Gamba

HOUSING

Yenzi is our 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 acttractively laid out with most houses having large, mature gardens. 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 studios(for bachelors) and Guest houses (for business visitors) on the camp.Your house will be assigned by HR Gabon. For more information see our Inside Guide (menu Links/Docs).

3-BEDROOM HOUSES

There are serveral types of 3-bedroom houses on the camp (depending on when they were built) with slightly differing room layouts.

All houses have air-condition units in the lounge, bedrooms and kitchen. All houses have mosquito netting on the patio areas and windows, in line with the Shell Malaria Policy.There is a storage/utility area next to the kitchen and there is a carport next to every house. These types of houses are usually allocated to couples with 2 or more children.

2-BEDROOM HOUSES

A 2 -bedroom house is always a detached house with 1 bathroom, and also a storage/utility room. If you are a couple with 1 child or none, most probably you will be getting this type of house. Depending on the availability, you may get a 3-bedroom house even if you have only 1 child.

STUDIO

As mentioned previously, Studios are for bachelors, but it is also possible to get a 2-bedroom house if many of those are available.

GUEST HOUSES

If you are a visitor or Gabon-based employee, you can stay in a Guest House, although an employee based in Gabon will only be staying at a Guest House while his permanent house is under reform.

For information, independing on what type o House you get, Shell provides you basic house furniture and kitchen tool until your container arrives.

EDUCATION IN GAMBA

There is no professional daycare for children in Yenzi.

For children younger than 3 years old (the age when they start Pre-nursery) you depend on your Menagere (nanny) to look after your children if you want to play sport or go shopping through the day and baby-sitting (at extra cost) in the evening.

There used to be an informal mother and baby/toddler group that met each week in the gym, but that’s no longer going on at the moment.

CRECHE

There used to be a beautiful crèche facility  for children 18 months to 2 years old. It used to takes place in the same building as the Pre-Nursery, but that is no longer going on at the moment.  For the time being, it is not clear if Shell  will be running a crèche or not, but in any way this is on a voluntary basis and there are no ties with Ecole Yenzi.

PRE-NURSERY

Les Elephanteaux pre-nursery is situated in Yenzi Camp where the majority of pupils live. It is part of Ecole Yenzi but it is situated next to the club and the swimming pool and  a 10-minute walk from the main building. The pre-nursery class is lead by a qualified teacher and she is supported by a team of voluntary nursery workers, with a minimum of one worker for every 8 children enrolled. In line with the 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 IPC, or FLS. The pre-nursery hours are Monday-Friday from 7.45 - 10.15 A.M. You can take a look on the website (les Elephanteaux) to see some nice pictures from the building and its facilities.

Contact details:

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

Luanne.kerr@shell.com

 

PRIMARY EDUCATION: ECOLE YENZI

Ecole Yenzi is the Shell school on the camp for primary education. It founds itself situated on the border of the Lake  in Yenzi Camp where the majority of pupils live. Most of these children come to school  by bicycle. There are also children living in Gamba, which is a twenty- minute  bus drive away.

Ecole Yenzi aims to provide a high standard of education enabling its pupils to return into their own educational systems either in their base country or in another Shell operating unit.  Ecole Yenzi is unique within the shell organisation as the only school with a French language stream. For Dutch speaking children there is a NTC-programme integrated in the International stream. The school is also committed to fostering integration with the French language stream and this allows the children to work together at certain moments during each week. In addition to this, there are a number of school events that take place throughout the year that aim to build a feeling of 'oneness' within the school.

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is designed for international primary schools and caters for children aged between 4 and 12 years of age. It is based on a philosophy of international education, at time of rapid global change. It can be taught in any language.  The IPC aims to take the best practice  and content of world's curricula and in this respect will complement the curricula of differing national systems. ell schools. The IPC has proved to be extremely successful and is now implemented worldwide in other international schools, as well as some schools in the UK and The Netherlands.

For more information and some very nice pictures from Ecole Yenzi please go to www.ecoleyenzi.yolasite.com for the international stream and www.ecoleyenzifls.yolasite.com for the French stream. 

 Contact Details:

Headteacher: Tracey Cripps PSC (Tel:9385)

TraceyDawn.Cripps@shell.com

 

SECONDARY EDUCATION

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

HEALTH IN GABON

"On arrival in Gabon you will find the living conditions somewhat different from those in Europe. One of the major differences is the climate, with the rainy season from October until June, when heavy rainstorms alternate with days full of sunshine, and the dry season for the rest of the year with grey skies most days. The temperature rarely exceeds 30oC and does not often fall below 20oC. The humidity is high most of the year.

