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Country Guides for Africa

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. President OBIANG NGUEM MBASOGO has ruled the tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands and one of the smallest countries on the African continent, since he seized power in a coup in 1979. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 legislative elections - were widely seen as being flawed.

Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers’ diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Central Africa and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.

Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites . All travelers to Central Africa, including infants, children, and former residents of Central Africa, may be at risk for malaria. All travelers should take one of the following drugs (listed alphabetically): atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances).

A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.

An outbreak of sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) has been reported in southern Sudan.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in Central African countries.

Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.

CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):

See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
  • Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
  • Meningococcal (meningitis), if you plan to visit Central African Republic, Chad, and Sudan, from December through June.
  • Yellow fever, if you plan to travel anywhere outside cities.
  • Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
  • Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not receive the series as infants.

To stay healthy, do...

  • Wash hands often with soap and water.
  • Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an “absolute 1-micron or less” filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. “Absolute 1-micron filters” are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
  • Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
  • Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
    • Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
    • Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
    • Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
    • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
    • Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
    • Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
    • Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
    • DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
    • Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
  • Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Download Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by CountryDownload Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by Country

SAFETY AND SECURITY: It is not uncommon for a uniformed member of the security forces to stop motorists on the pretext of minor or nonexistent violations of the local motor vehicle regulations in order to extort small bribes. Visitors are advised not to pay bribes, and to request that the officer provide a citation to be paid at the local court. Although large public demonstrations are uncommon, U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations.

CRIME: Violent crime is rare and the overall level of criminal activity is low in comparison to other countries in the region. However, there has been a rise in non-violent street crime and residential burglaries. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help U.S. citizens understand the local criminal justice process and find an attorney if needed.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Malabo (call (240) 273-193), the U.S. Consular Agent in Bata (call (240) 275-193), or the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. Pamphlets are available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.



Source: U.S. Department of State

tropical; always hot, humid

Source: CIA World Factbook

Equatorial Guinea's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.

To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.

For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.

Download Magellan's Guide to World Electrical ConnectionsDownload Magellan's Guide to World Electrical Connections

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and evidence of a yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Equatorial Guinea. U.S. citizens are not required to have visas to enter Equatorial Guinea for short visits. However, travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, 2020 16 th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, telephone (202) 518-5700, fax (202) 518-5252. Overseas, inquiries may also be made at the nearest Equatoguinean embassy or consulate.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.



Source: U.S. Department of State

The time zone for Equatorial Guinea is 0 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Equatorial Guinea would be 5:00 pm

The unit of currency in Equatorial Guinea is the Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States.

Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter

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