. In September, 2009, a new president
    was elected, Ali Bongo, (son of the previous president).
    Shell Gabon’s history began with the discovery of oil onshore in the Gamba/Ivinga
    fields in the early 1960s. Production increased with the discovery of the giant Rabi-
    Kounga field in the mid 1980s and the Toucan field at the end of 2001 and Awoun in
    2004. The company headquarters are located in Gamba where Shell Gabon operates
    the Gamba/Ivinga and Totou fields, the export terminal, accommodation and various
    supporting services. The Rabi and Toucan fields are situated north of Gamba along
    the southern coast in an area blanketed with rich tropical rainforest.
    The main language of Gabon is French however there are many other local languages
    because the ethnic make-up of Gabon is diverse. There are approximately 50 ethnic
    groups, divided into 10 larger groups, all Bantu people. The Fang (primarily in the N
    and NE) are the dominant ethnic group (31%) followed by the Mbédé (25%) in the SE
    (this group includes the Téké, the Mbété and all other groups in the SE area), the
    Eshira (22%) in the SW and the Myéné along the coast. Pygmies are believed to have
    been the original inhabitants of the country but only a few thousand remain.

    The religion traditionally practiced by the Gabonese is Animism – God is the creator of
    the Universe but is remote from man. It is the world of the spirits that is closer and is
    the most important element in religious belief. The witchdoctor or “nganga” has a
    vast knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants and trees and acts as a healer as
    well as a maker of charms and talismans. Officially 70% of the population is
    Christian, mostly Catholic. Mr Omar Bongo, the previous President, was a convert to
    Islam and about 1% of the population is also Muslim.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
4 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    Places of Worship
    There are many places of worship in the Plaines, many of them very small and attended
    by specific nationalities or religions. There is a Mosque, a Catholic church, and several
    Protestant and Evangelical churches. Most services are spoken in French.

    Within Yenzi camp, there are several small groups gathering to worship in English,
    including a relaxed Sunday morning Christian Fellowship at the Cinema Hall, a
    structured monthly family service, and other weekly small group meetings.

    Cultural Sensitivities
    Not a big issue on a day to day basis, you do not need to be careful how you dress
    etc. However as in most countries, the subject of politics is better avoided, (in
    particular in the run up to elections), and you should be aware of the sensitivities
    surrounding the tribal system.
    There is an old belief that if you take a photo of an African you are stealing their soul.
    This is not so strongly held now (indeed many locals love to pose for the camera), but
    it is still better, and indeed polite, to ask first. Even if taking a photo of, say a dead
    animal in a market, ask first; you may even be asked to pay for the privilege. You
    should never take photos of anything military (including the airport), or presidential.
    The notion of time in Africa is not the same as in Europe – Africans do not rush, so do
    not expect things to be on time. In Gabon it is polite to say “Bonjour” to everyone
    you meet. For some reason this becomes “Bon Soir” from midday onwards.

    Museums and Galleries
    The Musée des Arts et Traditions on the Boulevard de L’Indépendence in Libreville is
    said to be one of the best in Central Africa as the quality of objects on display is high.
    It traces the history of Gabon and notably of its people. In particular the wooden and
    grass-covered masks mostly Tékém Gang and Mistsoho stand out. There is also a
    collection of small, carved harps, fetishes and baskets plus an authentic Mitsogho
    In the Quartier Atong-Abé le Musée de la Foret is a small museum about the
    Gabonese forests, it seems to be a bit run down.
    While the church of Saint Michel de Nkembo is not really a museum or gallery it is
    well worth a mention here. It was originally built in 1949 but the decoration, which is
    the interesting part, was begun in 1967. There are 31 wooden pillars all carved with
    scenes from the bible by Zéphirin Lengogno.
    There are several shop type galleries in Libreville and Port Gentil. Prices are high and,
    in some cases, you cannot be sure that the items are actually from Gabon. For
    cheaper, tourist items you can visit the 2 Artisans markets in Libreville or several
    stalls in Port Gentil.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
5 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
The Move

    Pre-Arrival Requirements
    Useful Documents
    Your passport should be valid for at least 12 months and have at least 4 blank pages.
    Please note that for nationalities without an embassy or consulate in Gabon it is not
    possible to renew a passport in Gabon - if your passport is quite old or almost full,
    you may choose to renew it before you come to Gabon.
    If you are not officially married you will need some form of proof that you are a
    couple, in French this is le certificat de concubinage, for more details check with Shell
    Gabon HR.
    Your children’s birth certificates will need to include the names of both parents, e.g.
    the ‘short’ version British birth certificate will not be acceptable.
    Shell will arrange your work and entry permit. A Commission of several people in
    Libreville grant Work Permits. The process may take 8 weeks – occasionally longer;
    Shell has no influence over this Commission. Once the Work Permit is granted, the
    application for the Entry Permit (in place of a visa) is submitted to the Chief of Police
    in Gabon – it can take approximately 4 weeks. This letter (in French) is faxed to you,
    bring it with you, as you will need to show it when you check in. The original stays
    with a Shell representative in Libreville, who will meet you and help you through
    Lately new arrivals have spent their first day in Libreville to obtain their Carte de
    Séjour (Residence card). If this does not happen, you will need to return to Libreville
    after a few days. Your Carte de Séjour should be carried with you at all times –
    certainly for all trips out of Gamba, some people keep a copy in their car with their
    other papers.
    You may drive with your home driving licence until you apply for a Gabonese licence;
    you should do this as soon as you have your Carte de Séjour, no test is involved. The
    police quite often have checks of car papers so it is important to apply for your
    Gabonese licence as soon as you can, and to carry the temporary paper with you until
    the permanent licence comes through. The temporary paper is valid for 3 months and
    you will probably need to renew it before you finally get your actual driving licence.
    An International Drivers License is also a useful document to have.
    Residents (except the French, and all accompanying children) need to apply for an
    exit/entry visa a few weeks before leaving the country. The Company will arrange
    this for you and will cover the cost for business trips/annual leave etc., but you will
    need to pay the fee (varying depending on nationality) yourself for split leaves.

    Vaccinations and Medical Checks
    You will need to have a Yellow Fever vaccination to enter Gabon – your “yellow book “
    will be checked after you pass through immigration.          In 2003 the Gabonese
    authorities were asking for proof of vaccination against Meningitis A & C, but this
    seems to have ceased.        Shell does have it on the list of injections, along with
    Typhoid, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B. Shell has also started to
    recommend Rabies prevention vaccination (a course of 3 injections). Children should
    be covered by the other normal childhood vaccinations. As with any Shell posting,
    you will undergo a thorough medical before you are definitely offered the job.
    As Gabon is endemic for both Ovale and Falciparum Malaria you are strongly
    recommended to take prophylaxis. Please see the Shell Gabon document of Malaria.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
6 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    Banking Arrangements
    The local currency is the CFA Franc, previously fixed to the French franc, it is now
    fixed to the Euro at a rate of around 656 (check the currency rate as the shown rate
    may vary). Part of your salary will be paid locally and part will be paid overseas.
    Some people choose to set up an “offshore” bank account in e.g. the Channel Islands.
    The internet connection in Yenzi is fast enough to allow internet banking; you may
    need to set this up with your home country bank before you arrive. The salary
    package is the Shell IBAS package so it is calculated in Euros, the amount you receive
    into your account may vary month-to-month depending on the exchange rate of your
    bank account currency to the Euro.
    There is a branch of the Gabonese bank BICIG at the Terminal and almost all expats
    have their local bank there. You will receive a chequebook but a lot of transactions are
    cash based in Gabon, and there is not much call for credit cards at all. Some shops in
    Libreville and Port Gentil may take cheques but you cannot rely on it, and the cheques
    seem to change almost yearly without notice!
    You will receive a salary advance within the first week of arrival, but we suggest you
    bring between 500 and 1000 Euros to see you through until the advance is received.
    You can pay with Euros in the Economat (our local supermarket), you can probably
    change money with other expats, they are useful for trips into Europe.

    Overseas household contents insurance has become very difficult to find over the past
    year. Shell and Kroller Assurantien in The Hague have got together and persuaded
    Nationale Nederlanden to offer a policy available to all expats wherever they are posted
    in the world. Unfortunately they do not offer insurance for valuables other than in the
    home at the present time. This may change in the near future. For more information
    Local Gabonese insurance is available but its reliability has not been tested and all
    correspondence / policies are in French.
    You can insure your car locally, however anything other than 3rd party is so expensive
    that most people take the bare legal minimum, including passenger liability.

    Helpful Publications
    Unfortunately most of the books on Gabon that were formerly available are no longer
    in print. However there is an excellent guidebook in the Bradt Travel Guide series on
    Gabon / Sao Tome & Principe which is available on If you are
    interested in birds, amazon also has a few books on the birds of western/central
    The Smithsonian Institution spent 2 years doing a Biodiversity project in the Gamba
    area with funding from Shell – they produced a magnificent coffee table book with
    many of the photos that were taken. The Edge of Africa was available on amazon, but
    is currently out–of-print; it can be seen in some of the larger Outpost offices around
    the world. The photographer Carlton Ward has his own website where you can see
    some of the photos and click on Edge of Africa.
    If you are interested in facts and figures take a look at the CIA website on Gabon, it’s
    full of interesting statistics

    You will find an attachment with a booklist and webpages at the end of this document.

