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Guinea-Bissau

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Ledger Plaza Bissau Hotel
Ledger Plaza Bissau Hotel - dream vacation

Avenida Combatentes Liberdade da Patria, Bissau

Ponta Anchaca
Ponta Anchaca - dream vacation

Archipel des Bijagos, Rubane

Ilha de Kere
Ilha de Kere - dream vacation

Ilha de Kere - Arquipelago das Bijagos, Bissau

Hotel Ancar
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Av Osvaldo Vieira 10 bissau, Bissau

Azalai 24 Setembro
Azalai 24 Setembro - dream vacation

Avenida Pansau na Isna, Bissau

Jordani
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Avenida Pansau Na Isna no1, Bissau

Lisboa Bissau
Lisboa Bissau - dream vacation

Avenue Combatante Libertade Patria, Bissau

Hotel Imperio Bissau
Hotel Imperio Bissau - dream vacation

Praca dos Herois Nacionais No 1, Bissau

Malaika
Malaika - dream vacation

Avenue Osvaldo Vieira, Bissau

Guinea-Bissau, (website in French), is a former Portuguese colony bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south and east.

Regions

Guinea-Bissau is divided into 8 administrative regions (regiões) and 1 autonomous sector (sector autónomo), and are subdivided into 37 sectors.

Cities

  • Bissau - capital
  • Bafatá - Bafata is a pleasant town with an interesting colonial centre, located on the Rio Gêba. Hometown of Bissau-Guinean patriot Amilcar Cabral. Ask around near the old market to visit his house.
  • Bolama - capital of the country until 1941, has some magnificent examples of colonial architecture and has been suggested as a world heritage site.
  • Buba - End of the tarmac going to the south of Guinea-Bissau. The town is built along a tidal river, the Rio Grande de Buba. Decent hotel.
  • Bubaque - Largest town in the Bijagos archipelago, with hotels and harbor for boat trips to other islands.
  • Cacheu - Cacheu was once an important place for slave-trading, and there is still a little fort.
  • Catió-
  • Farim
  • Gabú - Busy market town, with a predominantly Muslim population.

Other destinations

  • Bijagos Islands - an archipelago of some twenty tropical, beautiful islands. On the island of Orango it is possible to see hippos, and there are many other possibilities of eco tourism on the "unspoiled islands". On some islands there are even turtle nesting grounds. Many islands have French-owned fishing lodges.
  • Varela - Just south of Cap Skirring, but on the Guinea-Bissau side of the border, it is a tour de force to get to Varela on a 50 km long bumpy dirt road from São Domingos - but it is all rewarded when you reach this little paradise, with a superb Italian-owned hotel, beautiful beaches and pine forests and a very relaxed atmosphere with almost no other tourists.

Understand

History

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the eighteenth century. Early reports of Europeans reaching this area come from the mid 15th century. The rivers and coast of this area were among the first places colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the interior was not explored until the 19th century.

The Portuguese tried desperately to hang on to their colony much longer than other European countries. An armed independence rebellion began in 1956, but it was not until 1974 that the Portuguese finally accepted independence for Guinea-Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau's post-independence history has been chequered. A civil war in 1998, followed by the imposition of a military junta in 1999 has been replaced with a multi-party democracy. The economy remains fragile, however hopes are high.

Climate

Guinea-Bissau is warm all year around and there is little temperature fluctuation; it averages 26.3 °C (79.3 °F). The average rainfall for Bissau is 2,024 mm although this is almost entirely accounted for during the rainy season which falls between June and September/October. From December through April, the country experiences drought.

People

The ethnic groups in Guinea-Bissau include Fula and Mandinka in the north and northeast, the Balanta and Papel in the southern coastal regions, and the Manjaco and Mancanha in the northern and central coastal areas.

Economy

Guinea-Bissau's GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and its Human Development Index is also one of the lowest on earth. More than two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line. The economy depends mainly on agriculture; fish, cashew nuts and ground nuts are its major exports.

