National currency: 1 Guinea Franc divided into 100 centimes.
Currency abbreviation: FG, GNF. – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
There are 5,000, 1,000 and 500 FG banknotes. Coins with a value of 25, 10, 5 and 1 FG are in circulation.
Currency exchange: The exchange rates in the capital are best. Outside of Conakry, only cash is exchanged in banks. Euros, US dollars or CFA francs are recommended. Some hotels accept these currencies as payment. There is a black market in the country that offers slightly better prices than the banks. It is very difficult to exchange surplus Guinea Francs in foreign currencies when you leave the country.
Exchange rate Guinea Franc:
Currency converter at OANDA
Credit Cards: sometimes better hotels accept credit cards.
ATMs: There are plans to introduce ATMs that accept Visa cards.
Traveler’s checks: Should be in US dollars or euros. Exchange fees are high. Especially at smaller banks or outside of Conakry there can be problems with the exchange.
Foreign exchange regulations: The import and export of the national currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currencies is unlimited, declaration is required. The export of foreign currency is limited to the declared amount.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Health and Diseases
According to the WHO, Guinea is a yellow fever infection area. A valid vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for all travelers arriving from a yellow fever area, exceptions: children under one year. In practice, however, the check is usually not differentiated and proof of vaccination is required from all travelers.
The Federal Foreign Office’s health service also recommends vaccination protection against tetanus, diphtheria, especially poliomyelitis (poliomyelitis) and hepatitis A, and for long-term stays over 4 weeks, additional hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis (including type A and W).
The standard vaccinations for children according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute should be up to date.
Yellow fever: In the past years, between 6 and 688 cases of yellow fever have been confirmed each year.
Malaria: Malaria is one of the most important diseases in Guinea in terms of both disease rate and mortality. The transmission takes place through the bite of blood-sucking, nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes. If left untreated, particularly dangerous malaria tropica (> 90% of cases in Guinea!) Is often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay. If fever occurs during this time, it is necessary to inform the attending doctor about staying in a malaria area.
There is a high year-round risk of malaria across the country. Chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is recommended. For malaria prophylaxis, various medications (e.g., Malarone®, Doxycyclin, Lariam®) that are available in Germany are only partially available in local pharmacies. It is recommended to take a sufficient supply with you. The choice of medication and its personal adjustment as well as side effects or incompatibilities with other medications should be discussed with a tropical medicine / travel medicine before taking it.
Due to the mosquito-borne risk of infection, all travelers are advised to
- Wear body-covering clothing (long pants, long shirts),
- Repeatedly apply insect repellant to all free parts of the body all day (dengue, see below) and in the evening and at night (malaria!)
- to sleep under a mosquito net if necessary
HIV / AIDS:85,000 cases of HIV /AIDSinfections are reported for Guinea in 2005. In 2005, 1.5% of the adult population and approximately 4.4% of pregnant women were HIV positive. Through heterosexual and homosexual contacts, drug use (dirty syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions there is always a high risk. Condom use is always recommended, especially on the occasion of acquaintances.
Diarrhea and cholera: Cholera occurs again and again in epidemics with up to several thousand cases per.
Appropriate food and drinking water hygiene can prevent most diarrheal diseases and especially cholera.
A few basic rules: Drink only water of safe origin, e.g. bottled water, never tap water. In case of emergency, use filtered, disinfected or boiled water. Use only drinking water for washing dishes and brushing your teeth. The following applies to food: cooking, peeling or disinfecting. Be sure to keep flies away from your food. Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always after using the toilet and always before preparing food and before eating. Hand disinfection, where appropriate, use disposable towels.
Other infectious diseases: Dengue fever occurs. Dengue fever is transmitted by the diurnal mosquito Stegomyia aegypti. It cannot be differentiated from malaria based on symptoms alone. In individual cases, serious health problems can result in death. Mosquito repellent is the only precautionary measure.