    Rover, or Felix, can come, but at your own expense. It is essential to ensure they are
    booked on the same flight as you are, as there are no kennels in Libreville and it
    would be a pain to have to return there from Gamba if the animal arrived after you
    Gabon has no quarantine period but a valid inoculation certificate is necessary. This
    must show that the dog or cat is chipped and has his/her current vaccinations for the

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
7 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    usual canine or feline diseases which must also include rabies. This certificate should
    be translated into French to avoid any confusion when you arrive. The airline you
    travel with will advise you of their requirements, for example some are very strict
    about the cage your pet will travel in. Most will insist on a certificate of fitness to
    travel, which must be issued by a vet, a maximum of 72 hours before departure.
    Otherwise it seems to a fairly easy experience, if rather expensive – you turn up at
    check in with your pet in its cage, they are weighed and taken away – be warned this
    is a very expensive route for all air tickets and the excess baggage rate is therefore
    also very high. If you have a small cat or dog, less than 5 kilos including travelling
    cage, you can take it into an Air France plane as hand baggage, in Business class as
    an extra piece, in Economy instead of your normal bag. Air Gabon is well known for
    delays and cancellations, if you are travelling with a pet we would advise flying with
    Air France.
    As there are no kennels in Gamba, if you go away for a weekend or on leave you will
    need to rely on friends to ‘pet sit’.
    There is no longer a vet in Gamba, however the club organizes for the vet from Port
    Gentil to visit once every so often, he can perform sterilisations, give inoculations and
    “chipping” etc. When there are serious problems you can visit him in Port Gentil.

Accompanied luggage
Experience shows that airfreight may sometimes arrive after the sea freight! – we suggest
you make full use of your luggage allowance to ensure you have the things you need to
make life comfortable for your first few weeks in Gamba. The loan float is fairly
comprehensive (see attachment 2), but please note the items we suggest you should bring
with you, or have in your airfreight.
Air France is currently (Q2/2008) granting 2 PCs (pieces) of luggage per person. This
means -when travelling Business Class- that each piece (PC is e.g. suitcase) can have a
max. weight of 32 kgs; In economy max. 23 kgs/PC). The hand baggage entitlements are
also more attractive than other air lines.
Internally, when flying on the Shell flight with “Air Affaires Gabon”, from Libreville to
Gamba, the cabin luggage limit is one piece of 12kg per person, (although recently they’ve
been telling people that it’s 5kg). Any excess checked baggage will be booked as freight
and if there’s going to be any charge, it will be on SG internal accounting in accordance
with SH policies. However, excess baggage on Air Service Shared Commercial flights are
chargeable by Air Service.
It is common sense to have valuables and important papers in your hand baggage rather
than in suitcases or freight.

Travelling with Children
Shell Gabon does not allow you to travel with Gabon Airlines or Air Maroc, when you travel
on company provided tickets, so you will arrive with Air France. Flights are almost always
very busy so it is important to pre-book your seats, especially if you are travelling with a
small baby who will need a bassinette. If you want a special child meal, this should be
booked in advance too. Air France may not allow two children to sit next to each other
without an adult, so you may need to change the seating arrangements once you are on
board. If you are travelling with a stroller (buggy) be warned that it may not be possible
to check it in at the gate. There will be strollers available after check-in, but they are not
suitable for children younger than 16 months.
The flight arrives in the late afternoon. There is no onward flight to Gamba later in the
day, therefore, you will have to spend the night at a hotel in Libreville. Consider bringing
extra food for your baby/small infant as well as insect repellent and a mosquito net cover
for your stroller.
As it is very possible that you might spend the first day in Libreville to get your Carte de
Séjour, make sure you have at least one change of clothing for your children plus
snacks/drinks and toys/books to keep them amused. If you do stay in Libreville, you will
be collected from the hotel, and then be taken to the Immigration office to get your cards,
this may take a couple of hours so the children will be tired and bored! It is a good idea

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
8 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
to pack these items in hand baggage anyway, as suitcases do occasionally go missing for a
As far as living in Gabon with children goes, assume you cannot get anything and pack
accordingly, then if you can get something it will be a nice surprise!

The Essentials
For lists of what you can expect to find in your house and what to bring please see
appendices 1 and 2.
There is a video library open on Monday and Friday evenings from 5:30 - 6:30 pm.
Bringing a laptop in your carry-on is handy for movie watching and immediate Internet
It is possible that after you arrive you will ask why we suggested you bring certain items,
as they are available in L’Economat; experience has shown that whilst some things are in
stock now, they may well not be seen again for months, or years!
Your airfreight from Europe should take about 2 weeks to arrive as far as Port Gentil, BUT
it has to clear Customs there, and then has to wait for space on the weekly barge to bring
it by sea to Gamba. If Shell is very busy with drilling activities etc. these have priority on
the barge and it may take quite a while for your airfreight to actually get to you. Bikes are
a popular item for airfreight. They will transport you to the club or school in 5 – 10
minutes from anywhere in the camp, and 8 – 10 minutes to the offices at the terminal.
Your sea freight from Europe can take about 2 months to arrive at your door.
Do not forget to fill out your customs clearance documents immediately after your arrival.
The sooner they are done, the earlier your goods are released from customs and on your
doorstep in Yenzi. Your seafreight may be “visited” by customs in Yenzi.

What to Wear
You cannot buy quality new clothes or shoes in Gamba, although there are a few choices in
Port Gentil (POG) and Libreville (LBV). (You need to fly to either of these locations). There
are tailors in Gamba who do a good job, but the local fabric is generally of poor quality and
not to European taste; better fabric is available in POG or LBV.
There is no dry cleaning facility in Gamba – it is possible in POG or LBV, but will take some
Lightweight, washable, natural fibre clothing is the best for Gabon’s climate. During the
day most ladies around camp wear capris or skirts and t-shirts or casual blouses. The
same goes for children, (shorts and t’s are most popular); clothes will be washed
frequently and fade quickly, and children grow even more quickly, so bring lots and in
different sizes. (Don’t forget bigger sizes of underwear for the kiddies)!      Men tend to
wear shorts with t-shirts or polos around camp. It is sensible to bring some long trousers
and long sleeved tops for evening to prevent mosquitoes from biting, and you may need a
pullover or cardigan, as it can be relatively chilly. In the rainy season you will need a
waterproof jacket, preferably of breathable fabric; if you cycle a poncho is a good
Office Wear
Men - suits and jackets are seldom worn at the office. Generally, open neck shirts and
trousers are worn. However, you will need a suit and tie if you are likely to meet with
government officials. If you travel to the field you will be supplied with a coverall, boots,
hardhat and glasses.
Women – suits and protective wear, as above. Ladies tend to wear cotton dresses, skirts
or trousers with a blouse.
Social and casual
Casual clothes are suitable for most occasions here. You may like to have some “smart
casual” clothing for coffee mornings / Friday night at the club / dinner parties / Scottish
Night /International Night, etc. There are several times throughout the year when Black
Tie or National Costume are called for, so bring evening dress too. Sometimes there will
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
9 liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
be opportunity to make a complete fool of yourself and dress up – bring any bits and
pieces you may have for fancy dress – wigs, outfits etc. etc.
Bring a good supply of any clothing you need for the sports you practice; if you run you
will find that clothes made from man-made wicking fabric are better than cotton, water
bottle carriers are quite useful, and shoes wear out more quickly than normal. For golf
you will need shirts with a collar. The chlorine in the pool and sun mean that swim suits do
not last as long here, and most children and some adults are wearing sun shirts at the
beach and pool. Waterproof sunscreen is very handy, as are sunglasses and hats. (Hats
with a string are good for boating activities). Cool, sturdy clothing with long legs and
sleeves are best for trips into the bush and camping. Tennis lessons are available for all
ages. Bring racquets and balls.

The local selection is poor and expensive. Bring children’s shoes in various sizes for them
to grow into – sandals and trainers are popular, with beach type sandals or flip-flops good
for the pool and beach. The houses all have tiled floors that can be cold and hard, you
might like to bring slippers.

Hardly anyone wears Wellington boots. Most people wear sandals when it rains as they
dry out quickly. Your shoes will get wet and muddy in the rainy season, and dusty in the
dry season, so they soon look the worse for wear. Bring more than you think you will
need. Closed in shoes are best for in the garden as there is the possibility of getting
Jiggers in your feet – insects that lay their eggs under the skin and cause a cyst.

For golf you will need shoes with as flat and smooth a sole as possible as there are no
greens here, but browns made of compacted sand. The surface of the tennis courts is
quite slippery when it is wet and it seems that proper tennis shoes are better than ordinary
trainers. Inter-departmental / inter-nationality football matches occur at various times
during the year – football boots could be useful.

There is a shoemaker in Plaine III who can do basic stitching and fixing heels.

On Arrival
As previously mentioned you will have received a copy of an entry permit letter by fax, you
will need to show this on check in as you will not have a visa in your passport.
You will travel with Air France, as the company no longer approves company provided
tickets on Gabon Airlines; as the flight arrives in the late afternoon you might like to make
sure you have insect repellent in your hand baggage.
A Shell representative will meet you before the immigration formalities. He will take your
passports and sort out the entry requirements for you. It will be helpful if you have your
passports ready as the queues at immigration get very long and the person who meets
you will be in a rush. You will need to show your yellow vaccination cards before you leave
the immigration area to collect your bags. There are trolleys to the right as you enter the
baggage area, there used to be a charge but this seems to have been dropped. You will
need to show your passport at customs, and may need to open your bags.
Once outside, try to ignore all the guys who will want to help you with your bags, a
forceful “Non, merci” is usually enough and the Shell rep. will help to deter them too. He
will take you to his vehicle and then take you to a hotel for the night. In the morning, he
will collect you to get your Carte de Séjour (residence card), or will take you to the Air
Affaires Gabon terminal to await your flight(s) to Gamba. If you stay in Libreville for the
Carte de Séjour, you will be picked up from the hotel at about 7:00A.M. and taken to the
Immigration office; the procedure may take a couple of hours and involves signing forms,
having a photo taken and then getting your card. The rest of the morning will be free at
the hotel. You may well want to sleep, or there is a pool. After lunch the Shell
representative will collect you to take you to the airport for your flight to Gamba via Port
Gentil – 25 minutes to POG then another 45 minutes with Air Service. If you come directly
to Gamba, the Shell representative will take you to the Air Affaires Gabon terminal, your
flight will probably leave at 07:45, or there abouts, and take you to Port Gentil first then

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
10liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
on to Gamba; if you arrive on a Saturday morning the flight goes (generally) directly to
In Gamba you will be met by a volunteer from Outpost, someone from your department
and someone from HR. You will have to do a safety course before you get a rental or Shell
pool car to use for the first 3 weeks.
If you arrive in the morning you should be free until lunch when you will be taken to Yenzi
club to eat. After lunch you will go to the Terminal to start an induction, get your Shell ID

As of January 2010, the government of Gabon has mandated that office hours are from
07:30 to 15:30. Work schedules in Rabi vary depending on the job.
Children will probably begin school the day after they arrive. School hours are from 07:30
to 11:15 for younger kids and from 07:30 to 13:15 for the bigger ones.
If you arrive on the afternoon flight you should be able to eat in Yenzi club that evening
and then start fresh next morning.
There will be a “basket” of items in your house to see you through until your first visit to
the Economat (Shell “supermarket”). We will always be just a phone call away, any
problems please do not hesitate to ask.
A welcome coffee morning or welcome drinks in the evening for the non-working spouse
will be hosted by Outpost Team representative fairly soon after your arrival.


