GuineaOfficial Name: Republic of Guinea
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Required for entry
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
The U.S. Embassy is located in Koloma, Conakry, east of Hamdallaye Circle at the following address:
American Embassy Conakry
P.O. Box 603
Transversale No. 2
Centre Administratif de Koloma
Commune de Ratoma Conakry, Republic of Guinea
Telephone:+(224) 67-10-41-22 or 67-10-43-69
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+(224) 657-104-444
Guinea is a developing country in western Africa with minimal facilities for tourism. Travelers who plan to stay in Conakry, the capital, should make reservations well in advance. French is the official language; Pular, Malinké, and Soussou are also widely spoken. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Guinea for additional information on U.S.-Guinea relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
A passport, visa, international vaccination record (World Health Organization card), and current yellow fever vaccination are all required to enter Guinea. Please contact the Embassy of the Republic of Guinea for the most current visa information. The Embassy of the Republic of Guinea in Washington is located at 2112 Leroy Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 986-4300, fax (202) 478-3010. When overseas, contact the nearest Guinean embassy or consulate.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Guinea.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.
Safety and Security
Guinea’s first democratically elected President was inaugurated in December 2010. The presidential election was supposed to be followed by timely elections for the national legislature, but was repeatedly delayed causing demonstrations and protests, some of which have become violent and have included loss of life. In addition, electricity outages have exacerbated unrest and led to demonstrations in some neighborhoods. In both cases, demonstrators attempted to block traffic and caused property damage. Travelers should note that even the most disciplined demonstration could devolve into unpredictable, scattered, independent actions. While the Embassy attempts to alert U.S. citizens in the country to potential safety and security events in advance, this is not always possible with fast-breaking developments.
While not specifically targeted, U.S. citizens have been victims of crime. Motorists traveling outside of Conakry have encountered improvised checkpoint-barricades manned by persons in military uniforms who demand money and search through personal belongings, confiscating items of value. On rare occasions, persons, including U.S. citizens, have reported abusive treatment by security forces and being taken into custody for purposes of extortion.
Civilian groups occasionally stage impromptu strikes or demonstrations, a practice that usually takes place when legislative elections occur. In some instances and in some locales, these demonstrations may involve violence. While U.S. citizens have not been targeted in past outbreaks of violence, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be very dangerous. During periods of civil unrest, public services such as transportation and medical care, as well as the availability of goods and services, can be affected. During many demonstrations, crowds of people gather and burn tires, create roadblocks, and damage vehicles by throwing rocks and bricks. The military has also been known to demonstrate and incite unrest due to their grievances with the government. 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.
Most border crossings are controlled jointly by Guinean armed forces, gendarmes, police, and immigration officials but are lightly patrolled because of the length of the land borders, and the military’s lack of physical and monetary resources. U.S. citizens considering travel to the border regions with Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, or Côte d’Ivoire should consult the latest Travel Warnings and Country Specific Information for these countries. Complete paperwork and visas are required to cross land borders.
To stay connected:
- Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Take some time before travel to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Guinea is relatively pro-United States and pro-West, in general. However, expatriates and members of the diplomatic community are exposed to the realities of the criminal threat without consideration of nationality or affiliation. Several diplomats and expatriates have been victimized by residential burglaries and vehicle break-ins this year. These crimes are not uncommon and the risks are assumed across the spectrum of those perceived to have some level of wealth. Routine personal security considerations such as locking doors, windows, and employing technological security measures can significantly reduce exposure to risk. Careful consideration of means of transportation, and specific times and locations deemed dangerous may also help reduce the instances of crime.
Travelers should avoid unsolicited offers of assistance at the airport or hotels as these individuals may be seeking opportunities to rob visitors of their bags, purses, or wallets. Security at Gbessia International Airport was nearly non-existent several years ago. However, the creation of a new modern terminal, use of access badges, and heightened security has improved the situation. Visitors who arrange to be met at the airport by hotel personnel or business contacts can reduce vulnerability to these crimes. Commercial scams and disputes with local business partners have occasionally created legal difficulties for U.S. citizens. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to extricate U.S. citizens from unlawful business deals is extremely limited. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local authorities and to the U.S. Embassy.