Schistosomiasis (schistosomiasis): The risk of transmission of this worm infection exists when bathing in fresh water throughout the country. Bathing in open fresh water should therefore always be avoided.
Lassa fever: In Guinea, the Lassa fever infection is endemic, but there are always minor outbreaks. 24 cases were recorded between 1998 and 2002. The route of transmission to humans is oral or inhalation contact with food or aerosols contaminated by rat urine. Be especially careful when traveling inland under simple conditions.
The medical care in the country cannot be compared to Europe and is often technically, apparatusally and / or hygienically highly problematic. The number of adequately trained specialists is limited. Medical care in Conakry is limited. The city has individual German-speaking doctors, including a German general practitioner. There are French-speaking specialists in the important specialties.
Predictable operations should only be performed in Europe. Only individual private clinics can be considered for emergencies.
Bringing medication for a first aid kit is recommended and necessary for people who need special medication. The pharmacies in Guinea have a limited range of important standard medicines, often of European origin. Counterfeit medicines with unsafe content occur.
The few tourists who come to Guinea should take out additional travel health insurance beforehand. People who want to stay in Guinea for a longer period of time should have private health insurance that covers treatment costs in Guinea, but also in Germany. It is recommended that you take out air rescue insurance from an air rescue organization.
In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:
A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.
Means of transport in the country
Airplane: There is currently no national air traffic in Guinea.
Rail: there is currently no national rail traffic.
Cars: Some roads have been recently renovated and are in excellent condition, especially the main road to the east and the route north from Mamou. Otherwise, all levels of conservation are represented, from good to catastrophic. The picture shows a typical rainforest slope in Guinea. Police controls are common. In the rainy season (May – October) the transport is often very lengthy or impossible. Taxis are available, fares are negotiable. Buses: The state bus company SOGETRAG offers daily connections from Conakry to Labé, Kankan, Mamou and several other cities in Guinea. The buses are comfortable and cheap, but also slow. Bush taxis are the main form of transportation in the country, they are usually crowded and therefore very uncomfortable. They are a little cheaper than overland taxis.
City traffic: cheap buses and taxis run in Conakry.
Tourist highlights in Guinea
After independence in 1958, Guinea isolated itself for a long time. After the death of dictator Sekou Touré in 1984, the country opened cautiously to tourism. Nevertheless, Guinea is still one of the least visited and least known countries in Africa.
Conakry was once one of the most important French ports in West Africa. Nowadays this flair is missing, sights in the city are scarce, but there is a lot of live music and restaurants. A visit to the National Museum with its masks and statues is also interesting. The Grande Mosquée holds up to 10,000 prayers, on its grounds is the tomb of Sekou Touré.
The Fouta Djalon plateau in northern Guinea is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in all of West Africa. The best time to come here is from November to January when the Harmattan is not blowing and it is a little cooler. The region is characterized by hills, mountains and the arable land of the Fulbe resident here. Dalaba is particularly suitable as a starting point for tours. Tours can be organized in the tourist office with a guide, but you can also explore the area on your own. In Labé, the largest city in the Fouta Djalon, there are also opportunities to arrange trekking tours lasting several days.
The Guinée Forestiére region (Forest Guinea) offers one of the best opportunities in all of Africa to see forest elephants. The starting point is Sérédou, where you can get guides for the hike through the Forét Classée de Ziama. Elephants are often seen here, but even if you don’t meet them, the experience of a rainforest hike on elephant trails is unique.
Mount Nimba, the highest point in Guinea at 1,752 m, lies in the border triangle of Liberia, Ivory Coast and Guinea. The best starting point is in Gbakoré near the city of Lola. A guide has recently been officially requested, the trek to the summit takes about 4 hours.
In Bossou to some of the most remote spots is primary rainforest in West Africa. Chimpanzees live in the surrounding hills and cannot be hunted due to local taboos. A guide to finding the chimpanzees can be hired at the Bossou Environmental Research Institute.