Gabonese Customs inspectors will carry out a thorough inspection of both your
unaccompanied airfreight and your container (40 feet). They are interested in all new and
electrical (especially) items. The airfreight will be checked in Port Gentil before it gets to
you, your sea freight container is not opened until the Customs officials arrive at your
house to check the contents against your inventory. The correct documentation is vital – a
detailed inventory list in French (see appendix 3 for a “dictionary” of helpful words)
marked with prices, serial numbers of electrical goods and items less than 6 months old;
you will also need to show invoices for those items less than 6 months old. If you have
kept original boxes for items, Customs will assume they are new and you will need receipts
to prove otherwise. Shell will pay the duty in full on most items in your first consignment,
not, however, on new furniture other than beds. They will also not accept the duty on
more than 6 months supply of consumable items available locally, nor on multiples of new
electrical items.

Yenzi is a camp location; there is no property market or estate agents to deal with. The
camp is situated on the shore of Lake Yenzi and is attractively laid out with most houses
having large, mature gardens. Almost all of the 153 houses are single storey and detached
or semi-detached with 3 or 2 bedrooms and 2 or 1 bathroom(s) respectively. There are
also some studios (bachelors) and guest-houses (for business visitors) on camp. Your
house will be assigned by HR before you arrive – this is based mostly on family size
(accompanying or non-accompanying children etc.); job group and length of service may
have an impact too, but is a bit hard to work out sometimes. “Management houses” are
job related others are not.
There are several types of 3-bedroom house on camp (depending on when they were built)
with slightly differing room layouts. As the camp was built in several different phases the
numbering system can be hard to work out – house (known as case) 10 is next-door to
number 27, 5 is next-door to 36, which is opposite 68! Don’t worry, you will get a map.                                          Formatted: Font: 9 pt
(It’s in the “Perroquet”).
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Normal, Justified, Space After: 0
The houses have air-con units in the lounge, bedrooms and kitchen.
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Font: 9 pt
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
11liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
As there are so many types of houses it is difficult to tell you what curtains you will need. ,                                  Formatted: Justified
iIn general all the bedrooms will have one window which is 2 m wide by 1.5 m to the sill,
2.25m to the floor, most houses have one window 2m x 1.5m in the kitchen (some have 2,
but not many) and lounges have 3 windows 2m x 1.5m (2.25m to floor) plus a patio door
2m x 2.25m. , tThere are exceptions with 2 patio doors but not many. The bathroom
windows are not suitable for curtains, nor are they necessary. Your house may have
curtain rails or poles. (All bedrooms have built in cupboards)
The rooms all have round ‘bathroom’ type ceiling lights, . Iif you want to bring lights to
change them with, you will need 2 for the lounge and one each for the bedrooms. The
kitchen will have a central fluorescent tube and small under-cupboard tube lights.
Not available locally, and becoming a popular import after leave trips, are mosquito net
door covers for the kitchen door.     (They have been available in Libreville, but no
promises). Shell has decided to have mosquito netting on all the patio areas and windows,
in line with the Malaria Policy.
There is a storage/utility area off the kitchen. Some houses have a door between these
areas, some are open. You might like to bring a long curtain and a pole/curtain wire (a
shower curtain and extendable pole would work in most cases). (Bamboo door curtains
have been picked up in Libreville, but again, no guarantee that you’ll find one in Gabon if
you want one. Most items picked up in Libreville are imported, and also expensive).

It is normal to employ a ménagère (maid) and a gardener. As soon as word gets around
that you have arrived you will have queues of people at your door asking if you want to
employ them – DO NOT employ anyone without, preferably, a personal recommendation.
The hours you employ a ménagère will very much depend on the size of your family and
how much, or little, you want to do yourself. The ladies will clean your house, do your
ironing, look after your children through the day and, at extra cost, baby-sit in the
evening. Typically they will work either in the mornings or in the afternoons for you, but
some people do have a full-time ménagère; by European standards it is very cheap to
employ staff, ask around for the going rates.
Be warned that not many of the “gardeners” know much about gardening – they will
however, rake leaves and tidy the garden, wash your car and patio etc. . Shell contracts
to have the grass cut in all the gardens and common areas around camp; you do not need
a lawn mower, but a wheelbarrow and a good rake are handy items to have..
When you employ staff make sure you have a trial period, so that both sides can get out of
the arrangement if it doesn’t work out. Start with 2 – 3 times per week; it is easier to ask
someone to work more often, than to cut his or her hours.

A 4-wheel drive is essential if you are going to go off road, and there are not many roads
around Gamba! Even a trip to the beach needs a 4x4.
From January 2008 Shell Gabon does not grant car loans anymore.
The possibility of a loan from the bank or credit company in Gabon is available, but very
costly. As the dealers involved have bank accounts in France, it is highly recommended to
arrange for an initial payment of XAF 15 million (= approx. EUR 23,000) into the available
French bank accounts via bank loans in your home country or your own private savings.
The balance min XAF 5 million or more, is then to be paid locally via your salary account in
Gamba within 5 – 6 months after the purchase of the car.
The majority of the European and Far Eastern 4WD’s are available within Gabon.
However, due to the remoteness of Gamba (far away from the dealers), it is recommended
to limit the purchase of cars to Toyota Prado’s or Mitsubishi Pajero’s, both running on
diesel. Some like to buy a Suzuki or Toyota RAV4, but these are petrol driven cars and the
quality of the petrol is sometimes questionable or not always available. The few local
mechanics are generally quite capable to repair and service these types of cars.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
12liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Shell have negotiated special deals with the main dealers in Port Gentil for Mitsubishi,
Nissan, Suzuki & Peugeot (dealer: CFAO) and Toyota.

The current (Q2/2008) prices of the Prado’s are ranging from XAF 20M to XAF 27M. The
current price of the most basic Pajero is XAF 18.9M. These prices are for the long wheel
base types. The import duties make the dealer price of short wheel- and long wheel base
types almost the same. Consequently, you will mainly see LWB-types.
The two local dealers involved will supply the purchased car immediately (subject to
availability), based on your guarantee that the initial payment of XAF 15M will be settled
via the French bank account within 4 weeks.
If you do purchase your car in Port Gentil, you can have it transported to Gamba on the
barge by completing a "Bon de Transport" (available on sww).
The license plates + car documents (so-called “Carte Grise”) will normally follow
separately,; the “Carte Grise quite often follows a while later.”. The dealer will issue
provisional authorisations, which are valid for 60 days only. The dealers need to be
reminded frequently to renew these authorisations in order to avoid police fines.
An insurance company ("Assurances de Gamba" = ACG) is available in Gamba, - (next to
the airport car parking),- to have your car insurance (obligatory) arranged. A 3rd party
and passenger liability coverage is sufficient, due to the low risks in this area.
It is recommended to bring the car requirements, such as a fire extinguisher, 2 warning
triangles, 1st aid box, safety vest with reflective stripes. These articles are also locally
available, but it is more economic to bring them with you. A (long) tow rope, shovel and
planks are also required, in case you are getting stuck.
We recommend that you do NOT import a car into Gabon. Someone who did so at the
beginning of 2004 made the mistake of bringing a petrol version and the local fuel is still
leaded. It all turned out to be a very expensive business due to the complicated local
import regulations for cars. That colleague said after his experience “there are plenty of
decent cars locally available, even if it means having to go to Port Gentil to buy one”.
You can drive with your home driving licence, but should apply for your Gabonese one
immediately upon your arrival (via HR-services). There is no test involved.
On camp, traffic is slowed by speed bumps and in general everyone is very aware of
children on bikes, etc. The speed limit is clearly marked at 30 kph . In the terminal it is
40kph. Off camp the speed limit is variable. The maximum speed limit is 60 kph on Shell
roads and 80 kph on Gabonese roads, maximum speed limit is 60 kph with dangerous
stretches being marked at 40 kph. You should be aware of local taxis, which tend to
overtake on corners etc. But in general, there are not many cars around – no traffic jams
here! The other hazards can be potholes in the rainy season and wildlife crossing the
road, especially at night. Once you get away from Gamba/Yenzi, the roads run out and
you will need to engage 4 wheel drive if you are on sand and may need to reduce the
pressure in your tyres. If you are on business and have a rental car (mainly EGCA or
AVIS), the driving in Port Gentil is not too bad, but in the capital Libreville it tends to be a
bit fast and furious.

NB: the environment around Gamba is perfect for keen off-the-road bikers. You might wish
to bring your own (mainly) Honda, recommended is up to max. 450 cc.

