Traveling Luck for Guinea
Guinea is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.
Land in Guinea is generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior.
Guinean land covers an area of 245857 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Oregon
As for the Guinean climate; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds.
Guinean(s) speak French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language.
Places of note in Guinea
Guinean National Map
Regions of Guinea
- Guinea (general)
Guinea has had only two presidents since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 and again in 2003. Unrest in Sierra Leone and Liberia has spilled over into Guinea on several occasions over the past decade, threatening stability and creating humanitarian emergencies.
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country possesses almost half of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for over 70% of exports in 2004. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Fighting along the Sierra Leonean and Liberian borders, as well as refugee movements, have caused major economic disruptions, aggravating a loss in investor confidence. Panic buying has created food shortages and inflation and caused riots in local markets. Guinea is not receiving multilateral aid; the IMF and World Bank cut off most assistance in 2003. Growth rose slightly in 2005, primarily due to increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets.
Guinean natural resources include bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
the Niger and its important tributary the Milo have their sources in the Guinean highlands
Guinean religion is Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%.
Natural hazards in Guinea include hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season.
- On 12 February the President declared a state of siege and martial law in Guinea. This Travel Advice will be further updated on 13 February. We advise against all travel to Guinea.
- British nationals in Guinea should consider leaving if they judge they have a safe route to do so.
- There were violent demonstrations in Conakry and many Guinean towns on Saturday 10 February following the nomination of an unpopular Prime Minister. Several deaths were reported. Some international flights to and from Conakry were cancelled. While many places were calm on Sunday there is a high risk of further unrest on Monday 12 February. Even if a general strike is not officially restarted widespread disruption can be expected. For those planning to travel to Guinea, you should monitor events and seriously consider postponing your trip until the situation is clearer.
- The last strike called by the two largest Trade Unions was suspended on 27 January 2007 after an agreement was reached between the Unions and Government. During the strike, Central Conakry was affected by violent clashes between protestors and security forces. Disturbances also affected several Conakry suburbs, including Matoto, Bambeto, Hamdallaye and Gbessia. There were also protests in Labe, Pita, Kankan and other cities. Reliable estimates suggest approximately 100 people were killed in various incidents during the strike and over 100 seriously wounded.
- Due to the small size of the Embassy, only limited emergency assistance can be provided. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend you register with the Embassy if you have not already done so.
- We already advise against all but essential travel to the areas bordering Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. This is because of the fragile and unstable security situation in Cote d’Ivoire, and poor government control over the border areas from Liberia (where a large UN peacekeeping force is still in place) and Sierra Leone.
- The threat from terrorism is low.
- There are very few British tourists to Guinea. Most visits are trouble-free. We are not aware of any British nationals who have required consular assistance in Guinea in the past year. However, petty crime is common in Guinea. You should take sensible precautions and maintain a high level of vigilance in public.
- It is a requirement that you show identification if requested by the police or other law enforcement agencies. You are allowed to carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, provided the Guinean police has certified them.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance
SAFETY AND SECURITY
You should not become involved with drugs of any kind. All precious stones require an export licence. There are heavy penalties for those who commit criminal offences. Local prison conditions are harsh.
Pickpocketing, muggings and armed break-ins occur especially in Conakry. You should avoid carrying valuables in public and be vigilant at all times.
Photography and filming in many parts of the country is forbidden.
Guinea Country Profile
We advise against all travel to Guinea.
British Nationals in Guinea should consider leaving if they judge they have a safe route to do so.
We advise against all but essential travel to areas bordering Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. This is because of the fragile and unstable security situation in Cote d’Ivoire, and poor government control over the border areas in Liberia (where a large UN peacekeeping force is still in place) and Sierra Leone, where there is a high military presence due to border tension.
Public transport, when it exists, is neither reliable nor safe. Taxis and long distance buses are poorly maintained, and the drivers often unqualified. Most major hotels and travel agencies offer cars for hire, with a chauffeur if required.
The rainy season (May - October), makes travel outside Conakry and to the interior both difficult and hazardous. Travel outside cities after dark should be avoided. Fuel shortages often occur in Guinea. It is inadvisable to travel within Guinea without a sufficient supply of fuel to complete your journey.
The standard of road maintenance is low. Beware of deep potholes. Many roads are not metalled and are not repaired after the rainy season. Roads within Conakry and other principal towns can quickly become flooded and impassable. Vehicles countrywide may be badly maintained and unroadworthy. Few motorists have any form of insurance. Hostile crowds can gather quickly at the scene of a traffic accident, particularly where foreigners are involved.
You are strongly advised not to travel outside of Conakry and other principal towns after dark.
Police and local militia checkpoints are found throughout the country. Vehicles and passengers are submitted to checks on documentation and baggage. Corruption and extortion are common at roadblocks.
There are a number of local airlines, which operate internally and on shuttle routes to neighbouring destinations. We do not have reliable information about safety and/or maintenance standards, but flights are frequently delayed or cancelled.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Due to the small size of the British Embassy, only emergency assistance can be provided. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend that you register with the Embassy if you have not already done so.
All visitors to the Embassy will be seen strictly by appointment.
The Embassy will run a telephone enquiry service on (+224) 30 45 58 07 during normal office hours: Monday to Thursday 0800-1630 and Friday 0800-1300.
In an emergency the duty officer can be reached 24 hours a day on (+224) 60 25 42 05.