Get in

Visa

No Guinea-Bissau embassies have websites to obtain entry info. To complicate matters more, there are no Guinea-Bissau embassies in the US or UK. Visa-seekers are advised to visit the GB Embassies in either Dakar, Senegal; Lisbon, Portugal; or Paris, France (tel: +33 1 48 74 36 39) for visa information.

Visas are required for citizens of most non ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries. If you are coming from a country where Guinea-Bissau does not have diplomatic representation, you have 2 options at your disposal. The first is to obtain a visa at the Guinean embassy in Lisbon. The embassy processes tourist visas same-day, within 2-3 hours. Call ahead to confirm this though before making travel plans for Portugal and Bissau. The second option is to obtain a letter of invitation and arrange for a visa on arrival in Bissau. Whatever individual or organization that is hosting you will need to make these arrangements and there is not a clear well-defined policy regarding this. This second option is also more expensive than getting the visa in Lisbon. If you are going overland, a good place to get a visa is from the Guinea-Bissau Consul in Ziguinchor, Senegal.

  • For German (and perhaps other EEA) citizens there is an easy way to obtain a visa for Guinea Bissau: the honorary consul, Horst-G. Reissenberger, from the Guinea Bissau consulate based in Luxembourg is authorised to issue visas for Guinea Bissau. This is normally done quickly, rather cheaply and in a simple manner. The consul can be contacted via email: consul_lu@republica-da-guine-bissau.org
  • For longer stays in Guinea Bissau, a "resident card" can be obtained in the governmental migration office in Bissau. The rather cheap price depends on the duration of the resident card.

By plane

Direct flights from Portugal with EuroAtlantic airways [1] every Wednesday and Friday, returning same day.

The Daily Air Senegal flight is no more, however TACV Carbo Verde Airlines [2] have daily flights from Dakar, Senegal to Bissau every day. The flight time is 75 minutes.

By train

There are no trains in Guinea-Bissau.

By car

  • From Ziguinchor, Senegal to Bissau it should take you 3-4 hours by sept-places (seven-seat Peugeot) or your own car, depending on the border bureaucracy. Roads are in good conditions, only some potholes after São Domingos. After sunset, the border with Senegal is closed.
  • From Gambia (Serrekunda), count on 7-8 hours if everything goes smooth. If going by sept-place, you'll have to switch in Ziguinchor.
  • Dakar-Bissau with public transport can be done in one day with a little luck, but you need to leave Dakar early and change vehicle in Ziguinchor.

Other main borderposts include Pirada (dirtroad from there to Gabú) to Senegal, and Buruntuma to Guinea-Conakry (also via Gabú).

By boat

There is a sea route between Dakar and Bissau. Additionally there are boats to and between the Bijagos islands.

Get around

In Bissau minibuses called toca-toca work for transports within the city. There are also regular taxis. For inter-city travel there are sept-places, (seven-seat Peugeot) and candongas, big commercial vehicles carrying ten to twenty passengers. Prefer sept-place or at least try to get the front seats. It is also possible to rent taxis to other towns and cities.

The main bus-station "paragem" of Bissau is situated behind the BCEAO (Banco Central dos Estados de África Ocidental) on the Airport Road. Are you heading for Biombo or Prabis, you need to go to another bus-station in Estrada de Bor. There are no time-schedules; cars leave when they are full. As most locals travel in the early morning (7.00 a.m.-ish), cars fill up quicker in the morning. It might be hard to get transport in late afternoon and evening.

To go to the islands, there's a choice between cheap, but rather unsafe, canoas (pirogues) leaving from Porto Pidjiguiti or Porto de Bandim, and expensive modern boats owned by French fishing lodges on the Bijagos islands. In 2007 a ferry started sailing between Bissau and Bubaque, leaving Friday and returning Sunday. Schedules depend on tides, so check in advance.

As Guinea Bissau is very flat and there is virtually no traffic on the roads outside Bissau, it's a good country for cycling. Bikes can be bought in the country, which will probably ( as in most parts of the world) be Chinese made bikes. As always of good value for money.