As mentioned previously the local bank is BICIG, the offices are at the terminal. There is
no ATM cash machine in Gamba so you need to go to the bank to cash a cheque; it is
possible to get cash on a foreign card by visiting the manager, if he is in the office! It is
easy to transfer money overseas if you do not manage to spend all your locally paid salary.
Statements may take a couple of months to arrive. At the end of the month the queues to
withdraw cash will be very long, try to do it a few days before payday.
It is possible to do your overseas banking business by internet banking, you may need to
set this up before you leave for Gabon.
No one has insurance locally except for their cars. As previously mentioned contact Kroller
Assurantien for overseas household contents insurance.
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
13liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Shopping Places
The only supermarket in Yenzi is l’Economat beside the airport. It is run for Shell by
Sodexo (who also runs the Yenzi Club), they import goods from Europe and sometimes
South Africa. We have a small selection of fresh meat arriving once a week and a not too
bad selection of fruit and vegetables – prices are steep. There are some locally produced
items – aubergines, tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers etc. Fruit and vegetables with a
longer shelf life – potatoes, apples etc. arrive in a container, we sometimes have spells
without these items until the next container arrives, but they are usually available, if
sometimes a little sad looking. Otherwise vegetables are of the frozen or tinned variety. If
you are vegetarian make sure to bring plenty of dried pulses etc. There are larger
supermarkets in Port Gentil and Libreville; you can use one of your 9 annual shopping trip
entitlements to stock up on items not available in Gamba. In Plaines there are a couple of
small ‘supermarkets’ and another that has a good selection of wine. There are no special
food products e.g.: low fat, diabetic, or gluten free – if in doubt please ask us.
It is possible to buy some fresh vegatables at our local plantation these are cucumbers,
aubergines, tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, courgettes, spinach, paksoi, longbeans etc.
The plastic bags provided in L’Economat are of poor quality, a shopping box/crate is very
useful, as is a coolbag to prevent your ice cream from melting before you get home!
Most of the products are French – e.g. cleaning items, toilet rolls, biscuits, nappies,
shampoo etc. This does mean we have a very good selection of wines – South African ones
too. Mostly there is a plentiful supply of various beers and spirits.
See Appendix 2 for suggestions of what to bring with you.
For a selection of local produce there is a market in Gamba town where ladies sell their
items from stalls on the main street, and a few smallermarket gardens selling lettuce,
cucumbers etc.
Department stores – sadly, not available. However the supermarkets in Libreville are more
like hypermarkets with a larger range of goods.
Specialist Shops – in Port Gentil and more in Libreville e.g. CK2 sells white goods, garden
items, crockery, cutlery, pans, shower curtains etc. It is also surprising what you can find
if you have a poke around in Gamba.
Factory Outlets – we wish!!
Mail Order - You can order books and magazines on the internet to be delivered via the
expat mailbags in London or The Hague.
Post Office – Few people use the local post, letters take about 2 weeks to get to Europe,
but the stamps are beautiful – letters are mostly given to people going up to Europe, bring
stamps from UK and Holland especially.
The Expat Mail mailbags are only for mail coming TO Gabon – they will only accept letters,
magazines and other printed material (including books). They sometimes return credit
cards to the issuer and this can cause your account to be blocked.
The addresses are:
Name                                            Name
Shell Gabon – your reference indicator OR       Shell Gabon – your reference indicator
Expat Mail                                      Expat Mail
Shell Centre                                    Postbus 245
London SE1 7NA                                  2501 CE Den Haag

Hairdresser / Beautician – Today, two Shell spouses are providing beautician services.
Details like dates and prices are available in the weekly club newsletter. Men often have
their hair cut at home by their wives, or there are sometimes spouses on camp willing to
cut hair.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
14liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Setting Up Utilities
Shell broadcasts 8 channels in English and 4 channels in French to Yenzi. You will need a
PAL B/G or multi-system television, the same for a VCR. The 8 channels are voted for by
Yenzi residents. Mid 2008 this system will change. It is recommended to buy your own
satellite dish and smart card for the South African DSTV satellite services. Information can
be given by Yenzi residents.
There are a few French language stations on FM and also Radio Yenzi broadcasting music
(104.1). With a short wave radio you will be able to get BBC World Service, Radio
Nederland Wereldomroep and probably many more, if you know where to tune to.
Home internet access is provided by Shell as our ISP. Your computer must be set up to go
via a proxy server, you cannot use a mail programme and need to have a web based e-
mail account, yahoo and Hotmail are very good providing 250mb of free storage and an
excellent spam filter. The internet conection is not always up to speed. It is possible to
make phone calls (Skype) over the internet but not always clear.
You shall find a modem already setup at your house, with wireless connection. You have to
keep in mind that internet is very slow, not always available and the connection is not
suitable for webcams.
Shell generates the electricity for the terminal and Yenzi. The supply is 220v; the sockets
are French, 2 round pins with a recessed ground. If your electrical items do not have plugs
that will fit here, consider buying extension bars so that you do not need to change so
many plugs. Bring surge protectors as we get amazing electrical storms in the rainy
season and people have lost TVs, VCRs, washing machines etc. in the past. Your house
will come with an electric stove, refrigerator and a large deep freeze. It is not easy to get
electrical equipment fixed locally – will yours last 4 years? If you’re unsure, consider
buying new items.
The tap water on camp is potable – some people do prefer bottled drinking water, which is
readily available at L’Economat. Outside you will normally have 2 taps, one is industrial
water, OK for the garden but bad for car paintwork as it contains laterite.
Your phone will probably not be set up to dial outside of Yenzi to prevent everyone who
has been getting the house ready from using it, a call to CIT will sort that out quickly.
International calls are very expensive and the lines are sometimes poor. Many people use
Skype for overseas calls.

Public Transport
There is a bus from Yenzi to the terminal just before the start of work each morning and
afternoon (and back again), but most expats drive or cycle to work. Outside of Yenzi there
are local taxis, but these are not widely used by expats. Taxis can be used quite safely in
Port Gentil and Libreville, choose a car that looks in fairly good condition, Shell suggests
you do not share with people you do not know, you will need to negotiate the price first as
taxis do not have a meter.

                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
15liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
The Learning Curve

Ménagères are the only type of childcare available in Yenzi; they will look after your
children if you want to play sport or go shopping through the day and will baby-sit (at
extra cost) in the evening.
There is an informal mother and baby/toddler group that meets each week in a different
house. Previously the gym was used for a weekly session of Tumble tots but this is not
ongoing at the moment.

Pre-Nursery Information

Les Eléphanteaux pre-nursery is situated in Yenzi Camp where the majority of pupils live.
It is part of Ecole Yenzi but is a 10 minute walk from the main building. The pre-nursery
class is lead by a qualified teacher and he is supported by a team of voluntary nursery
workers, with a minimum of one worker for every 8 children enrolled.

Criteria for enrolment
In line with Shell policy, Ecole Yenzi has one pre-nursery class. This is a bilingual class
(base language being English) and is open to children intending to join the ELS
(International Language Stream) or FLS 9French Language Stream). Children are eligible
to enrol in the pre-nursery if:

They are toilet trained.
Their third birthday falls during the term in which they enrol.
One or both parents are Shell employees, salary group 7 or above.
At the Head teacher’s discretion and if numbers allow, children of contractors may also
enrol at the pre-nursery. Contractor’s children will be will required to pay school fees of
190,000 CFA per month.
The maximum number of enrolments in the pre-nursery class is 18. In certain
circumstances and at the Head Teacher’s discretion, the maximum number may be
increased to 20.

Mission Statement
Les Eléphanteaux is part of Ecole Yenzi and therefore shares the same mission statement.                                         Formatted: Justified
Les Eléphanteaux aims to develop the whole child by providing quality learning
experiences in a safe and stimulating environment. We will encourage all associated with
the pre-nursery to work with and respect each other’s differences and our special

Les Eléphanteaux will work to prepare children for starting school. The pre-nursery follows
a programme drawing upon the best practice of various curricula. The activities will enable
the children to develop skills in:
Personal Development
Social Development
Knowledge of the world
Mathematical Development
Creative Development
Physical Development

School Hours
Pre-nursery is currently open from Monday to Friday mornings from 7:45 to 10:15.

Co-ordinator Les Eléphanteaux
Luanne Kerr PSC (Tel: 9139)

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
16liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Crèche                                                                                                                           Formatted: Justified

There is also a crèche for children apart from 18 months. At the moment it not clear which                                       Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Indent: Left:
hours the crèche will be running, as a new person has taken up this coordinating role. This                                      0", Right: 0"
is on a voluntary basis and there are no ties with Ecole Yenzi.

Ecole Yenzi is the Shell school on camp. There are 3 streams in the Dutch language,                                              Formatted: Justified
English language and French language. The English and Dutch follow the International
Primary Curriculum (IPC) The French stream follows the Gabonese curriculum. There are
at present (2007) 3 full time teachers for each language stream, and class sizes vary from
5 to 15 children. If you require information on Ecole Yenzi please contact either our office
or the school directly on for a copy of their very comprehensive
school brochure.

Merger of the Dutch and International Streams
In May 2007, an educational consultancy team from SNOB (The Netherlands) and
Fieldwork Education (UK) visited Ecole Yenzi. One of the purposes of the visit was to
examine the viability of maintaining separate Dutch and International streams. As a result
of this visit, Ecole Yenzi was advised to merge the two streams into a single International
stream. The reason for this recommendation was the shrinking number of students in the
Dutch Stream and the effect this could have on the social and emotional development of
the children. That is, small combined classes with a large span of ages per class are
generally not effective learning and developmental environments. Furthermore, this
decision is consistent with the global trend of declining provision of full Dutch education
abroad as more and more Dutch expatriate staff prefer international education with mother
tongue provision for their children.