It is essential to keep car doors locked at all times. Failure to do so has resulted in carjacking and vehicle intrusion. It is also advisable to keep windows up, and to only roll them down enough to communicate when necessary. Soldiers staffing checkpoints at night and police at intersections during the day will often solicit bribes. Display requested documents, but do not surrender them, as officials may take them if bribes are not paid.
Computer scams are also on the rise usually by email solicitation or fax. These scams target private business personnel and non-governmental organization employees. In general, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay away from these scams; many business personnel have lost large quantities of money and have put themselves in danger by engaging in such deals.
Political Violence: Guinea has experienced over three years of relative political calm. After enduring a tumultuous recent past politically, Guinea has taken steps in furtherance of a more stable democracy. In 2013 Guinea held legislative elections. Although the electoral process was flawed and the election was delayed by several weeks, the Electoral Commission managed to carry out an election with results that were acceptable to both the government and opposition groups. In late 2013, the new legislative assembly was seated without incident. President Conde wasted no time in announcing Guinea [re]opened for business and encouraging mining sector and other international investment. The country has come a long way since the assassination attempt and subsequent medical evacuation of former President Captain Moussa Dadis Camara in 2009.
Guinea remains a country with a fragile government and a tenuous relationship with its citizens. Poor infrastructure and lack of basic utilities has led to occasional protests and the associated disruptions to traffic and commerce. There was an increase in the number and frequency of protests aimed at improving, or drawing attention to, this lack of basic services in 2013. In addition to an increase in protests against the country’s failing infrastructure, Guinea’s forest region also experienced local turmoil brought on by labor disputes between local communities and the mining companies, and among local tribal interests
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
There is no emergency assistance in Guinea that is similar to the “911” system in the United States.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Guinea, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. There are also some things that may be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is also a crime prosecutable in the United States. If your break the local laws in Guinea, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not legal where you are going. Persons violating Guinean laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Guinea are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. It is common for criminal cases to take months, if not years, to reach a verdict.
Arrest Notifications in Host Country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Guinean customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary import or export of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, and ivory. You should contact the Embassy of Guinea in Washington (see contact information above in the Entry Requirements section) for specific information regarding customs requirements.
The local currency is the Guinean franc (FG). Travelers may not depart Guinea carrying more than 100,000 FG (currently about $15.00) or more than $5,000 U.S. dollars. Guinea has a cash economy. ATMs are mostly unavailable, and traveler’s checks are accepted only at some banks and hotels. Credit cards are accepted at some larger hotels in Conakry, but should be used only at reputable hotels and banks. Cash advances on Visa credit cards are available at various branches of BICIGUI, a local bank. Inter-bank fund transfers are possible at BICIGUI branches but can be difficult and expensive. Money transfers from the United States have worked successfully in the past. Western Union has several offices in Conakry, and MoneyGram has an office in downtown Conakry as well.
Visitors should restrict photography to private gatherings and should obtain explicit permission from the Guinean government before photographing military and transportation facilities, government buildings, or public works. Photographing without permission in any public area may provoke a response from security personnel or a dangerous confrontation with people who find being photographed offensive.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Guinea. Penalties include fines and jail time of up to three years in prison. Although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions for such activities, they remain illegal. For more detailed information about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Guinea, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Guinea, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Guinea does not have legislation that mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities.
Medical facilities are poorly equipped and extremely limited, both in the capital city and throughout Guinea. Medicines are in short supply and of questionable quality, sterility of equipment should not be assumed, and treatment is frequently unreliable. Some private medical facilities provide a better range of treatment options than public facilities, but are still well below western standards. Ambulance and emergency rescue services are extremely limited in Conakry and practically non-existent in the rest of the country. Trauma care is extremely limited.
