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What do you need to travel to Guinea?

by Alexandra Walter | December 8, 2022
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Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-track tropical destination for your next trip? Then Guinea might just be the spot for you!

As one of the least-visited places on Earth, Guinea is a hidden gem and a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This gorgeous region is only just starting to become popular with tourists due to its unspoiled nature, spectacular treks, and abundant wildlife. 

But that’s not all! The West African country also boasts a rich cultural heritage and an incredible culinary scene with delicious couscous and rice-based dishes. 

But how to visit the country? Do you need to apply for a Guinea visa to enter? Is it safe to visit Guinea? We cover all of these questions and more in this short guide on what you need to travel to this mesmerizing country.

Requirements Visit Guinea

Passport

Your passport should have at least six months' validity. It should also have at least one blank page for stamping purposes. 

Visa 

Regardless of the reason for your trip, if you plan to travel to Guinea, you’ll need to apply for a Guinea visa. The Guinea visa application process is relatively easy. All you’ll need to do is jump onto the official Electronic Travel Authorisation of Guinea, put your country of origin, and review the required documents. 

Travel Insurance

Emergency and medical services are extremely limited in Guinea. That’s why travelers are strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance. When purchasing your travel insurance policy, make sure it covers you for medical, evacuation, and repatriation costs, as well as for any activity you’re planning to undertake during your trip.

Currency

A Guinea franc is subdivided into 100 centimes. You should always use official moneychangers to exchange your money.

Note that Guinea’s economy is still very much reliant on cash and credit cards aren't widely used. Yet, to avoid traveling with a lot of cash, you can use travellers’ checks and ask your hotel whether they accept credit/debit cards. Major hotels often do.

river and jungle in Guinea

Things you need to know when traveling to Guinea

Is Guinea open for tourists?

Guinea’s borders are open and the country is currently welcoming international tourists.

Do you need a transit visa in Guinea?

Even though you’re only planning to transit through Guinea, you still need to request your online visa.

Note that the transit visa is designed for travelers entering the country by boat and is only valid for five days. If you’re transiting through the country by plane, you’ll have to apply for a Transbordement visa that is only valid for five days. 

Vaccines, Health, and Covid-19 Restrictions

Guinea is one of the 27 high-risk endemic countries regarding yellow fever. Therefore, all non-Guinean citizens traveling to Guinea must be vaccinated against yellow fever and show proof of vaccination upon entry into the country. This document is called a yellow fever certificate and is mandatory, meaning you won’t be able to enter the country without it. 

Besides, the Guinean authorities require all foreign travelers aged 18 and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, you will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed less than 72 hours before departure. This document will be required upon boarding the plane to your destination.

Here’s a list of recommended vaccination for travelers who want to spend time exploring Guinea:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningitis
  • Diphtheria-tetanus-tetanus-typhoid
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Polio

While these vaccinations aren’t mandatory, you’re strongly encouraged to receive them. 

How to travel around Guinea?

Because road travel can be hazardous and bus and taxi drivers are often unqualified and uninsured, the best way to travel around the country is to use one of the major hotels or travel agencies’ chauffeur services

Note that you can rent your own car if you hold an international driving permit, but it’s not recommended. And if you decide to rent a car, do not travel after dark.

Safety in Guinea

Although Guinea is considered a safe country, it has experienced sporadic political tensions in the past. So, like with any country, you should take some basic precautions to stay safe during your trip. 

Here are some safety tips when traveling to Guinea:

  • Petty theft can occur, so do not wear valuables in public and lock your car doors and windows while traveling.
  • Don’t send money online unless you know the person you’re transferring money to.
  • Avoid travelling in areas close to Mali.

When is the best time to travel to Guinea?

Guinea has a tropical and humid climate, and its constant warm temperatures make it a great year-round destination. The country’s climate is characterized by two distinct seasons.

The dry season between November and April is a great time to visit Guinea’s iconic beaches and coastline. The wet season due to the African Monsoon runs between mid-May and October. This period makes for a fantastic time to explore natural wonders such as Le Voile de la Mariee and Fouta Djallon Highlands as vegetation is lush, fresh waterfalls are flowing, and rain loving-animals like the rare viviparous toad come out. 

Travel Tips For Guinea

  • Malaria is endemic in Guinea, so bring malaria tablets and mosquito spray with you.
  • Taking photos of government and military buildings is prohibited.
  • Tap water isn't drinkable, so make sure to bring water purification tablets with you in case you need to fill up your bottle on the go.
  • The majority of Guineans are Muslim, so wearing conservative outfits is recommended.
  • Respect for the elders is very important in Guinea. So, as a good practice, always shake the elders' hands and inquire about their well-being.
  • You should always eat with your right hand.
  • Showing the soles of your shoes would be considered rude.
  • Some of the best things to see in Guinea include Ile de Los, the Ziama Massif, UNESCO world heritage Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, and the Fouta Djallon Highlands.
  • Guinea is a former French colony, and French is the official language.