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Traveling to Guinea-Bissau is not an easy task. Getting a visa can be complicated and the cities have a high crime rate. Better known for its political issues and drug trafficking issues, it has a lot of charm and culture.
If you’re willing to take the risks, it’s a beautiful country with a lot to offers its visitors.
Located between Senegal and Guinea, it has a tropical climate and beautiful coastlines. One of the only African countries to take part in Carnival, it has a Latin vibe and is still heavily influenced by Portuguese culture.
Guinea-Bissau is perfect for any nature lover and adventurer willing to make the trip. Remember to be cautious of your surroundings, pack for the weather, and to have all necessary items for entering and exiting the country.
Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Guinea-Bissau. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Guinea-Bissau: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, and influenza.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for entry to Guinea-Bissau. Ensure you are vaccinated before leaving for your trip.
Guinea-Bissau falls in what is known as the ‘meningitis belt’. This means from December to June, travelers and residents are at risk of contracting meningitis. A meningitis vaccine is recommended if traveling during this timeframe.
See our vaccinations page to learn more about these infections and vaccines. Ready to protect yourself? Book your travel health appointment today by calling or schedule online now.
Yes, there are a handful of mosquito-borne diseases in Guinea-Bissau that you should be aware of before traveling.
The CDC has identified Guinea-Bissau as a country with endemic cholera. This food- and waterborne disease can be fatal. Make sure you take proper precautions including only consuming safe food and drinking water and receiving a cholera vaccine
Passport Health’s travel clinics carry VaxChora, the only cholera vaccine approved for use in the United States. Book your cholera vaccination appointment today by calling or book online now.
U.S. travelers to Guinea-Bissau need a visa, passport, proof of yellow fever vaccination and proof of a return ticket. Your passport will need to be up to date and it will need to be valid for 6 months after your exit date.
Be sure to have your valid passport, visa, and return ticket (or ticket to another country) on-hand when exiting the country.
For more information, see our Guinea-Bissau visa page. Or contact a Passport Health Passport and Visa specialist by calling 1-844-366-8472 or by filling out our online form.
Guinea-Bissau has a tropical climate and remains hot and humid all year. It’s wet season with heavy winds and rain is June to November. The dry season is then December to May with little temperature fluctuation. The temperatures can vary with altitude changes and your proximity to the coastline. Here is what you should expect in a few key areas of the country:
There are no travel warnings for Guinea-Bissau. But, there is a high crime rate and lack of law enforcement resources.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before traveling. This will allow you to receive messages, get in contact with family and make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.
Travelers should be aware of their surroundings. Take extra precaution when visiting due to political turmoil. The main crimes include pick-pocketing, petty-theft, and minor assaults.
There are land mines scattered throughout the country. Exercise caution when driving at night and try to stay on well-traveled roads as much as possible.
If you plan on using taxis, inform the driver that you do not want more patrons picked up along the route. The taxis in Guinea-Bissau are like a bus service where each passenger pays for a seat and not the route. There is also an increase in narcotics trafficking, which has led to the increase in criminal activity.
Penalties for drug possessing, using, or trafficking are severe with the increase in drug-related crimes. Anyone convicted can expect both a heavy fine and a long jail sentence.
Made up of an archipelago of 15 main islands, the Bijagós Islands of Guinea-Bissau are about 30 miles off the coast. They are all covered with lush vegetation and have sandy beaches. Each island has different features that make them unique. There are many other possibilities of camping and other eco-tourism.
Many islands have French-owned fishing lodges. For example, Keré is a tiny island between Caravela and Carache. While no one lives on the island, there’s a single hotel and fishing trips are the feature experience.
On the island of Orango it’s possible to see freshwater hippos. It has the largest population of marine hippos and there are boat trips available to see them up close. On some islands there are even turtle nesting grounds. João Vieira-Poilão Islands National Park has the best spots for seeing turtles. You’re able to see rare green turtles, hawksbill, leatherback, and olive ridley turtles.
Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Guinea-Bissau:
There is no physical U.S. Embassy in Guinea-Bissau. If you need help you can contact the U.S. Embassy in Dakar since it has jurisdiction over Guinea-Bissau. All U.S. citizens travelling or residing in Guinea-Bissau should to enroll online.
U.S. Embassy Dakar
Route des Almadies
Telephone: +(221) 33-879-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(221) 33-879-4444
Stay safe abroad with Passport Health. Call or book online now and start traveling safely today!
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