- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
Independent from France since 1958, Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. Lansana CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998. Unrest in Sierra Leone has spilled over into Guinea, threatening stability and creating a humanitarian emergency.
Source: CIA World Factbook
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 the region 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 West Africa, including infants, children, and former residents of West Africa, are at risk for malaria. All travelers should take one of the following drugs (listed alphabetically): atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances).
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended and may be required for entry into certain of these countries. If you travel to West Africa, the easiest and safest thing to do is get a yellow fever vaccination and a signed certificate. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in the region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these 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 46 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, for travel to most of these countries from December through June.
- Yellow fever.
- 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 1112 years who did not complete the series as infants.
- 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 doctor 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
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Guinea has experienced occasional civil unrest in the capital, Conakry, and in larger towns in all regions of the country. U.S. citizens have not been targeted in any demonstration-related unrest; however, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be very dangerous. During many demonstrations, crowds of people gather and burn tires, create roadblocks, and damage vehicles by throwing rocks and bricks. Because of the potential for violence, U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations. They should also avoid sensitive government installations, including the Presidential Palace, official government buildings, and military bases. U.S. citizens should maintain security awareness at all times.
Despite the Guinean military's attempts
to maintain strict control of its borders, instability in neighboring countries
has created tense situations along Guinea's borders. Hostilities along Guinea's
borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia escalate from time to time, resulting
in border incursions and kidnappings by various armed factions. Major incursions
occurred in September 2000 through March 2001; skirmishes have also occurred
along the Guinea-Liberia border as recently as October 2002. The current civil
war in neighboring Cote D'Ivoire has also increased tensions along Guinea's
As a result of continued military activity, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid all areas south of Kissidougou, including the prefectures of Gueckedou, Macenta, N'Zerekore, Yomou, Lolo, and Beyla. The road connecting Conakry, Coyah, and Kissidougou is not restricted, and as recently as November 2002, several border-crossing areas between Guinea and Sierra Leone have opened. U.S. citizens contemplating travel to any region bordering Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire or Sierra Leone are urged to consult the latest Travel Warnings and/or Consular Information Sheets for these countries (available at the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Web site at http://travel.state.gov) and to communicate with the U.S. Embassy in Conakry for the latest travel and security information. Crossing borders requires visas and complete paperwork and may be difficult.
CRIME: In Conakry, as in most large cities, crime is a facet of daily life. Residential and street crime is very common. Sentiments toward American citizens in Guinea are generally positive. However, criminals regularly target U.S. and other foreign citizens. Criminals, thieves, prostitutes, beggars, and some corrupt military and police officials perceive U.S. and foreign visitors as lucrative targets. The incidents of property crimes, crimes against persons, and automobile accidents traditionally increase during the months of November through January in Conakry.
Violent as well as nonviolent criminal activity has occurred. The majority of nonviolent crime involves acts of pick-pocketing and purse-snatching. On the other extreme, armed robbery/muggings and assaults are the most common violent crime. Restaurant invasions and home invasion robberies are on the rise. Expatriates have sometimes been targets in these instances, and criminals have not hesitated to hurt victims who have resisted. Banditry near the Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia borders has also been reported. In an effort to stem the tide of urban banditry and to catch perceived rebels, the Guinean government maintains countrywide roadblocks from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Despite the best of intentions, the police have been unable to prevent the rapid escalation of crime. There have also been incidents of direct and indirect requests for bribes from the police and military officials.
Criminals particularly target visitors at the airport, in the traditional markets, and near hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners. Visitors should avoid unsolicited offers of assistance at the airport or hotels, as persons making such offers may be seeking opportunities to steal luggage, purses, or wallets. Travelers should arrange to be met at the airport by hotel personnel, family members, or business contacts to reduce their vulnerability to these crimes of opportunity.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 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 immediately. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, deal with the local police, 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 you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
BUSINESS FRAUD: Commercial scams and disputes with local business partners have created legal difficulties for some U.S. citizens. Corruption is widespread in Guinea. Business is routinely conducted through the payment of bribes rather than by the rule of law, and enforcement of the law is irregular and inefficient. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to extricate U.S. citizens from illegal business deals is extremely limited.
Perpetrators of business fraud often target foreigners, including Americans. While such fraud schemes in the past have been largely associated with Nigeria, they are now prevalent throughout western Africa, including Guinea. The scams pose a danger of both financial loss and physical harm. Recently, an increasing number of American citizens have been the targets of such scams.
Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication (usually by e-mail) from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. A series of "advance fees" must then be paid in order to conclude the transaction: for example, fees to open a bank account, or to pay certain taxes. In fact, the final payoff does not exist; the purpose of the scam is simply to collect the advance fees. One common variation of this scheme involves individuals claiming to be refugees or other victims of various western African conflicts (notably Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote D'Ivoire) who contact U.S. citizens to request their help in transferring large sums of money out of Guinea. Another typical ploy has persons claiming to be related to present or former political leaders who need assistance to transfer large sums of cash. Other variations include what appear to be legitimate business deals requiring advance payments on contracts.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of advance-fee fraud is common sense - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Any unsolicited business proposal originating from Guinea should be carefully checked out before any funds are committed, any goods or services are provided, or any travel is undertaken. For additional information, single copies of the Department of State's brochure, "Advance Fee Business Scams", are available at no charge by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Office of Overaseas Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Source: CIA World Factbook
Guinea's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Please note: Not all electrical sockets in these countries provide grounding. 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.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport, visa, International Vaccination record (WHO card), and current yellow fever vaccination are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Guinea, 2112 Leroy Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 986-4300, fax (202) 478-3010. Overseas, inquiries should be made to the nearest Guinean 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 Guinea is 1 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Guinea would be 6:00 pm
The unit of currency in Guinea is the Guinean franc (GNF).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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