After consultation with Group Education and the parents of children currently enrolled in
the Dutch stream, Shell Gabon has decided that the 2008/9 school year will be a year of
transition, during which the Dutch and International streams will work even more closely
together for a smooth transition into the International Stream. Effective September 2009,
the Dutch stream will be fully closed, and Ecole Yenzi will be a Shell school with two
streams: an International and a French stream. However we will offer NTC-provision
(Dutch Language and Culture), which will enable our Dutch students to continue
developing their language skills, thereby facilitating a return to Dutch education, without
any difficulties.

Children of Dutch families currently attending Ecole Yenzi will be supported through the
transition period by the provision of additional English language instruction, as well as the
continuation of the Dutch language and culture program. Effective immediately, children of
all new Dutch families joining Shell Gabon will automatically be enrolled in the
International stream.

Secondary education for expatriate children is not possible in Gamba; there is a French
language international school in Libreville. Children over 12 of parents based in Gamba
will generally attend boarding school in their home country.

Since February 2005 Shell Gabon has reintroduced language trainers for French and
English. Lessons are open to employees and spouses, however if there are more applicants
than places available, priority will be given to employees. There are sometimes French
speakers on camp who are also willing to give lessons to spouses. However, we strongly
recommend you buy a good French course on CD or dvd, as well as a dictionary of your
own language to French.
There are no opportunities locally for adult education other than distance learning using
either the internet or by mail (as long as there are no CDs etc. involved).
There is no employment for spouses, unless you are a specialist of some kind e.g. in the
past we had a physiotherapist and at the moment one lady has a work permit to be the
supply teacher for Ecole Yenzi.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
17liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
On a volunteer basis, many ladies get involved with Entraide, a charity to raise and
distribute money to needy projects and people mostly in the local area. In the past one
lady taught English as a foreign language at a local school, and other ladies are teaching
English at the Terminal to local staff. People also have helped in both Yenzi crèche and a
local crèche and clinic.


Transfer and Health

During the transfer process you (and your family if applicable) will be asked to do a
medical and you will be advised on what vaccinations to have and on protection against
Malaria. A proof of vaccination for yellow fever has to be shown on entering Gabon.

It is strongly advised to take the suggested malaria prophylaxis and to take all measures
to prevent being bitten by mosquitos, as Gabon is endemic for both Falciparum and Ovale
Malaria. You can find information on Malaria at

                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

Medical facilities in Gabon

In Gamba we have a clinic with 2 doctors, 3 nurses, a laboratory technician and two

The Clinique has an emergency room, x-ray and ultrasound facilities and people to handle
them around the clock. You can reach them via 1111 or 558888 (outside Shell Gabon

Twice a month the pediatrician, the dentist and the ophthalmologist are visiting.                                                Formatted: Body Text, Justified, Indent: Left:
                                                                                                                                 0", Right: 0"
In Rabi we have our second Clinic. We do general medicine and occupational health from
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
this site.

For medevacs a helicopter or airplane are available 24 hours a day.

The Total Clinic in Port Gentil is used for hospitalization. It has both a surgeon and an
intensive care internal medicine specialist. If you have medical problems whilst in Port
Gentil you can use the Total clinic (556000). For medical emergencies in Port Gentil the
Clinic is open 24 hrs/7 days.

In Libreville Shell works with Cabinet de Groupe as primary health care provider (743131
or 743232) and contact for medical emergencies 24 hrs/7 days.

If necessary patients can be referred to specialist in Libreville or Port Gentil.

In some cases it is necessary to be evacuated abroad to the first available centre of                                            Formatted: Justified


All expats are insured via BUPA for medical costs. Shell has his own coverage agreed with
them. You can find information at their website. BUPA also provide separate (on your
request) International Travel Insurance with attractive rates.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
18liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
For medevacs Shell Gabon works with ISOS (+44 (0) 1273686426). This is an
international organization that supports people all over the world with medical problems.
You can always find their contact information on the backside of you BUPA card.

Safety                                                                                                                           Formatted: Justified, Indent: Left: 0"
Gamba is in such a remote location that the security risk is lower than in many other
countries of the world and we are lucky to live in a particular friendly and relaxing
environment. A local company manages security at Shell locations and around the camp,
but most of the times they are just there to assist with catching snakes or other animal.
There is a very low level of petty crime such as theft, but prevention is better then cure,
therefore do not leave personal belongings unprotected laying around outside your
house such as toys, bicycles etc. In Libreville and Port Gentile the same amount of care
should be taken as in any city in the world.
As in every other tropical country outbreaks of tropical diseases might take place but
again because of the remoteness, Gamba is quite often safeguarded from that. If there
is an outbreak of any Tropical disease Shell Gabon Medical Services sends out
information and a travel advisory for the part of the country affected.
At certain times of the year Elephants enter the camp, which become a nuisance when
you want to play sport or driving around on you bicycle at night. Shell built a fence
outside the camp but this is not preventing Elephants from entering the camp. We still
see elephants singly or in large groups and it is sometimes hard to remember that they
are wild animals and should be approached with caution. They are very quiet and hard
to see in the dark – you will sometimes only know they are around by the strong smell.
The Camp area has a Speed limit of 30 km/hr and several speed bumps are preventing
cars from speeding in the camp. Therefore is very safe for children to drive around on
their bicycles and most children are going to School by bike. It is advised (compulsory
as of school year 2008) however to buy a cycle helmet for your children to make it even
safer, especially for children who are not used to riding bikes before coming to Gabon
We have beautiful endless beaches and a BBQ on the beach at the weekend is quite
common. The sea looks very attractive to swim however Shell advises not to swim
because of the strong current. If you like to swim Port Gentile has very nice beaches
where even small children can safely play and swim in the sea
Snakes are seen regularly, if left alone they will mostly go about their own business; if
they become more of a problem Security will catch and release them in the forest. We
are very close to nature on Yenzi camp, but everyone considers it a privilege to perhaps
catch a glimpse of a gorilla and with sensible precautions wildlife does not have to be
cause for concern.
As this is a tropical location many of the plants you would find in Europe as houseplants
grow here naturally – some are poisonous and some may drop coconuts on your head!
Many gardens have Oleander bushes, they have beautiful flowers but all parts are highly

                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

Life of Leisure                                                                                                                  Formatted: Justified, Indent: Left: 0"

Yenzi club has a book library with adult and children’s books in Dutch, English and
French; there is no charge to borrow books. In addition there are an English and a
Dutch children’s library at Ecole Yenzi.
There is a French language video library as well as a larger section with videos and
DVDs in English and a few videos in Dutch too. A small fee is paid to rent the videos and
DVDs that helps to fund the purchase of new titles. The DVDs are for region 2, if you are
not arriving from Europe you may need to purchase a multi region DVD player.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
19liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
There is also a CD library but as there has not been much interest shown in it over the
past few years the selection is rather out-of-date. Radio Yenzi is run from the CD library.
Yenzi club owns equipment that allows budding DJs to perform at parties etc.
Yenzi Club has a craft room, with facilities to practice a small range of crafts. In the past
there were silk painting lessons, cross stitch and quilting, at the moment there is not
much going on except preparations for the craft stall at the annual Charity bazaar just
before Christmas. Lessons and activities very much depend on who is living here at any
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Yenzi Club has a swimming pool and there are lessons during school time for all
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified, Indent: Left: 0"
children, with the possibility to gain British and/or Dutch swimming certificates. There is
a small wading pool for toddlers. The club also has 2 floodlit tennis courts with all-
weather surfaces; a local coach gives lessons to children and adults. Behind Yenzi club is
a squash court, lessons are normally available from one of the expats.

On the lakeside by the Yenzi club is the Yenzi Sailing Club (YSC). The club material
consists of 6 Laser Bugs (2010), 10 Lasers, 2 Hobie16 catamarans (new sails 2010), 2
2-person Canadian canoes, 2 1-person sit-on kayaks, 2 3-person kayaks (2010), 1
normal rowing boat (2010), 1 double scull, and various windsurfers. An official water-ski
boat is available for pleasure and lessons (2010). Around 20 adult and children
lifejackets (2010) are also available to guarantee safe use of equipment. The club is
located at a sandy shore near the boat paillotte which is used for various social
activities. A beach volleyball court is expected (2010) and tennis court and swimming
pool are very close (25 meters).

The gym is near the school and is used by them at various times for their gym lessons –                                          Formatted: Justified, Indent: Left: 0"
the ground floor has a basket ball court, ropes bars etc. and can be used for badminton,
volley-ball, 5-a-side football, aerobics, Yoga etc. Upstairs there is some fitness
equipment. Outside there is a football pitch that is also used for rugby and hockey, in
the past for cricket and softball too.
At the opposite end of camp is the 18-hole golf course, there are no greens but browns
made of compacted sand. There is a driving range and life has recently been made
easier as you can now pay someone to collect the balls for you! The rough tends to be
very rough depending on the season and how fast the grass grows; what with birds
nesting in the ground and the sounds of wildlife from the bushes Gamba golf course is
considered to be fairly challenging. Never the less this is the ideal place to take up golf if
you have always wanted to give it a go – there is an annual fee but no green fees! Make
sure you bring plenty of balls, and a set of clubs and a trolley, as you can’t buy them
Shell has several powerboats located at Ndogo that can be booked for trips on the
lagoon. You need to have a powerboat licence to take them out but there are courses
twice a year if you don’t have one already.
Fishing is a very popular sport here, either from the boats on the lagoon or off the
beaches; there is a fishing club that holds regular competitions. For a complete list of
‘essential’ equipment please contact our office.