The Centers for Disease Control has a comprehensive, updated review of infectious disease issues and overall health recommendations for international traveling with specific recommendations by country
Diarrheal illness is very common among travelers even in large cities and luxury accommodations. Travelers can diminish diarrhea risk through scrupulous washing of hands and use of hand sanitizers, especially before food preparation and eating. The greatest risk of traveler’s diarrhea is from contaminated food. Choose foods and beverages carefully to lower your risk (see Food & Water Safety). Eat only food that is cooked and served hot; avoid food that has been sitting on a buffet. Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if you have washed them in clean water or peeled them. Drink only beverages from factory-sealed containers, and avoid ice (because it may have been made from unclean water).
Mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue are a significant problem and prevention of bites and proper Yellow Fever immunization are important for all areas.
Travelers should carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Treating clothing and tents with permethrin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well ticks, fleas, chiggers, etc., some of which may also carry infections.
Malaria is a serious risk to travelers in all areas of Guinea including Conakry and other cities; antimalarial prophylaxis, purchased in the United States, is recommended. For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention malaria web page.
Yellow fever and dengue are viruses spread by day biting mosquitoes (as opposed to the night biting malaria carrying mosquitoes). Like malaria, preventing mosquito biting is the most important for preventing these illnesses.
Yellow fever, although rare among travelers it can be severe or fatal in about ten percent of those infected. It can be nearly 100 percent prevented through use of the yellow fever vaccine but there is currently no treatment for yellow fever infection. Vaccination is recommended for all those over age nine months old and is required from entry from a country that has endemic yellow fever.
Dengue fever causes fever, chills, severe headache and body aches. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for dengue and the illness occasionally causes severe or fatal disease.
All routinely recommended immunizations for the United States should be up to date as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis A, and chicken pox are much more common than in the United States, especially among children. There have been numerous cases of measles in Conakry and other areas of Guinea since 2013 and immunization (or documentation of actual illness previously) should be considered. Additionally, typhoid immunization is recommended for all travelers.
Rabies immunization is recommended for all travelers staying for more than four weeks or who will have remote, rural travel or expect animal exposure. Even in urban areas, dogs may have rabies and bites. Dogs, bats, or other mammals should be immediately cleaned with soap and water, and medical evaluation should be sought to determine if additional rabies immunization is warranted.
Meningococcal meningitis is much more common than in the United States, in particular during the dry season (December through June), especially in the eastern part of the country and the capital. Immunization with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine should be given to all children and health care workers; it should be considered for all adults.
Guinea experienced an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Forest Region in March 2014. The Government of Guinea, with the help of International partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) responded quickly to monitor and halt the spread of this disease, and to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to effectively control the further spread of the infection. Visit CDC’s Ebola web page for more information.
The CDC website also provides valuable information on vaccinations and other health precautions. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Guinea, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Guinea is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Drivers in Guinea routinely ignore road safety rules. Guinea's road network, which is only partly paved, is underdeveloped and unsafe. Roads and vehicles are poorly maintained, road signs are insufficient, and roads and vehicles are frequently unlit. Livestock and pedestrians create constant road hazards and make nighttime travel inadvisable. The police and the military often set up roadblocks, making inter/intra-city travel difficult from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. During the rainy season (July through September), flash floods make some roads temporarily impassable. There is also a significant increase in banditry along the roadways between towns and upcountry during evening hours. U.S. citizens and other foreigners are strongly discouraged from traveling after dark outside of populated areas. Roadside assistance is not available in Guinea.
Guinea has no reliable public transportation. Taxis, including small cars and larger vans, are often poorly maintained and overcrowded. Taxis frequently stop and start without regard to other vehicles, making driving hazardous. Hired vehicles and drivers are available from agencies at major hotels in Conakry.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Guinea’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Conakry
American Embassy Conakry
P.O. Box 603
Transversale No. 2
Centre Administratif de Koloma
Commune de Ratoma Conakry, Republic of Guinea