Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Route des Almadies
The U.S. Embassy in Dakar has jurisdiction over Guinea-Bissau. U.S. citizens travelling or residing in Guinea-Bissau are encouraged to enroll online through STEP with the U.S. Embassy in Dakar.
Valid at time of Entry
1 page per stamp
The U.S. Embassy in Bissau suspended operations on June 14, 1998, at the outbreak of a violent civil war. There is currently no permanent U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Guinea-Bissau.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Guinea Bissau for information on U.S. – Guinea-Bissau relations.
A valid passport, visa, and proof of onward/return ticket are required for U.S. citizens to enter Guinea-Bissau. The Bissau-Guinean Embassy in Washington, D.C., suspended operations in January, 2007. The Embassy of Guinea-Bissau does not have a website. Due to Guinea-Bissau’s lack of consular representation in the United States, it can be difficult for U.S. citizens to obtain the required visa for entry into Guinea-Bissau. Since most flights destined for Guinea-Bissau must pass through Dakar, Senegal, or Lisbon, Portugal, most travelers are able to apply for visas at the Bissau-Guinean embassies in those countries.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Guinea-Bissau.
Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in West Africa and lacks sufficient resources and infrastructure to ensure a stable security environment. Since Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal in 1974, the country has been plagued by coups, political assassinations, and a civil war. Due to the current political, economic, and security situation in Guinea-Bissau, all U.S. citizens and organizations should exercise heightened personal security awareness. Unexploded military ordnance and land mines remain scattered throughout the country, so avoid driving in rural areas at night and remain on well-traveled roads at all times.
Crime: Guinea-Bissau is rated critical for crime due to the frequency of crimes and lack of law enforcement resources.
Foreigners are primarily targeted for:
The increase in narcotics trafficking has contributed to an increase in criminal activity and aggressive assaults in rural areas of Guinea-Bissau.
Victims of Crime: Police and emergency personnel in Guinea-Bissau lack the basic resources necessary to effectively respond to crime and emergency situations.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Modern medical facilities are virtually nonexistent in Guinea-Bissau, and travelers should not rely on them. More acceptable levels of medical care are available in Dakar, Senegal.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevelant:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Guinea-Bissau are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Drug trafficking is endemic in Guinea-Bissau.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. While in Guinea-Bissau, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation limited and very different from in the United States.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Since there are land mines left in place from the civil war and the war of independence, travelers should not leave designated roads and pathways. The land mines are scattered in several areas throughout Guinea-Bissau, including the Bafata, Oio, Biombo, Quinara, and Tombali regions. While there has been significant progress in locating and removing land mines, a substantial number remain. The most recent incident occurred in September, 2014, when a landmine killed 24 in a collective taxi on a rural road near Encheia.
Public Transportation: The public transportation system, urban and rural road conditions, and availability of roadside assistance are all poor.
Exercise caution if using taxis- many are in sub-standard condition. If you do take a taxi, for your safety, inform the driver that you do not want additional patrons to be picked up along the route. Taxis in Bissau serve as a type of bus service, in which each passenger pays for a seat. Furthermore, the Embassy does not recommend that visitors use the unconventional bus system in Bissau, the “Bus Rapides” or “Toca-Tocas.”
See 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-Bissau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Guinea-Bissau’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.