In Gabon you will be living close to tropical rainforest with its unique fauna and flora and near the long beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. You will be exposed to diseases typical for the tropics as well as the health problems common in Europe.

This guideline had been written with the objective of giving you the basic information concerning the possible health hazards and how to combat them in order to help you to remain healthy during your stay in Gabon."

Dr. Andrew Benc, Gamba February 2012.

To access the Health guidelines please click here

Leisure

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.

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 time.

A group of ladies meets once a week to learn to paint.

There is a well-equipped dark room on camp with facilities to develop and print black and white photographs.

Yenzi Club has a swimming pool and there are lessons during school time for all 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, at the moment lessons are available from one of the expats.

On the lakeside by the club is Yenzi boat club with 5 Optimist, 15 Lasers, 3 Catamarans and a 470 dinghy; life jackets in various sizes are available. Sailing is held every 3rd Sunday afternoon per month and lessons are organized once a year. The club also has 2 double sculls, 2 2-person Canadian canoes, 2 kayaks and 2 pedaloes. It is also possible to water-ski and windsurf on Yenzi lake.

The gym is near the school and is used by them at various times for their gym lessons – the ground floor has a basket ball court, ropes bars etc. and can be used for badminton, volley-ball, 5-a-side football 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 here.

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.

Travelling between Gamba and Libreville

In theory Shell’s contractor Afrijet operates two flights each weekday, in each direction, between Libreville and Gamba, in the morning and the late afternoon, sometimes with an intermediate stop in Port Gentil. On Saturday only the morning flight is scheduled and on Sunday only the evening flight.

In practice, whether due to technical issues with the planes, the weather or other causes, the flight schedule is extremely unreliable. Flight departure times are often changed without notice and without any attempt to contact passengers, who frequently arrive at the terminal to find that their flight has already left. Alternatively, flights may be cancelled leaving no opportunity to travel until the following day (or even later), leading to passengers potentially being stranded in Gamba and missing international flights, or being stranded in Libreville needing to arrange hotel accommodation. It has also been known for flights to be diverted to Rabi or to Port Gentil and for passengers to be stranded there.

The situation at the airports can become somewhat chaotic. Announcements are generally only made in French (although other passengers can generally translate for you if asked). Also be aware that in Libreville there have been occasions where, in the event of delays, passengers have not been allowed into the terminal building but left to stand for long periods in the car-park with very little shade / shelter from rain, while waiting for information. There is nowhere to buy food at the Libreville Afrijet terminal. Once you are allowed into the terminal, coffee and water are usually available free of charge. The Gamba airport is within walking distance of the Economat and a privately owned café-bar which sells drinks, croissants etc. Once your plane gets in the air they normally serve drinks and a small snack. Given the probability of delays and missed meals it is worth travelling with a supply of snacks and drinking water.

When you are due to travel you should frequently check the on-line Shell Gabon booking system, if you have access. If you do not have access you can call the Shell Aviation staff (numbers to be confirmed) although expect to take several attempts to get a response.

If you miss your international flight and you are travelling on the ‘ticket’ option, Shell will pay any additional costs to rebook the ticket. If you are using the ‘budget’ option you have to claim the costs back against the budget. Of course re-booking is subject to availability and people have experienced waits of 3-4 days at busy periods such as Christmas. If you are stranded in Libreville going in or out (or even just visiting on a private or ‘shopping’ trip) you should expect to pay yourself for your hotel (approx 150 Euro per night per double room for the Okoume Palace or Meridien) and allow for incidentals such as meals and taxis. Shell will provide assistance to make private bookings at the Okoume Palace or Meredien hotels, which do take credit cards. There are usually rooms available in Libreville at short notice although hotels can become full if there is a major conference or other event (eg the Marathon) taking place.

Because of the issues with the internal flights many expatriates now plan to leave Gamba the day before their international flight departure and stay overnight in Libreville. This also involves personal expense but provides more certainty and less risk of knock-on disruption to holiday plans.

Outpost Gamba

Focal point: Kelly Dueck
Office hours: Tuesdays and Fridays from 10AM to 11h30AM.
Languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
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