Guinea - Consular Information Sheet
December 15, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Guinea is a developing West African
country with minimal facilities for tourism. The capital is Conakry.
Travelers should make Conakry hotel reservations in advance.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport, visa and vaccination record
are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and
details from the Embassy of the Republic of Guinea,
2112 Leroy Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202)
483-9420, fax (202) 483-8688,
Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Guinean embassy
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Guinea has experienced occasional
civil unrest in Conakry and in larger towns in all regions of
the country. However, U.S. citizens have not been targeted in
any demonstration-related unrest. Due to the potential for violence,
U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations
and maintain security awareness at all times.
Despite the Guinean military's attempts to maintain strict control
of its borders, instability in neighboring countries has created
tense situations along Guinea's borders. Hostilities along Guinea's
borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia escalated in late 2000 with
renewed cross-border incursions and kidnappings by various armed
As a result of continued military activity, the Department of
State urges U.S. citizens to avoid the entire area between the
national highway (which runs from Conakry to N'Zerekore) and the
Sierra Leone/Liberia border, as well as the area south and east
of Kissidougou. All U.S. Government and U.S. Government-affiliated
personnel located in this area have been recalled to Conakry,
and their travel to the region, particularly the Mamou to Macenta
Road, is prohibited.
U.S. citizens contemplating travel to any region bordering Liberia
or Sierra Leone are urged to consult the latest Consular Information
Sheets for these countries, and to communicate with the U.S. Embassy
in Conakry for the latest travel and security information. The
crossing of borders requires complete paperwork, and visas and
may be difficult to obtain.
CRIME INFORMATION: In an effort to counter urban crime,
the Guinean government maintains countrywide roadblocks from midnight
to 6 a.m. Residential and street crime is common. Banditry near
the Sierra Leone and Liberia borders has also been reported. Criminals
particularly target visitors at the airport, in the traditional
markets, and near hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners.
Visitors should avoid unsolicited offers of assistance at the
airport or hotels because such persons may be seeking opportunities
to steal luggage, purses or wallets. Travelers should arrange
to be met at the airport by hotel personnel, family members or
business contacts to reduce vulnerability to these crimes of opportunity.
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 illegal
business deals is extremely limited.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy. The pamphlets,
A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information
on protecting personal security while traveling abroad and on
travel in the region in general. Both are available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are poorly equipped
and extremely limited. Medicines are in short supply, sterility
of equipment is questionable, and treatment is unreliable.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect
immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. Medicare and
Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services
outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical
care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
ADDITIONAL HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's international traveler's
hotline at tel. 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or by visiting the CDC Internet home page at
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens 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.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside/Ambulance Assistance: Poor
Drivers are poorly trained and routinely ignore road safety rules.
Guinea's road network, both paved and unpaved, is underdeveloped
and unsafe. Roads and vehicles are poorly maintained, and road
signage is poor. Livestock and pedestrians create constant road
hazards, and make nighttime travel inadvisable. Roads and vehicles
are frequently unlit. Guinea has many roadblocks set up by the
police or the military, making travel difficult after midnight
in the city and between cities. There is no roadside assistance
or any ambulance service in Guinea.
Guinea has no public transportation. Taxis, including small cars
and larger vans, are often poorly maintained and overly-crowded.
Taxis make frequent stops and starts without regard to other vehicles,
making driving hazardous. Rental vehicles are available, often
with drivers, from agencies at major hotels in Conakry.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority
to operate such service between the United States and Guinea,
the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
Guinea's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international
aviation safety standards for oversight of Guinea's air carrier
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at
tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
DOMESTIC AIR SERVICE: Domestic airlines offer services
to most interior cities, often to rudimentary dirt landing strips.
CURRENCY REGULATIONS: Travelers are prohibited from having
more than 5,000 Guinean Francs (about $3.00 US) in their possession
upon departure from Guinea.
Western Union has three offices in Conakry, and Moneygram has
an office downtown. Money transfers have worked successfully.
Credit cards are accepted at some larger hotels in Conakry. Traveler's
checks are accepted only at banks and some hotels. Credit card
cash advances (VISA) are available at three "BICIGUI"
(local bank) locations. Inter-bank fund transfers are possible
at the Bicigui banks, but can be difficult and expensive.
RESTRICTIONS ON PHOTOGRAPHY: Visitors are advised to restrict
photography to private gatherings. Explicit permission from the
Guinean government should be obtained before photographing military
and transportation facilities, government buildings or public
works. Taking a photograph without permission in any public area
may provoke a response from security personnel or offend the people
TELEPHONES: Several cellular phone services are available.
A number of public phones operate by locally purchased phone cards.
Telephones are available in Conakry and in other major towns and
hotels. However, while privatization has improved the communication
system, disruptions in telephone service are common.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Guinean law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Guinea are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail
sentences and heavy fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children, international parental
child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
EMBASSY LOCATION/REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged
to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Conakry,
and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Guinea.
The U.S. Embassy is located at 2nd Blvd. and 9th Ave. in Conakry.
The mailing address is B.P. 603, Conakry, Guinea, tel. (224) 41-15-20/21/23,
fax (224) 41-15-22, and on the Internet at http://www.eti-bull.net/usembassy/.