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Travel Security Advice for Guinea




Guinea is a developing country in western Africa, with minimal facilities for tourism.  Travelers who plan to stay in Conakry, the capital, should make reservations well in advance.  French is the official language; Pular, Malinké, and Soussou are also widely spoken.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Guinea for additional information.


U.S. citizens living or traveling in Guinea are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy at the Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Conakry.  Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.  Local embassy information is available below and on the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

Embassy Conakry

The U.S. Embassy is located on the Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma opposite the New Radio Station in Ratoma, Conakry, Guinea. 
Telephone:  +224-65-10-4000
Emergency after-hours telephone:  +224-67-10-4311
Facsimile:  +224-65-10-4297
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A passport, visa, international vaccination record (WHO card), and current yellow fever vaccination are all required.  Please contact the Embassy of the Republic of Guinea for the most current visa information.  The Embassy of the Republic of Guinea in Washington is located at 2112 Leroy Street, NW, Washington, DC  20008, tel. (202) 986-4300, fax (202) 478-3010.  Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Guinean embassy or consulate.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Guinea.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.


A military group calling itself the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) took control of the government in a coup d’etat following the death of the President, Lansana Conte, in December 2008.  Since this time there has been a significant erosion of discipline among security forces, including elements of the army, gendarmerie and police.  Recently, the number and severity of attacks on the civilian population have increased.  While not specifically targeted,  U.S. citizens have been victimized.  Motorists traveling outside of Conakry have frequently encountered improvised checkpoint-barricades manned by persons in military uniforms who demand money, and search through personal belongings, confiscating items of value.  There are reports of persons, including U.S. citizens, being treated abusively by security forces and taken into custody for purposes of extortion.

Civilian groups occasionally stage impromptu strikes or demonstrations, which can involve violence.  While U.S. citizens have not been targeted in past outbreaks of violence, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be very dangerous.  During periods of civil unrest, public services such as transportation and medical care, as well as the availability of goods and services, can be affected.  During many demonstrations, crowds of people gather and burn tires, create roadblocks, and damage vehicles by throwing rocks and bricks.  The military has also been known to demonstrate and incite unrest due to their grievances with the government.  Because of the potential for violence, U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations.  They should also avoid sensitive government installations, including the Presidential Palace, official government buildings, and military bases.  U.S. citizens should maintain security awareness at all times.  There are no known terrorist groups operating in the country.

Most border crossings are controlled jointly by Guinean armed forces, gendarmes, police, and immigration officials.  A long land frontier and the military’s lack of physical and monetary resources, however, mean that borders are lightly patrolled.  U.S. citizens considering travel to the border regions with Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Côte d’Ivoire should consult the latest Travel Warnings and Country Specific Information for these countries.  Crossing land borders requires visas and complete paperwork, and can be difficult.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs' website.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.


In Conakry, as in many large cities, crime is a fact of daily life.  Residential and street crime are very common.  Some crime is perpetrated by individuals in military uniforms.  Sentiments toward Americans in Guinea are generally positive, but criminals regularly target foreigners, including Americans, because they are perceived as lucrative targets.  Nonviolent and violent crime are both problems.  Most nonviolent crime involves acts of pick-pocketing and purse-snatching, while armed robbery, muggings, and assaults are the most common violent crimes.  Despite the police’s good intentions, they have been unable to prevent the rapid escalation of crime.  Police and military officials have also been known to make direct and indirect requests for bribes.  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 and hotels because such offers often mask an intention to steal luggage, purses, or wallets.  Travelers should arrange for hotel personnel, family members, or business contacts to meet them at the airport to reduce their vulnerability to these crimes of opportunity.

Commercial scams and disputes with local business partners can create legal difficulties for U.S. citizens because corruption is widespread in Guinea.  Business routinely turns on bribes rather than the law, and enforcement of the law is irregular and inefficient.  The U.S. Embassy has extremely limited recourse in assisting American victims of illegal business deals.