Talk

Portuguese is the official language and the language used for writing; however, a Portuguese creole is the language spoken among the locals. There are several local languages such as Fula, Balanta, Mandinka, Pepel, Bijago etc. But you will always find people who speak English and French from other African countries (Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Nigeria). You can buy a Creole/English dictionary at the WEC Mission which is in Caracol, and in the Mavegro supermarket which is located right next to the Simão Mendes Hospital (on the road that passes on the right hand side, 300m forward on the right)

See

  • Forests of Jemberem - Cantanhez Natural Park, where you can see chimpanzees with a little luck.
  • Varela Beach - one of the few nice beaches in Guinea Bissau.
  • Bijagós Archipellago - stunningly beautiful group of islands, some with resorts. Find, among others, turtles and hippos here

Do

Buy

The West African CFA franc (XOF) is used by Guinea-Bissau. It is also used by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. While strictly a separate currency from the Central African CFA franc (XAF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par throughout all CFA franc (XAF & XOF) using countries.

Both CFA francs are guaranteed by the French treasury and are pegged to the euro at 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

In December 2007 the first ATM's arrived to the country of Guinea-Bissau - in the BAO (Banco da Africa Occidental) branches of Bissau and Gabú. An ATM is also being set up in the Hotel Malaika in Bissau. These ATM's only function if you have a local account with that bank. Probably still safest to bring euros or FCFA enough to cover the time you plan to stay. Western Union is present in Bissau (eight locations), Bafatá, Gabú, Buba, Canchungo and Mansoa. (They will rip you off by taking 10%.)

ATMs

from 2014 Ecobank has ATMs in Bissau which take Master card/visa card for cash withdrawal.

Shopping

The largest market in the country is Bandim Market, which is on the main road going into town. You can buy many things there and the atmosphere is nice. Otherwise there are small vendors on most roads of the capital. In the villages (Tabankas) you will also find small vendors selling the necessities. In the main towns in the countryside there are larger markets called "Lumo", which give farmers and merchants the possibility to sell/trade their goods. Don't forget that Guinea-Bissau is a poor country and as such the possibilities for shopping are smaller than in the Gambia or Senegal.

Useful creole shopping phrases: Ke ku bu misti? (what do you want?) N mistil (I want it) N ka mistil (I don't want it)

Eat

Most Guineans eat rice with fish, because the country is rich in fish, and rice (homegrown or imported from Thailand) is relatively cheap. The more costly meals contain beef, goat, chicken or pork. Meals are also made with palm oil and peanut sauces and diverse vegetables. Guineans also eat wild/game meat (deer, monkey, beaver etc.) but these animals are considered to be in danger of extinction and so it is not recommended to support this. Guineans are known for their warm heartedness and so you will always be asked to come have a bit with a group of people (it is common to eat from a large bowl)..."bin kume, no kume"

Fruit available depends on the season, but mangos, papayas, oranges, grape fruits, bananas, cashews and peanuts are abundant. Also try the sour "fole" fruits and the baobab fruit juice (sumo de cabaceira). Imported fruit can be bought in "fera de prasa" in the center of Bissau (apples, pears, pineapples, watermelons etc.) but is more expensive than in Europe.

Vegetables sold in the markets include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, parsley, okra, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, chili, sweet potatoes.

Street snacks are typically sandwiches with hardboiled egg, omelete, fish or beef - or donuts, cake or hardboiled eggs. Frozen juice in small plastic bags is popular among locals.

Drink

The people of Guinea-Bissau love to drink a sweet green tea known as "warga", the non-Muslims also enjoy drinking cashew wine or palm wine. There are also possibilities to buy Portuguese beer, wine and soft drinks but these are more expensive. It is recommended that foreigners only drink bottled, filtered or boiled water.

Sleep

Hotels in Bissau are generally overpriced - but some hotels were undergoing renovation in 2007, giving hope for more competition and lower prices.

In most of the towns outside the capital, there are possibilities to find hotels or other rentable rooms.

There are also mainly French-run hotels on the Bijagos islands which are recommendable.

Work

There are numerous NGO's, missionaries and international organizations (UN, EU, WHO, UNICEF, The Global Fund) working in Guinea Bissau.

  • Bandim Health Project [3]
  • Médicos do Mundo [4]
  • INDE - Intercooperação e Desenvolvimento [5]

Stay safe

Guinea-Bissau has one of the highest rates of petty and violent crime on the continent, which should not be underestimated, a lack of much law enforcement, and a very dysfunctional government. The country is home to several drug kingpins and a large volume of narcotics passes through remote islands and airstrips en route from South America to Europe. The country also has the onerous distinction of never having an elected president complete a full 5-year term in office and there have been dozens of coups and attempted coups as well as numerous assassinations of officials and military leaders since independence in 1974. The most recent coup was in April 2012, which follows a failed coup attempt in 2011, the house-arrest of the prime minister by the military (and threat of killing him) in 2010, and the assassination of the president by soldiers in 2009 (a day after a top military leader & rival of the president was killed by a bomb).

Avoid any political demonstrations and stay clear of any large presence of military on the streets. Many western nations lack a diplomatic presence in Guinea-Bissau, which means you will have a much harder time if arrested, detained, or in need of consular assistance in an emergency.

Guinea-Bissau is a violent country, and is considered by the UN to be a major port for drug shipments into Europe. The military is known for corruption, prompting the head of the UN to refer to the head of the Air Force as a drug kingpin.

The country also has the lowest per capita productivity and income in the world, which has the violence and crime to go along with it.

White Europeans are especially vulnerable, and will be singled out by natives seeking to enact racial crime. White Europeans tend to be left alone if it is believed they are part of foreign aid efforts, or far left activists. Guinea-Bissau has had several Marxist Governments, providing a safe haven for Marxist radicals worldwide.

There is no US or UK embassy in GB. The US & UK embassies in Dakar, Senegal are accredited to GB. The US has a liaison at: Edifício SITEC, Rua José Carlos Schwarz 245, Bairro d’Ajuda (tel.(245) 325-6382).

Do not trust hotel safes, and stay away from any nightclubs not attached to major hotels.

If you are arrested, be prepared to pay a bribe. However, it is not recommended to bribe officials directly. Simply ask if they can pay the fine for you, because you do not understand the customs procedures. Then leave the country as soon as possible.

You must be careful around the wildlife because they may be dangerous and you must respect the animals at all times. Do not attempt to feed or touch an animal. Remember: Take nothing but photos, Leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time. Having fun and being safe makes your trip the best it can be.

Stay healthy

Before traveling, make sure you have the yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations up to date. Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended - consult a medical doctor for advice on which type to choose.

HIV is prevalent, as are most major sexually transmitted diseases. The CDC in the US listed Guinea-Bissau as a groundswell point for new HIV infections.

Depending on the length and purpose of your stay, also consider vaccinations for typhoid fever, hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis and tuberculosis.

If bitten by a dog, cat, monkey or bat - seek a doctor as fast as possible, no matter if you've been vaccinated or not. Everybody needs post-exposure rabies prophylaxis - but if vaccinated beforehand, you'll need less vaccines. Rabies can be prevented with vaccines and immunoglubulin, but once the symptoms present, there is no cure and about 100% die.

Always use a condom when having sexual relations with new partners.

Make sure you drink only bottled/filtered water.

Respect

Muslims are mostly tolerant of others in this country, if your presence is considered to be temporary. There are a few radicalized mosques in the country, so it is advised that you do not venture into these areas. The Christian minority is tolerated, but under constant surveillance by Guinea-Bissau activists and Government officials.

Check your home office or state department warnings about Guinea-Bissau.

Some people (especially children) will ask you to take their photo, while others will get upset if you take photos - always ask in advance, if taking close-ups. Avoid taking photos of military installations without asking, though sometimes you'll be allowed to.

Connect

There are numerous internet cafés in the center of Bissau, but ask around, more of them are hard to spot from outside. Other options are Lenox or go wireless in Restaurant Phoenicia or hotel Bissau Palace.

There are three mobile companies in Guinea Bissau all with prepaid mobile cards, that can be bought all over. It's easy to call abroad or other mobiles of the same company, but can be hard to call from one company to another (e.g. MTN->Guinétel).

  • MTN GSM 900 - simcard 500 FCFA, not very expensive to call Europe or other African countries. Will soon be possible to get internet connection via an MTN mobile.
  • Orange GSM 900/1800
  • Guinétel GSM 900

GUINEA-BISSAU Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Guinea-Bissau

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Guinea-Bissau with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Guinea-Bissau: Including its History, The Geba River, The Bafata, and More

Renee Browning

Discover Guinea-Bissau like you have never seen it before. Whether you are a first time traveler or avid visitor of this region of the world, this book is the perfect guide for you. Read about all the amazing surprises you could find and all the must see places. Included in this book is the information about The Galomaro, The Prabis and everything in between. With content from a huge community of contributors, you get the convenience and security of a real print travel guide, but with fresh data and content. Earth Eyes Destinations represents a new publishing paradigm, allowing disparate content sources to be curated into cohesive, relevant, and informative books. To date, this content has been curated from Wikipedia articles and images under Creative Commons licensing, although as we increase in scope and dimension, more licensed and public domain content is being added. We believe books such as this represent a new and exciting lexicon in the sharing of human knowledge.

Tourism in Guinee-Bissau: tour Guinea-Bissau for educational purpose, Business and Holiday resort

Anderson Jones

“Tourism in Guinea-Bissau” is an interesting one, and one of the best choice in African tourist destinations, the reason for picking Guinea-Bissau is due to the environment and the peaceful atmosphere of the country, without putting touristic attractions in consideration yet which is another heaven on earth enjoymentGuinea Bissau, a real unknown country where the borders between water and land are changing every tide.A fantastic adventure driving through the forest discovering remote villages and animistic ceremonies. The Bijagos ethnic group still practice ancestral rituals such as initiation and perform rituals with the participation of the entire village. Aboard on motorized speed boats we enjoy exploring the Bijagos Archipelago, the largest in Africa. Most of the islands are not permanently inhabited, making them a wonderful paradise for many birds’ species and rare fauna.An exciting itinerary perfectly balanced between natural and cultural discoveries including some free time to relax and enjoy a beautiful landscape made of Blue Ocean and wild beaches where our foot prints will be the only tracks left on this virgin land. Each departure will be concomitant with a special tribal or naturalistic event:History and culture of Guinea Bissau is also an information that you are being supplied in this book, knowing the people of this country and their tradition and culture related to the ethnic groups, understanding their public relation status and customs, Note! It is an important thing to know about a country, once intend to have anything doing with that country.Our eBook titled: “Tourism in Guinea Bissau” is provided for your Guide and information when touring Guinea Bissau, you don’t need to get lost or frustrated in any way, and you will have the knowledge of the environment and the places you intend to visit ahead of your visit. Security information is very important when touring a country, our security information is complete to provide you the security once you abide to the instruction given in the book.You may need to read and understand the information related to Guinea Bissau tourism and its content without traveling to Guinea Bissau in person, you can only achieve this by making this book your tourism informer , you will not have any information to miss out

Guinea-Bissau Travel Journal: Perfect Size 100 Page Notebook Diary

CreativeJournals

Lightweight and perfect for traveling, this soft cover notebook journal is ideal for tucking into a full bag or suitcase. The cover is a glossy finish so that you can easily wipe it off (if it ends up covered in something delicious-tasting, or lands in a mud puddle ;) Keep your memories for longer by journalling them in your Guinea Bissau travel journal. A nice affordable travel notebook designed with the traveler in mind. This would make a great gift for the traveler in your life. Bon voyage!