                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
20liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    Going Out

    Yenzi club has a bar and restaurant and every Friday night is club night with a special
    menu. You can order pizza to take away or to be delivered to you at home.
    In the Plaines there are several small restaurants with Gabonese menus of mostly
    fish, rice and plantains, but there is one restaurant with a more European feel to it
    where the food is excellent. There are also several ‘night clubs’. You will not find
    theatres or cinemas in Gamba – but every so often there will be some kind if
    entertainment at Yenzi club – a Playback, a Review or a play – by Yenzi residents for
    Yenzi residents.
    On business, or a shopping trip, in Port Gentil or Libreville there is a lot of choice of
    places to eat

    Gabon is not the easiest of places to get away from, Air France is the only company
    which meet Shell’s standards if you travel on a company provided ticket.
    If you are paying yourself, you are of course free to choose which airline you use; Air
    France, Gabon airlines, Air Maroc, Ethiopia Airways, Inter Air, Virgin Nigeeria and
    South Africa Airways.
    South Africa is a very popular destination for split leave, with people taking the
    opportunity to go on safari, travel around, visit vineyards, go shark or penguin
    viewing or to just relax and enjoy the restaurants and the shopping. People have also
    gone to Kenya and Tanzania for safaris, but the connections via Douala have not been
    so good; Air Service has recently started flying from LBV-Douala, but we have no
    feedback as yet. From Libreville you can also fly twice a week to Sao Tome, it is only
    a 35-minute flight and well worth the visit; you can also visit Principe and Bom Bom

    Gabon is also not the easiest of places to travel around – the lack of roads and dense
    forest mean that you will almost certainly need to fly for part of the journey – it is
    possible to drive to Lambaréné and Libreville, but it is a major expedition involving
    lots of planning and spare wheels!
    Gabon now has 13 National Parks, many of which are not accessible to visitors, Iguela
    has developed a hotel complex with a pool and it is possible to take safaris, go whale
    watching (at the right time of year) see gorillas etc. There are many interesting things
    to see and do in and around Libreville; you can take a boat trip over the bay and stay
    at a beach resort on the other site, it is good for water sports and good food. On a
    visit to Lambaréné you can see Albert Schweitzer’s hospital or visit Lac Evaro.
    From Gamba you can drive south to Tchibanga or Mayumba in about 6 hours, a trip
    involving two ferry crossings and occasionally a fair bit of excitement depending on
    the state of the ‘roads’ and the time of year.
    From Gamba you can take a boat on Ndogo Lagoon to get to Sette Cama where Shell
    has a hut and there are a couple of other options to spend a weekend, fishing, on the
    beach, seeing hippos, crocodiles and elephants and just getting away from Gamba for
    a while. It’s possible to drive to Sette Cama too. Gabon has over 800 kilometres of
    coast line with beautiful palm lined beaches; unfortunately the current is very strong
    and Shell discourages swimming – but bring your buckets and spades, fishing gear,
    parasols and beach chairs as going to the beach is one of the most popular past

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
21liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
    Where To Turn

    On camp the only emergency number you will need is 1111 which connects you to the
    emergency operator who will call out the fire, medical or security services on your
    behalf – or even the plumber or electrician if urgently needed.
    The numbers for Rabi, Port Gentil and Libreville are listed in the camp magazine Le
    Perroquet and the ‘permanence’ duty list is distributed every week by e-mail by the
    Shell operator.

    Public Holidays
    New Years Day
    Easter Sunday and Monday
    Labour Day 1st May
    Assumption 15th August
    Independence 16th and 17th August
    All Saints 1st November
    Christmas Day
    Aid el Fitr (end of Ramadan) and Aid el Kebir (end of Hajj) that move very year
    according to the Islamic calendar
    Normally if a holiday falls on a weekend there is no corresponding day off on the

    Cooking Conversions

    Being a Francophile country all weights and measures are metric.

    Your oven has a dial with numbers from 1-9 corresponding roughly to ‘gas mark 1-9’,
    bring an oven thermometer as not all thermostats are accurate.


    Gabon has world class fresh and salt water fishing. Salt water fish, such as
    Carangue, Kapitan, Carpe Rouge, Barracuda, Bullshark and Tarpon are
    present in the sea and the break outs of rivers and lagoons into the sea.
    Some sea water species can be found up to 8 km inland, so do not be
    surprised if you see a big bullshark in a fresh water river or lagoon far away
    from the beach! Gabon has tropical waters rich in nutrients, therefore the fish
    grow rapidly and you can expect to catch fish up to their maximum size.
    While most fish caught are between 5 and 15 kg, prize species, like large
    tarpon of 70 kg or more are being caught as well. There is also a variety of
    fresh water fish, but they are generally smaller in size than the salt water
    fish. Expats usually fish either from the beach or in the lagoons. Shell
    Gabon's Yenzi boat club offers boats that can be used to fish on the large
    lagoon system surrounding Gamba.

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
22liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Yenzi Fishing Club Gear List
(The gear in parenthesis is what has been currently happily used)

   1. A good quality rod (Daiwa Saltiga ballistic) longer than 12 ft. Make sure
       the guides and fitting on the rod are of good quality (Fuji)
   2. Braid fishing line of 60 lb or higher (100lb Jerry Brown hollow core super
   3. Swivels purchase at least 10 good quality ball bearing swivels of 200lb
       rating (Sampo 200lb and Quick Rig)
   4. Clips, same quality as the swivels (I don’t use clips)
   5. Leader line, stainless steel 49 strands of 200-250lb rating
   6. Crimping pliers and ferrules to make your rigs
   7. Lures, 100-200grams large shiny spoons are the best. Also dexter wedges
       work well (Krocodile 200 gram spoons)
   8. Spinning finger protection, leather finger glove (DPSG finger glove, home
       made from shoe tongues)
   9. Hooks, Trebles in the 4/0 – 6/0 range (Owner trebles or Mustad trebles). A
       reasonable rule is that you index finger fit loosely in the turn of the hook.
   10. Hooks, Stinger hooks from Owner
   11. Reel, 6000-6500 size reel. It should hold 400 m of braid line (Daiwa
       Saltiga Expedition 6500 or Daiwa dog fight 6500)

   1. Hooks, single hooks in the range of 5/0-7/0
   2. Leader lines (same as for spinning) or monocline in 150lb rating with
      ferrules to make the rig
   3. Swivels (same as for spinning)
   4. Sand ankers of 500grams

Lagoon Boat
   1. Boat rod any good quality rod will do
   2. mono or braid line in the 40 – 60lb rating
   3. Leader line (same as for spinning)
   4. Swivels (same as for spinning)
   5. Lures, boat floater swimming lures (the shinier the better)
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
23liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
APPENDIX 1                                                                                                                                Formatted: Justified

                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified

What you can expect to find in your house                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
                                                           Loan Float                       In House                        May be kept
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Chest freezer                                                                               X
Refrigerator                                                                                X                                             Formatted: Justified

Stools                                                                                                                      X             Formatted: Justified
Stove                                                                                       X                                             Formatted: Justified
Table - fixed to wall, but can be removed                  No space for another.            X                                             Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Lounge                                                                                                                                    Formatted: Justified
Buffet/ sideboard                                                                                                           X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Coffee table                                                                                                                X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Dining table and chairs                                                                                                     X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Lamp                                                       X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Sofa/ arms chairs                                                                                                           X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Telephone                                                  If you bring your own some may not ring!                         X
Wall unit                                                                                                                   X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified

Master Bedroom                                                                                                                            Formatted: Justified
Bed - double                                                                                                                X             Formatted: Justified
Bed side tables                                                                                                             X             Formatted: Justified
Coat hangers - about 10                                    X                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Drawers                                                    Not always available                                             X             Formatted: Justified
Lamp(s)                                                    X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Telephone                                                                                                                   X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
2nd and 3rd Bedrooms
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Bed side table(s)                                                                                                           X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Beds - 1 or 2 single/room                                  There are a few sets of bunk beds.                               X

Chair                                                                                                                       X             Formatted: Justified

Desk                                                                                                                        X             Formatted: Justified
Lamp                                                       X                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Patio                                                                                                                                     Formatted: Justified
Table and chairs                                           Plastic. Smallish table, no cushions for chairs.                 X             Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Bedding                                                    X                                Sometimes only one set per bed.
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Curtains - except kitchen                                  X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Pillows                                                    X                                Lumpy!
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Shower curtain(s)                                          X

Table cloth and napkins                                    X
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified

Towels                                                     X                                Not very soft, not many, mostly bath size.    Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Kitchen Equipment                                                                                                                         Formatted: Justified
Ashtray                                                    X                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Bowls - various                                            X                                                                              Formatted: Justified
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
24liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Broom                                                      X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Bucket                                                     X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Can opener                                                 X                                Not always available.                   Formatted   ...
Cheese grater                                              X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Chopping board                                             X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Citrus press                                               X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Coffee machine                                             X                                Not always available.
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Colander                                                   X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Cooking utensils                                           X                                Wooden spoon/spatula etc.
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Corkscrew                                                  X
Dustpan and brush                                          X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Floor cloth                                                X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Glasses                                                    X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Ice cube bucket                                            X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Iron and ironing board                                     X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Knives/forks/spoons                                        X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Juicer - manual                                            X                                                                        Formatted   ...
Pans/frying pan                                            X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Plates/mugs/bowls                                          X
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Sharp knives                                               X                                Bring your own in suitcase/airfreight
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Tea towels                                                 X                                Bring your own in suitcase/airfreight
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Essentials Basket
Sodexho will provide the following to see you through to your first visit to the Economat                                           Formatted   ...
Note: the selection may vary depending on availability at the time.                                                                 Formatted   ...
Beer                                                                                                                                Formatted   ...
Bleach                                                                                                                              Formatted   ...
Bottled water
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Coffee and filter papers
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Instant coffee                                                                                                                      Formatted   ...
Jam                                                                                                                                 Formatted   ...
Milk                                                                                                                                Formatted   ...
Nesquick                                                                                                                            Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Orange juice
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
Soft drinks                                                                                                                         Formatted   ...
Sponge                                                                                                                              Formatted   ...
Sugar                                                                                                                               Formatted   ...
Tea bags                                                                                                                            Formatted   ...
Toilet rolls                                                                                                                        Formatted   ...
Washing up liquid
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
In addition to this Outpost will provide you a bread selection and a bottle of wine.
The video library has a couple of loan TVs & VCRs that you can borrow, if available.                                                Formatted   ...
                                                                                                                                    Formatted   ...
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept           Formatted   ...
25liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
APPENDIX 2                                                                                                                                    Formatted: Justified

