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Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Guinea because of the unpredictable security situation and the risk of violent crime.
  • The security situation in Guinea can be volatile as a result of political and social tensions. Monitor local media for information on your safety and security. Avoid protests and demonstrations, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent.
  • There is a high risk of violent crime in Guinea. Foreigners have been the victims of armed robbery, carjacking, assault, muggings and break-ins in Conakry and other areas, sometimes perpetrated by individuals wearing military or police uniforms. Reconsider your need to travel to all areas bordering Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone where there has been cross-border military and rebel activity and tensions between ethnic groups.
  • Guinea was declared Ebola-free on 1 June 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Ebola is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, but expects flare-ups in the future.  Monitor updates from WHO for the latest details.
  • Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Guinea and can offer only very limited consular support to travellers. The Canadian Embassy located in Dakar, Senegal, can provide consular assistance to Australians in Guinea. This service includes the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents. The Australian High Commission in Ghana can also assist Australians.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

As visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice, contact the nearest Embassy of Guinea for up-to-date information.

Guinea is listed by WHO as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease preventable by vaccination. A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for entry into Guinea. For more information about yellow fever, including Australian re-entry requirements, see the Department of Health website.

Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia.

Safety and Security

Civil unrest/Political tension

The security situation in Guinea can be volatile as a result of political and social tensions. While the situation stabilised following presidential elections in October 2015, remain vigilant and avoid protests, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent. Monitor local media and other local sources of information about possible new safety or security risks.

Lack of access to basic services, instability in neighbouring countries, armed banditry and ethnic tensions in the region have led to increased tensions and hostilities in Guinea.

Demonstrations and strikes may disrupt the supply of essential goods and services, including ground transport and international flights. Have a supply of water and food to last several days, cash, medications and a basic first-aid kit. Ensure your vehicle has an adequate supply of fuel and ensure mobile phones are fully charged.

There is a risk of inter-ethnic violence in the south-eastern Guinea Forestiere region. Violence in the north-eastern Mamadou region in May 2016 reportedly led to 1 death and 59 people being injured.

Border regions with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire: Reconsider your need to travel to the border regions with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire due to cross-border military and rebel activity and tensions between ethnic groups. Past conflicts in these countries have left the border areas tense, with displaced persons and refugees continuing to travel through Guinea. Banditry is also a risk in these border areas.

Crime

There is a risk of violent crime in Guinea. Assaults, muggings, armed robbery and break-ins, as well as minor theft, are prevalent in Conakry and in other parts of the country. Carjacking does occur - always lock car doors when driving.

Criminals are known to target tourists, particularly at the airport, in markets and near hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners. In Conakry, petty criminals are particularly active in the Madina, Niger and Taouyah markets. Children have been used by criminals to conduct crimes. Ensure your personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times, do not carry valuables in public and remain alert to your surroundings, particularly at night.

Exercise caution in response to unsolicited offers of assistance, especially in airports and hotels. The offer may come from persons seeking an opportunity to steal luggage, purses or wallets.

There have been reports of criminals posing as military officials, wearing military-style uniforms and carrying military weapons.

Power failures are frequent throughout the country and may affect security conditions, especially in large urban centres.

Commercial and internet fraud is prevalent and often originates in West African countries. Victims have been defrauded and those who travel to the originating country have had their lives endangered. Some victims have been killed. Criminals have been known to seek details of 'safe' bank accounts overseas in which to transfer large sums of money (as a donation or for a percentage of the amount involved). They may also provide fake cashier cheques for 'urgent' shipments of large quantities of goods, request sizeable fees for a fake government contract and extort money from individuals they have convinced to travel to Africa for a business opportunity. If you are a victim of a financial scam, obtain legal advice and do not travel to Africa to seek restitution as there is a risk of physical assault from the perpetrators. Our international scams page provides more detail on these types of scams.

Bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes are operating from some African countries. These scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual friendship develops, you may be asked by the friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. In some cases, the relationship is terminated with very little chance that any funds can be recovered. In other cases, foreigners may be lured to Africa to meet their friend or prospective marriage partner and can become victims of crime, including kidnapping, assault and robbery.

Piracy has been reported in the coastal waters off Guinea. See our piracy page for further information. The International Maritime Bureau issues piracy reports on its website.

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. Recent attacks have occurred in a number of West African countries, including, but not limited to Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali, targeting places frequented by foreigners (including hotels, beaches and restaurants). See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information.

Money and valuables

Traveller's cheques and credit cards are accepted at most major hotels in Conakry but generally not elsewhere in the country. Banking facilities may be limited outside of Conakry.

Carry your travel documents at all times.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Local Travel

It is a legal requirement to carry original identity documents at all times and original vehicle documents, registration and car ownership papers when driving. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see identification at any time.

Public transportation is limited. Road hazards include poor driving habits, the lack of road and traffic signs, poorly maintained vehicles and roads, pedestrians and stray livestock. Avoid all travel between towns and cities after dark because of the risk of robbery and high incidence of motor vehicle accidents. For further advice on road safety, see our road travel page. Fuel shortages often occur.

Army or other roadblocks may be encountered in Conakry and across the country at any time, and particularly at night.

Be familiar with hotel evacuation procedures. Stay in contact with friends and family to keep them informed of your welfare and whereabouts.

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Guinea.

Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Guinea, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

It is a legal requirement to carry original identity documents at all times. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see identification at any time.

Penalties for serious offences, such as murder and armed robbery, may attract the death penalty.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include imprisonment. See our Drugs page.

Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include fines and imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.

A licence is required to export precious stones from Guinea. Failure to supply a licence on demand can lead to imprisonment.

Photography and filming of military establishments and government buildings is prohibited.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Local customs

There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Guinea. Take care not to offend.

Information for dual nationals

Guinea does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit our ability to provide consular assistance to Australian/Guinean dual nationals who are arrested or detained.

Our Dual nationals page provides further information.

Health

Ebola virus disease (Ebola)

Guinea was declared Ebola-free on 1 June 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Ebola is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, but expects flare-ups in the future. Monitor updates from the WHO for further details.

If you are in the region for work, ensure that your employer has contingency plans for treatment or evacuation should personnel show symptoms of the disease. If you are considering undertaking independent travel, ensure that your travel insurance will cover healthcare and/or medical evacuation for Ebola.

The Australian Government has limited capacity to provide consular assistance in these circumstances. A medical evacuation would be difficult to conduct.

For further information see information on the virus from the Department of Health.

Other health information

Take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. Get vaccinated before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health pages also provide useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

Health facilities are limited in Conakry and inadequate in rural areas. Facilities are poorly equipped and pharmaceuticals are in short supply. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical care. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary. Medical evacuation costs could exceed $A100,000.

Guinea is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which is preventable by vaccination. Get vaccinated against yellow fever before travelling to Guinea. See the Entry and Exit section for important information about vaccination certificate requirements. For more information about yellow fever, see the Department of Health website.

Malaria is also endemic in Guinea. We encourage you to consider taking medication against malaria. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis) also occur. Take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, lassa fever and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Where to get help

Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

If the matter relates to criminal issues, contact the local police.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can't do to assist Australians overseas.

Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Guinea. By agreement between the Canadian and Australian governments, the Canadian Embassy located in Dakar, Senegal can provide consular assistance to Australians in Guinea. This service includes the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents. Contact details are:

Canadian Embassy, Dakar

Corner Rue Galleni and Rue Briere de l'Isle
Dakar, Senegal
Telephone: 221 33 889 4700
Facsimile: 221 33 889 4720
Email: dakar@international.gc.ca
Website: canadainternational.gc.ca/senegal

You can also obtain consular assistance from the Australian High Commission in Ghana.

Australian High Commission, Accra

2, Second Rangoon Close
(cnr Josef Broz Tito Ave)
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone: +233 302 216 400
Facsimile: +233 302 216 410
Email: AccraHC.Enquiries@dfat.gov.au
Website: ghana.highcommission.gov.au

See the High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the High Commission in Ghana or Canadian Embassy, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

The rainy season is May to October when flooding may occur and unpaved roads can become impassable. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Additional resources