Guinea-Bissau

WARNING:

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. UK Government travel advisory

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 know 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, but 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 UK or US embassy in Guinea-Bissau. The UK and US embassies in Dakar, Senegal are accredited to Guinea-Bissau. The US has a liaison office at: Edifício SITEC, Rua José Carlos Schwarz 245, Bairro d’Ajuda, ☎ +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.

WARNING:

Ebola

Guinea

Liberia

Mali

Sierra Leone

Before travelling, 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.

Electronic Visa Application System is recently 2015 introduced. Following is cc from that website (https://www.rgb-visa.com)

" A biometric visa is required to enter Guinea Bissau. All foreign nationals entering Guinea Bissau are required to have a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa sticker bonded into passport obtained from any Border Control checkpoint or Guinea Bissau embassy see the list of embassies here

All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Guinea Bissau Visa by filling in the online application form. Please follow the instructions for filling the form by following the step by step procedure. The visa application pre-enrolment is done online on the following website: (https://www.rgb-visa.com), upon payment online payment to which a processing fee of 2.5 EUR is added. These amounts are not refunded if the visa is not granted.

If the request is accepted, the applicant receives a visa issuing conformation by email if the request is made online, required at the border crossing / entry to the country. Upon payment and visa confirmation you will receive visa slip that serves as a receipt. This receipt needs to be printed and it needs to be shown to the visa officer at the chosen border crossing with your passport. This pre-visa slips can also be used by the airlines companies as an ok to board. Nationals of other countries than Guinea-Bissau, must present a valid passport or valid national identity card for ECOWAS citizens. The biometric visa for 1 to 90 days stay, with single entry is issued after prior collection of biometric data fingerprints, photo and biographical data of the applicant. It also requires the provision of information on travel and accommodation. This biometric visa is issued at the diplomatic and consular offices in the following eight countries more may be added later: Germany, Morocco, Guinea, Gâmbia, Usa, Cape Verde, Brasil, Spain, visa on arrival at Guine Bissau International Airport and possibly other border crossings into the country. "A Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required.

contact

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

respect

Muslims are mostly tolerant of others in this country, if your presence is considered to be temporary. There are a few radicalised 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.

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.

talk

Portuguese is the official language and the language used for writing. However, less than one in seven of the population speak it fluently and 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 the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mauretania, 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, 300 m forward on the right