What to bring to Gabon                                                                                                                        Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Baby food                                                   Nestlé and Blédina available
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Baby biscuits
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Baby shampoo/powder/lotion                                  Available, but bring an initial stock
Baby wipes                                                                                                                                    Formatted: Justified

Bike seat and helmet                                                                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Bottles/teats/soothers                                                                                                                        Formatted: Justified
Car seat                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Clothes                                                     Natural fibres are best. Bring some to grow into.                                 Formatted: Justified
Cot                                                                                                                                             arrives.
                                                            Available in the Shell loan float, but you have to give it back once your container Formatted: Justified
Decorations, posters                                        Walls are painted white/off-white.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Floor blanket or mat                                        Floors are tiled and can be cold
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Gifts                                                       For your own child and others.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
High chair
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Mosquito net                                                For the cot, pram/buggy etc.
Nail clippers/scissors                                                                                                                        Formatted: Justified

Nappies                                                     Limited sizes available and expensive, ‘newborn’ not available.                   Formatted: Justified

Paracetamol syrup (Calpol)                                  available from Clinic                                                             Formatted: Justified
Playpen                                                                                                                                       Formatted: Justified
Powdered milk formula                                       X brand available                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Pushchair (buggy)                                           With sunshade/rain cover/mosquito net                                             Formatted: Justified
Sunscreen and insect repellent                              High factor sunscreen and child friendly repellent
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Toys                                                        Nothing locally - bring lots for as they grow.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Bath mats and rugs                                          Including anti-slip for bath/shower
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Laundry basket
Shower curtains                                             Supplied in loan float but must be returned.                                      Formatted: Justified

Toilet brush                                                Can be found locally.                                                             Formatted: Justified
Toilet deodoriser                                           Not always available                                                              Formatted: Justified
Toilet seat                                                 Poor quality, if you want to change it the IKEA & Xenos ones fit                  Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
BEACH                                                                                                                                         Formatted: Justified
BBQ &/or grill rack                                         Have to get first gas bottle here, then refillable.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
BBQ utensils
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Beach toys
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Parasol/shade/tarp                                          Needs to be sturdy.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Coolboxes and freeze packs                                  Available but expensive, worth bring a big one for shopping trips/fishing.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified
Fold-up chairs and table                                    Aluminium as steel rusts very quickly here.

Plastic cups/plates/cutlery etc.                            Plastic wine glasses popular.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted: Justified

Sunhats                                                                                                                                       Formatted: Justified

Sunscreen                                                   high factor                                                                       Formatted: Justified
Sunglasses                                                  Essential                                                                         Formatted: Justified
UV sun-suits                                                For kids                                                                          Formatted: Justified
Vacuum flask                                                                                                                                  Formatted: Justified
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
26liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
BEDROOMS                                                                                                                                      Formatted    ...
Blankets / Duvets                                           it can be chilly with the air-co on.                                              Formatted    ...
Mirrors                                                     Only supplied for the bathrooms.                                                  Formatted    ...
Mosquito net                                                Some people like to sleep under a mosquito net.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
BICYCLES                                                    bring in air freight if you've space
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Helmets                                                     off-roaders and tri-athletes.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Spares                                                      tyres and inner tubes, spokes, spoke tension thingy, brakes
Tyre pump                                                                                                                                     Formatted    ...
Tyre repair kit                                                                                                                               Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
CARS                                                                                                                                          Formatted    ...
Bungy cords                                                 To keep things in place off-road.                                                 Formatted    ...
Car radio/cassette/CD                                       New cars have, second hand may not.                                               Formatted    ...
Car Wax, T-cut                                                                                                                                Formatted    ...
shovel                                                      Useful when you get stuck in the sand (available in PIII).
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Jerry cans (metal)                                          20 litre size
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Jump leads
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Sand mats                                                   For getting out of sand (can also use planks of wood)
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Shampoo. Sponges etc.                                       A Karcher type jet sprayer really gets the sand and laterite off
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Tool kit                                                    For cars, bikes and around the house
Tow rope (heavy duty)                                                                                                                         Formatted    ...
Tyre gauge                                                  You will need to let the air out of your tyres to drive on soft sand.             Formatted    ...
Type pump (portable)                                                                                                                          Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
CLOTHES                                                     There are no dry-cleaners in Gamba - you can get it done in POG and LBV though.Formatted
Thin long trousers                                          Light weight material – especially for kids but useful for all the family?        Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Computer/printer etc.                                       Home internet access available. Surge protector essential.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Dishwasher                                                  Recommend bringing 3-in-1 tablets. Salt usually available.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
DVD/video player                                            There is a video/DVD library on camp.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Music system                                                Some CDs available at the video library.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Photo printer                                                                                                                                 Formatted    ...
Surge protectors                                            Essential. You can get a UPS in POG.                                              Formatted    ...
Telephone                                                   Will need to have the plug changed. Some people use USB/Skype phones.             Formatted    ...
TV                                                          Yenzi broadcast is PAL B/G. Gabonese system is SECAM. Can get Satellite (DSTV).Formatted       ...
Vacuum cleaner                                              Bring a bag-less version or lots of bags.                                         Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
FOOD ITEMS                                                  Shell will only pay duty for up to 6 month supply of consumables which are locally available
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Baking powder / bicarb. of soda                             No self raising flour
                                                            Bring your favourites.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Biscuits                                                    There are no healthy snack options eg Liga, Evergreen, Sultana…                   Formatted    ...
Breakfast cereals                                           Bring your favourites (normal healthy muesli not available).
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Cake decorations
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
Coffee                                                      Nescafé original available.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
                                                                                                                                              Formatted    ...
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
27liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Desserts                                                    Expensive – maybe worth bring Saroma/Angel delight etc                               Formatted         ...
Dried fruit                                                 Raisins/abricots/prunes available.                                                   Formatted         ...
Flour                                                       No wholemeal in Gamba – can get it in LBV though.                                    Formatted         ...
Food colourings/flavours                                                                                                                         Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Herbs and spices                                            Some available - bring all your favourites.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Pulses                                                      Some available tohugh no red lentils/butter beans etc. Generally have tinned chickpeas/kidney beans.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Snacks                                                      no "healthy" snacks for kids for school etc.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Sugars                                                      bring brown sugar if you need it.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Sweets/ chocolate                                           Not much selection & high in colourings - bring treats for the kids, and yourself!
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Tea                                                         Bring your favourites.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
FURNITURE                                                                                                                                        Formatted         ...
Note - Shell Gabon will not pay the duty on new items of furniture (< 6months) except for beds.                                                  Formatted         ...
See What you can expect to find in your house for details of furniture provided.                                                                 Formatted         ...
Beds                                                        A comfortable bed is essential - the company will pay the duty on new ones.          Formatted         ...
Bookcases                                                   Not supplied, you should get a wall unit however.                                    Formatted         ...
Cheap shelving                                              For storage area - or you can have shelves put up.
                                                                                                                                              Formatted            ...
                                                            Window sizes vary so it’s best to bring material and make them here if you don’t know
Curtains / material                                         which house you’ll be getting in advance.                                         Formatted            ...
Desk                                                        Only child size supplied.                                                            Formatted         ...
Desk chair(s)                                                                                                                                    Formatted         ...
Lamps/lights                                                In loan float but must be returned. Ceiling lights are awful!
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Rugs                                                        Floors are tiled so can be cold.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Small coffee tables / side tables
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Sofa / arm chairs
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
TV / music cabinet
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
GARDEN / PATIO                                                                                                                                   Formatted         ...
Ceramic pots                                                For patio and indoors                                                                Formatted         ...
Compost bin                                                 Soil is very poor quality.                                                           Formatted         ...
Fertiliser                                                  Basic NPK mix – can get some in POG                                                  Formatted         ...
Hose and sprinkler & nozzles                                Gardens are big - bring about 40m hose.                                              Formatted         ...
Lights                                                      Rope lights and outdoor 'fairy' lights are popular, as are solar garden lights       Formatted         ...
Rake/wheelbarrow                                            Can be bought in PIII.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Seeds, seed trays                                           Flowers, vegetable, herbs - for tropical climate. Limited choice in POG/LBV
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Stepladder                                                  Only some houses are supplied with one.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Storm lantern/candles                                       No nice candles available.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Table and chairs                                            Plastic table supplied is quite small, chairs are very simple and plastic too, no cushions.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
KIDS STUFF                                                                                                                                       Formatted         ...
Armbands, inflatable toys for pool                          + spares                                                                             Formatted         ...
Arts & crafts paraphernalia                                 Paints, felt pens Stickers, kids glue                                                Formatted         ...
Bikes, go-carts etc.                                                                                                                             Formatted         ...
Birthday party supplies                                     Invitations, cards, small present for parties, balloons, streamers etc.              Formatted         ...
Board games, cards etc.                                                                                                                          Formatted         ...
Books                                                       Can be ordered from the internet and delivered via Expat Mail.
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
Clothes                                                     Natural fibres are best, they are in the wash often & tend to fade, don't forget how
                                                                                                                                                 Formatted         ...
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
28liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                            much they grow, so bring plenty. Dresses not allowed on play equipment at school.                                 ...
Dressing up clothes, accessories                            For fun and also for the big events throughout the year - Dutch night etc.          Formatted                     ...
Face paints                                                                                                                                     Formatted                     ...
Gifts                                                       For your own child and for others.                                                  Formatted                     ...
Outdoor toys                                                Swing set/slide etc. trampolines are popular
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Shoes                                                       bring them to grow into too – don’t forget gym shoes/football boots (with studs).
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Sun hats
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Presents                                                    Father Christmas and Sint Nikolas visit Yenzi every year, you’ll need to provide them something for your child.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...

KITCHEN                                                                                                                                         Formatted                     ...
Aluminium foil                                              Poor quality and only narrow available.                                             Formatted                     ...
Baking dishes                                                                                                                                   Formatted                     ...
Bread and Cake tins                                                                                                                             Formatted                     ...
Bread machine                                                                                                                                   Formatted                     ...
Can opener                                                  Should be one in loan float, but bring one in suitcase.                             Formatted                     ...
Cheese grater & slice                                       Consider bringing it in your suitcase
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Clingfilm                                                   Some available - not microwave
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Clips                                                       To reseal packets.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Corkscrew/bottle opener
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Dishcloths/brushes                                                                                                                              Formatted                     ...
Doormats                                                    It can be muddy in the wet season and dusty in the dry.                             Formatted                     ...
Food processor                                              You may find you cook/bake more often here.                                         Formatted                     ...
Freezer bags, containers                                    Bring lots. Waterproof pen useful to mark contents/date.                            Formatted                     ...
Garlic press                                                                                                                                    Formatted                     ...
Glassware                                                                                                                                       Formatted                     ...
Greaseproof paper/baking parchment                                                                                                              Formatted                     ...
Ice-cream maker                                             Variety of ice-cream available but home made is delicious.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Knives                                                      Consider bring a multipurpose sharp knife in your suitcase.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Kitchen hand towels
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Limescale remover                                           For iron, kettle, coffee maker etc.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Measuring cups/ spoons
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Mosquito net door cover
Oven thermometer                                            Some oven thermostats are not very accurate – worth bringing in your suitcase. Formatted                          ...
Pedal / swingtop bin                                        Bags available but expensive.                                                  Formatted                          ...
Plastic / storage containers                                                                                                                    Formatted                     ...
Scales                                                                                                                                          Formatted                     ...
Tea towels                                                                                                                                      Formatted                     ...
Washing up bowl                                                                                                                                 Formatted                     ...
Yoghurt maker                                               Those available are mostly very sweet
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Zip-lock bags
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Drying rack                                                 As large as possible or an indoor clothes line
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Clothes pegs (plastic)                                      Bring some with you in you suitcase/air freight.

Ironing board & iron                                        In loan float but must be returned. Bring spare covers.
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
Limescale remover for w. machine                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
                                                                                                                                                Formatted                     ...
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
29liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Spot/stain remover                                                                                                                                Formatted         ...
Washing machine and drier                                                                                                                         Formatted         ...
Washing powder/tablets                                      Expensive and no non-biological available. Bring lots.                                Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Candles and candle holders                                  Nice ones not available - useful if power goes off
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Table lamps/uplighter/spot lights
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Contraceptives                                              Condoms available (quality might be better at home). Contraceptive pill is available from the Clinic.
First Aid kit                                               With plasters, bandages, antiseptic etc. etc.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Insect bite/ sting relief cream                             Bring plenty, check if suitable for children.                                         Formatted         ...
Prescription drugs                                          The Clinic will import most thing for you                                             Formatted         ...
Vitamins, mineral supplements                               Vitamin C available from clinic - otherwise bring your favourites.                    Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
MISCELLANEOUS                                                                                                                                     Formatted         ...
Christmas paraphernalia                                     Decorations, tree, cards, wrapping paper etc.                                         Formatted         ...
Dictionary                                                  A good French to your own language dictionary.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Dressing up gear                                            Crazy clothes, wigs, makeup etc. for the big events throughout the year.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Drill                                                       The walls are very hard.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Gifts                                                       For children of all ages, and small things for adults and dinner party "thank yous"
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Hair clippers                                               A hairdresser comes every month.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Paint/pigment                                               The paint available here is not ‘child-friendly’.
Picture hooks                                               Walls are very hard, the type for concrete work well for light pictures.              Formatted         ...
Rechargeable batteries & charger                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Rechargeable torch/lantern                                  Good for the beach and power cuts.                                                    Formatted         ...
Spare batteries                                             For watches/calculators/organisers etc.                                               Formatted         ...
Umbrellas/waterproofs                                       Poncho for cycling?                                                                   Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Camera                                                      Digitals are popular, it's easy to e-mail pictures; film processing in POG/LBV is expensive.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Camping equipment
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Craft materials                                             No matter what your interest you should bring everything with you.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Fabric and patterns                                         There are tailors but no nice fabric in Plaine - some in Port Gentil.
Fishing equipment                                           Very popular here - for more details on what's needed contact Outpost Gamba
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Sewing machine                                              Handy for your curtains and the Christmas fair.                                       Formatted         ...
Sports equipment                                                                                                                              Formatted
                                                            Bring everything you may need - Air France will take golf clubs (up to 15kg) in addition                ...
                                                            to your normal baggage allowance.                                                     Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
STATIONERY                                                                                                                                        Formatted         ...
Blutack, sellotape etc.                                     Bring everything you may need.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Cards                                                       For all occasions.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Computer supplies                                           Diskettes, CD-R or RWs, ink cartridges for printer (or filling kit)
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Envelopes                                                   Airmail and plain.
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
Paper                                                       Coloured for kids, for cards, for the printer, photo quality if you've a digital camera.

Pens, pencils, crayons etc.                                                                                                                       Formatted         ...
Stamps                                                      Dutch and British very useful to give your mail to someone going up to Europe.        Formatted         ...
                                                                                                                                                  Formatted         ...
The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
30liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Wrapping paper                                              For every occasion!                                                  Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Contact lens fluid, cleaners
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Dental floss
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Deodorants, anti-perspirant                                 Bring your favourite brand
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Hair dye
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Insect repellent                                            bring plenty.
Lip protector                                                                                                                    Formatted: Justified

Make up                                                     None available                                                       Formatted: Justified
Moisturiser, body lotion                                    Bring your favourite brands                                          Formatted: Justified
Shampoo, conditioner                                                                                                             Formatted: Justified
Shaving foam, gel                                                                                                                Formatted: Justified
Shower gel/ bath foam                                       Bring your favourite brands                                          Formatted: Justified
Sunscreen                                                   Waterproof in various factors - including high to begin with.
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Tampons, sanitary towels                                    Some available, expensive
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
Toothpaste                                                  Bring your favourite brands for all the family.
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                 Formatted: Justified

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
31liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.
Useful words in French for your Inventory

Baby bath                         Baignoire pour bébé                                         Baby food                     nourriture pour bébé

Barbecue                          Barbecue                                                    Bed linen                     literie                   Formatted: Justified
Bicycles                          Bicyclettes                                                 Blankets                      couvertures               Formatted: Justified
Bookcases                         Étagères                                                    Books                         livres
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Cabinets                          Armoires                                                    Car radio                     autoradio
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Carpet                            Tapis                                                       Car seat                      siège-enfant de voiture
Chairs                            Chaises                                                     Clothing                      vêtements                 Formatted: Justified

coffee machine                    Cafetière électrique                                        Computer                      ordinateur                Formatted: Justified
Coolbox                           Glacière                                                    Cot                           lit d’enfant              Formatted: Justified
Dishwasher                        Lave-vaisselle                                              Double bed                    grand lit                 Formatted: Justified
Easy chairs                       Fauteuils                                                   Electric drill                perçeuse                  Formatted: Justified
Electric kettle                   Bouilloire électrique                                       Electric knife                couteau électrique
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Fax                               Télécopieur                                                 Flour                         farine
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Food processor                    Robot ménager                                               Garden chairs                 chaises de jardin
Garden tools                                                                                  Glassware                                               Formatted: Justified
                                  Outils de jardin                                                                          verres
Golfclubs                         Clubs de golf                                               Hair dryer                    sèche-cheveux             Formatted: Justified
Herbs, spices                     Herbes/épices                                               Highchair                     chaise enfant             Formatted: Justified
Ice cream maker                   Machine à fabriquer des glaces                              Jigsaw                        scie à découper           Formatted: Justified
Jerry cans                        Jerry cans                                                  Crockery                      vaisselle                 Formatted: Justified
Knives and forks                  Couverts                                                    Lamps                         lampes
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Loudspeakers                      Haut-parleurs                                               Materials/curtains            tissus/rideaux
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Microwave                         Micro-onde                                                  Paintings/prints              peintures/posters
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Parasols                          Parasols                                                    Pillows                       oreillers
Playhouse                         Maison enfant/jouet                                         Playpen                       parc enfant               Formatted: Justified
Pots and pans                     Casseroles                                                  Pram/buggy                    landau/poussette          Formatted: Justified
Printer                           Imprimante                                                  Settee                        canapé                    Formatted: Justified
Sewing machine                    Machine à coudre                                            Short wave radio              radio de loisir           Formatted: Justified
Side tables                       Tables de desserte                                          Shower curtains               rideaux de douche
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Slide                             Toboggan                                                    Stereo                        chaîne hi-fi
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Steriliser                        Stérilisateur biberons                                      Breadmaker                    machine à pain
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Table                             Table                                                       Tennis racquets               raquettes de tennis
Terracotta pots                   Pots en terre cuite                                         Toaster                       grille-pain               Formatted: Justified
Toiletries                        Articles de toilette                                        Toolbox                       boite à outils            Formatted: Justified
Towels                            Serviettes                                                  Toys                          jouets                    Formatted: Justified
Tumble dryer                      Sèche-linge                                                 Tupperware                    tupperware                Formatted: Justified
Video camera                      Camescope                                                   Video recorder                magnétoscope
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
Washing machine                   Machine à laver                                             Yoghurt maker                 yaourtière
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified
                                                                                                                                                      Formatted: Justified

The information given by Outpost Gamba is based upon personal experiences from expat families, therefore we cannot accept
32liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or the information given.

Shared By: