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Guinea

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Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Guinea. There is a risk of violent crime and the security situation is volatile due to political and social tensions. Monitor local media for information on your safety and security. See Safety and security.
  • Reconsider your need to travel to areas bordering Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to cross-border military and rebel activity and tensions between ethnic groups.   
  • Avoid protests and demonstrations, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent. See Safety and security.
  • There is a high risk of violent crime. Foreigners have been the victims of armed robbery, carjacking, assault, muggings and break-ins in Conakry and other areas; some crimes are perpetrated by individuals wearing military or police uniforms.
  • Guinea was declared Ebola-free on 1 June 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) states 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. See Health.
  • Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Guinea and can offer only very limited consular support to travellers. The Canadian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, can provide consular assistance to Australians. This service includes the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents. The Australian High Commission in Ghana can also assist Australians.

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.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists Guinea as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is serious and potentially fatal, but preventable by vaccination. A valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for entering Guinea. For more information, 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 and political tension

The security situation can be volatile due to political and social tensions. Be alert and avoid protests, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent. Monitor local media and other local sources about possible new safety or security risks.

There have been increased tensions and hostilities due to a lack of access to basic services, instability in neighbouring countries, armed banditry and ethnic tensions.

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

There is a risk of inter-ethnic violence in the south-eastern Guinea Forestiere and the north-eastern Mamadou regions.

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

Crime

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

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

Be cautious about unsolicited offers of assistance, especially in airports and hotels. The offer may come from people trying to steal luggage, purses or wallets.

There have been reports of criminals posing as military officials.

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

Commercial and internet fraud: Commercial and internet fraud is frequent 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 try 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 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 work. If you're a victim of a financial scam, obtain legal advice. Do not travel to Africa to seek restitution as there is a risk of physical assault from the perpetrators. More information: international scams.

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

Piracy has been reported in the coastal waters. 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 some West African countries, including, but not limited to Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali. They target places frequented by foreigners (including hotels, beaches and restaurants). More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

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.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Local travel

You are legally required to carry original vehicle documents, registration and car ownership papers when driving. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see them 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. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you're five times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Guinea than in Australia. Avoid travel between towns and cities after dark because of the risk of robbery and high incidence of motor vehicle accidents. More information: Road safety and driving

There are often fuel shortages.

Army or other roadblocks may be set up in Conakry and across the country at any time, 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.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're 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.

You are legally required to carry original identity documents at all times. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see identification at any time.

Serious offences, such as murder and armed robbery, may attract the death penalty.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include imprisonment. More information: Drugs 

Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include fines and imprisonment. More information: LGBTI travellers

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.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Ebola virus disease (Ebola)

Guinea was declared Ebola-free on 1 June 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) states 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're in the region for work, ensure your employer has contingency plans for treatment or evacuation should personnel show symptoms. If you're planning to travel, ensure that your travel insurance covers 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 and costs could exceed $A100,000

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

Other health information

Take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm 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 your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. Get vaccinated before travelling. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up. 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.

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. Speak to your doctor about taking medication, such as prophylaxis, against malaria. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis) also occur. Take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing. Ensure 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 common 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.

Natural disasters

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.  

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.

If the matter relates to complaints about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly.   

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
Facebook:
Australian High Commission, Ghana
Twitter: @AusAmbGHA

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

In a consular emergency, if you're 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

Additional resources