Business fraud is rampant and the targets are usually foreigners, including Americans.  Schemes previously associated exclusively with Nigeria are now prevalent throughout West Africa, including Guinea, and pose a danger of severe financial loss.  Typically these scams begin with the receipt of an unsolicited communication (usually by e-mail) from a stranger who promises quick financial gain, often by transferring large sums of money or valuables out of the country, but then requires a series of "advance fees" to be paid—such as fees for legal documents or taxes—to finalize the release of funds.  The final payoff does not exist; the purpose of the scam is simply to collect the advance fees.  A common variation is the scammer’s claim to be a refugee or émigré from a prominent West African family, or a relative of a present or former political leader who needs assistance in transferring large sums of cash.  Still other variations appear to be legitimate business deals that require advance payments on contracts.  Sometimes victims are convinced to provide bank account and credit card information and financial authorization that drains their accounts, incurs large debts against their credit, and takes their life savings.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of advance-fee fraud is common sense—if a proposition looks too good to be true, it probably is.  You should carefully check into and research any unsolicited business proposal before committing funds, providing goods or services, or undertaking any travel.  A good clue to a scam is the phone number given to the victim; legitimate businesses and offices provide fixed-line numbers, while scams typically use only cell phones.  It is virtually impossible to recover money lost through these scams.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available.  Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law.  In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.  The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Division in the U.S. Department of Justice has more information on this serious problem.


If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

There is no emergency assistance in Guinea that is similar to the “911” system in the United States.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.


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.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States..

Persons violating Guinean laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Guinea are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  It is common for criminal cases to take months, if not years, to reach a verdict.


Guinean customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary import or export of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, and ivory.  You should contact the Embassy of Guinea in Washington (see contact information above in the Entry Requirements section) for specific information regarding customs requirements.

The local currency is the Guinean franc (FG).  Travelers may not depart Guinea carrying more than 100,000 FG (currently about $21.00) nor more than $5,000.  Guinea has a cash economy.  ATMs are not available, and traveler’s checks are accepted only at some banks and hotels.  Credit cards are accepted at some larger hotels in Conakry, but should be used only at reputable hotels and banks.  Cash advances on Visa credit cards are available at various branches of BICIGUI, a local bank.  Inter-bank fund transfers are possible at BICIGUI branches but can be difficult and expensive.  Money transfers from the U.S. have worked successfully in the past.  Western Union has several offices in Conakry, and MoneyGram has an office in downtown Conakry as well.

Visitors should restrict photography to private gatherings and should obtain explicit permission from the Guinean government before photographing military and transportation facilities, government buildings, or public works.  Photographing without permission in any public area may provoke a response from security personnel or a dangerous confrontation with people who find being photographed offensive.


Medical facilities are poorly equipped and extremely limited, both in the capital city and throughout Guinea.  Medicines are in short supply, sterility of equipment should not be assumed, and treatment is frequently unreliable.  Some private medical facilities provide a better range of treatment options than public facilities, but are still well below western standards.  There are no ambulance or emergency rescue services in Guinea and trauma care is extremely limited.  Water in Guinea is presumed to be contaminated, so travelers should use only bottled or distilled water for drinking.  Malaria is a serious risk to travelers in Guinea.  For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, visit the CDC website.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) websiteThe WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.


The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether their policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.


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.

Drivers in Guinea tend to be poorly trained and routinely ignore road safety rules.  Guinea's road network, which is only partly paved, is underdeveloped and unsafe.  Roads and vehicles are poorly maintained, road signs are insufficient, and roads and vehicles are frequently unlit.  Livestock and pedestrians create constant road hazards and make nighttime travel inadvisable.  The police and the military often set up roadblocks, making inter- and intra-city travel difficult, especially between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  During the rainy season (July through September), flash floods make some roads temporarily impassable.  There is also a significant increase in banditry along the roadways between towns and upcountry during the hours of darkness.  Americans and other foreigners are strongly discouraged from traveling after dark outside of populated areas.  Roadside assistance is not available in Guinea.

Guinea has no reliable public transportation.  Taxis, including small cars and larger vans, are often poorly maintained and overcrowded.  Taxis frequently stop and start without regard to other vehicles, making driving hazardous.  Hired vehicles and drivers are available from agencies at major hotels in Conakry.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.


As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Guinea’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA's website.


Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Guinea dated July 1, 2009, to update sections on Registration/Embassy Location, Threats to Safety and Security, Crime, Criminal Penalties, Special Circumstances, and Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.



The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding travel to Guinea HERE...

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)..........

There is also a Malaria Warning for Guinea HERE.....


The SW Team.......


Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts