West Africa

Guinea-Bissau Travel Overview

GENERAL

Official name of the state

Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Capital

Bissau.

Geography

According to a2zgov, Guinea-Bissau borders on Senegal in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest and the Republic of Guinea in the east. The Arquipélago dos Bijagós and the island of Bolama also belong to Guinea-Bissau. The country is mostly flat, the highest point (300 m) is near the border with Guinea. The coastal region consists of dense forest and mangrove swamps, the inland mostly of savannah.

Government

Presidential republic since 1984. New constitution from 1999. The national assembly with 100 members is elected every 5 years. Independent since September 1974 (former Portuguese colony).

Head of state

José Mário Vaz, since June 2014.

Head of government

Umaro Sissoco Embaló, since November 2016.

Electricity

220 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time: CET -1

TRAVEL WARNING

Current information

Due to the ongoing crisis in Guinea-Bissau since August 2015, outbreaks of violence are possible in Bissau. People who are in Bissau should contact the liaison office of the German Embassy Dakar in Bissau. It is also recommended to avoid crowds and demonstrations and to follow the latest news.

Country-specific safety information

The German embassy in Dakar has a liaison office in Guinea-Bissau, which cannot offer the same range of consular services and assistance as the embassy. Decisions on applications of a consular nature (assistance, passport applications, etc.) are made exclusively by the embassy in Dakar.

Germans in Guinea-Bissau are advised to keep telephone contact with the liaison office of the German embassy in Dakar (for contact details see the website of the embassy in Dakar external link, opens in a new window www.dakar.diplo.de) and to keep up to date with the current security situation to inform.

Worldwide safety notice Please also note the external link, opens in new window, worldwide safety notice.

Country-specific safety information

The German embassy in Dakar has a liaison office in Guinea-Bissau, which cannot offer the same range of consular services and assistance as the embassy. Decisions on applications of a consular nature (assistance, passport applications, etc.) are made exclusively by the embassy in Dakar.

Germans in Guinea-Bissau are advised to keep telephone contact with the liaison office of the German embassy in Dakar (for contact details see the website of the embassy in Dakar external link, opens in a new window www.dakar.diplo.de) and to keep up to date with the current security situation to inform.

Guinea-Bissau Travel Overview

MONEY

Currency

1 CFA (Communauté Financiaire Africaine) Franc * = 100 Centimes. Currency abbreviation: CFA Fr, XOF (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the value of 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 CFA Fr. Coins are available in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 CFA Fr.

Note: [*] The CFA Franc (XOF) is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO, State Bank of West African States) and used by the 8 members of the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The CFA Franc (XAF) issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, State Bank of the Central African States) is not legal tender in Guinea-Bissau. The CFA Franc is pegged to the Euro.

Credit cards

Are only accepted to a very limited extent. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.
ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

ATMs are not available.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (July-October: Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-2.30 p.m.).

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is prohibited. There are no import restrictions for foreign currencies, declaration obligation. The export is limited to the amount declared upon entry.

Currency Exchange

Bringing US dollars with you is recommended as it is the easiest to exchange. Exchange rate losses must be included in the exchange of the local currency.

LANGUAGE

Overview

The official language is Portuguese, but the majority of the population speaks Crioulo (Creole Portuguese). West African tribal languages ​​such as Fulani and Balante are also spoken.

 

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

The following articles can be imported into Guinea-Bissau duty-free (no age limit):
1 l alcoholic beverages (only non-Muslims);
Tobacco products for personal use;
Perfume and eau de toilette in opened bottles for personal use.

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Safari suits or summer dresses are worn on business meetings. Knowledge of Portuguese is an advantage as few business people speak English.

Economy

Information is available from the consular posts (see addresses).

Business contacts

Information is available from the consular posts (see addresses).

COMMUNICATION

Phone

Dial-up remote service.

Post Office

Domestic mail is very unreliable; Post abroad takes a long time.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

SHOP

Overview

Local handicrafts and carvings are offered in the markets. There are several modern shops in Bissau. Shop opening times: generally Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m.

CULINARY

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

There are several large hotels as well as various small, inexpensive hotels. Advance booking and confirmation of the booking is recommended.

Camping

There are no official tent sites, camping is generally not recommended.

CULTURE

Religion

Natural religions (50%); also Muslims (45%) and Christian minorities (5%, mainly Catholics).

Social rules of conduct

Casual clothing is accepted everywhere. One should respect local customs; In the Islamic regions in particular, restrained clothing is appropriate. In addition, no valuables should be displayed; In Bissau in particular, there is a risk of robbery and theft due to armed gang crime. Photography: Be careful when choosing a subject, photography of military or police installations is prohibited. Tip: 10% is appropriate, but is officially reluctant to see it.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Tropical. Rainy season: May – November, dry season with Harmattan desert winds from December to April. Hot winds blow from inland. Rainiest months: July and August. Average temperature 24 ° C.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +245 Area (sq km) 36 125 Population 1726 170 Population density (per sq km) 48 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No