City Maps Bissau Guinea-Bissau

James McFee

City Maps Bissau Guinea-Bissau is an easy to use small pocket book filled with all you need for your stay in the big city. Attractions, pubs, bars, restaurants, museums, convenience stores, clothing stores, shopping centers, marketplaces, police, emergency facilities are only some of the places you will find in this map. This collection of maps is up to date with the latest developments of the city as of 2017. We hope you let this map be part of yet another fun Bissau adventure :)

Guinea-Bissau Travel Journal, Pop. 1,628,603 + Me

Dragon Dragon Travel Journals

There is always room for you in Guinea-Bissau!

Here’s the Dragon Dragon Travel Journal deal.

You wander the world having adventures, and such. Dragon Dragon provides you with 200 pages to document your travels, discoveries and insights. That’s it. Simple. Beautiful. True.

To help keep things organized, we’ve given each journal a unique continent, country or city name.

Wherever you go in this life, a Dragon Dragon Travel Journal can help make the going better and the remembering easier!

The Guinea-Bissau Travel Journal

Younghusband World Travel Journals

"I don't always design travel journals, but when I do they are the kind of travel journals that people throw parades for." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad

THE GUINEA-BISSAU TRAVEL JOURNAL has been carefully crafted by the legendary nomad Cormac Younghusband to help make your trip unforgettable, fun and organized—with plenty of room to help spur spontaneity and document new discoveries.

This journal can help you plan, live out and record every stage of your journey to Guinea-Bissau—from pre-trip, to getting there, to being there, to getting home, and afterwards.

"Guinea-Bissau food is among the world's finest. They do this thing with the thing!" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad

The first part of the journal is for PRE-TRIP PLANNING and contains sections for important information, a page to write about what inspired you to make the trip, a page to write about the who, where, what, when, how of the journey, a page to make note of your travel companions, a number of pages to organize your travel research.* Plus, you will find sections for drafting an itinerary and keeping a journey to-do checklist.

The second part of the journal deals with GETTING THERE, containing sections to describe getting there and arriving.

The third part of the journal is all about BEING THERE. There are sections for: tracking the stuff you buy and for your daily adventures there are 50 two-page daily records to keep notes on: day #, date, weather, places visited, what happened today + thoughts on what happened, the highlight of the day and extensive notes (with a handy reminder list of things to write about). Because there are about 1,628,603 people in Guinea-Bissau, there's also a section to record the names and contact info of the people you meet along the way.

The fourth part of the journal is for GETTING HOME, that fateful day you depart and the days that follow. There are sections for describing your departure, for making your own top 10 highlights lists, a country radar to help you create a signature review of the country, and an afterwards where you can sum up the meaning of your trip.

When a trip is over, Cormac Younghusband recommends you start planning your NEXT TRIP. To help, there is a section where you can make a travel wish list.

Also included is a COUNTRY BRIEF to give you important info on the destination and a MAP to give you an idea of the lay of the land. Plus, at the back of the book there are sections for: generic packing ideas, measures and conversions, and pages for notes, sketches, maps and such

"Find a place in the world you haven't been, and go there. Keep on trucking, my friends" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Research Such As: places to go / explore, places to stay, places to shop / must have souvenirs, cultural / sporting events to attend, historical / religious sites of interest, pubs-bars-places-to-party, beaches / forests / natural wonders to see, parks & gardens to wander through, things to eat and drink / dining experiences, festivals & events to attend, stuff for kids - seniors - and such, experiences to experience, important local customs, etiquette, laws, and such.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Why visit Guinea-Bissau? Because, it's there." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, YOUNGHUSBAND WORLD TRAVEL JOURNALS HAS THE PERFECT JOURNAL FOR YOU.

Guinea Bissau: A Spy Guide (World Foreign Policy and Government Library)

Ibp Usa

Guinea Bissau: A Spy Guide (World Foreign Policy and Government Library)

AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

On April 12, 2012, the military staged a coup d’état in Guinea-Bissau. During the incident, gun shots and grenade explosions were reported in the capital city of Bissau. The curfew in Bissau has been lifted. If you are currently in Bissau, keep a low profile, avoid travelling near military installations and to keep a supply of basic foods and water. You should keep well informed of the unfolding situation by monitoring local news and avoiding all public gatherings and demonstrations, as they could turn violent without warning.

You should be aware that the political climate has been unstable in Guinea-Bissau for several years, particularly since the President's assassination on March 2, 2009, a day after the military Chief was killed in an explosion.

There is no resident Canadian government office in Guinea-Bissau. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information by contacting the Embassy of Canada in Dakar, Senegal or by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at (613) 996-8885.

We strongly recommend that you register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.

Northwest part of the country (see Advisory)

Avoid traveling to the northwest portion of the country, bordering on Senegal. The region has long been the scene of clashes between Guinea-Bissau's army and Casamance rebels, who have been driven off Guinean soil since 2002. It would be dangerous to cross this border by land. Attacks in this region have resumed since March 2006, displacing thousands of residents. The road between Sao Domingos and Varela is closed because of the presence of landmines. Small arms proliferation is rampant in this conflict zone, and consequently there are many hold-ups. Further serious tensions are expected, and the government has increased security measures and the deployment of soldiers along the border.

Crime

Incidents of road banditry and carjacking also pose a risk for travellers. Avoid travelling at night and be particularly vigilant outside major cities.

Petty crime, including pickpocketing, is common at the airport, in markets and at public gatherings. Burglaries have increased and security is inadequate. Ensure that your personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times and avoid walking alone after dark. Assaults often take place in the streets of Bissau. Avoid going out on foot after dark.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid political events and other situations where demonstrations may occur, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Road travel

Roads are poorly lit and not well maintained. You should not leave the roads and pathways designated by local authorities because of possible minefields. There is no rail service. Air travel is not available from the mainland to the Bijagos Islands. You should avoid canoes, which are not safe. You can contact tour operators that organize boat trips to the islands. You should contact the Embassy of Canada in Dakar, Senegal, in the event of an emergency on the islands.

Guinea-Bissau does not participate in the International Driving Permit (IDP) program. You should hire a driver. However, Canadians with a valid Canadian driver's licence may drive for a maximum of three months. After three months, Canadian cooperants should contact the International Cooperation Directorate to obtain a cooperant's licence; those in the private sector should contact the Transportation Directorate for a Guinean licence.

General safety information

Although NGOs are working on the clearance of minefields, it is possible that unexploded military ammunition and antipersonnel mines are still present outside Bissau, especially in the regions of Bafata, Oio, Biombo, Quinara and Tombali.

Tourist facilities are limited.

Telecommunications are expensive and unreliable. There are few public telephones. Utilities and infrastructure have been severely damaged. Electricity and water supplies are available for only a few hours a day.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Meningitis

This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease (meningitis) is a serious and sometimes fatal infection of the tissue around the brain and the spinal cord. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers), those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings, or those travelling for a longer period of time.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from all countries.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in West Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited throughout the country, including in the capital. Medical clinics or trained medical personnel are non-existent on the islands.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Homosexuality is illegal in Guinea-Bissau.

Sentences for drug-related incidents can be very severe.

Taking photographs of the airport, docks, or military or police installations is strictly forbidden.

Hunting is restricted in Guinea-Bissau. Authorizations for hunting areas may be issued by the Forests and Animal Resources Directorate. Hunting in the Cantanhes reserve in southern Guinea-Bissau, however, is strictly forbidden.

Money

The currency is the African Financial Community CFA franc (or XOF bank code). The economy is cash-based. Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided it is declared on arrival; export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival. Traveller's cheques in euros or US dollars can be exchanged.

Climate

The rainy season extends from May to November, with high humidity from July to September. The dry season lasts from December to April, with hot winds blowing from the interior. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.