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Equatorial Guinea Country Travel Infomation

Travel Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Travelers should remain alert for pedestrians and livestock, even on multi-lane highways. Traffic signals and crosswalks are becoming more common but are not always heeded by local drivers. Driving while intoxicated is widespread, particularly at night and during weekends and holidays. At night, many motorists do not use headlights and roads are inconsistently lit. Carry a cell phone for use in case of an emergency. Please note that cell phone coverage can be sporadic at times.

Traffic Laws: U.S. citizens on short stays are permitted to drive with an International Driver?s License. There are currently no distracted driving laws in effect in Equatorial Guinea, but police may pull over drivers who talk or text while driving. They can and will pull over any driver for any reason.

Road Blocks and Checkpoints: Military roadblocks are common outside the limits of Malabo and Bata. Police checkpoints are increasingly common in both cities. You should be prepared to show proper identification (for example, a copy of your U.S. passport) and to explain your reason for being at that particular location. If you do not speak Spanish, carry a Spanish-language written copy of your reason for being in the country and your itinerary, especially if planning to travel into the countryside. Travelers should be aware that many military facilities are poorly marked and inconsistently staffed, especially in isolated areas. Travelers should try to avoid these sites whenever possible.

Police or security forces sometimes stop motorists on the pretext of minor traffic violations in order to extort small bribes. We advise you not to pay bribes, and instead request that the officer provide a citation to be paid at the local court or a receipt stating the violation, amount due, and the officer?s name. If it appears that you may be asked to go to a police station or are held up at roadblocks for an extended period of time, you should contact the U.S. Embassy?s duty officer at +240 555-516-008 to report the situation.

Public Transportation: The Embassy prohibits the use of taxis and other forms of public transportation by U.S. citizen employees.

Public transportation is not reliable or safe. Taxis, while inexpensive and readily available, are often poorly maintained, and taxi drivers frequently drive dangerously or while impaired. Taxis will stop to pick up additional passengers and may detour or drop passengers off out of sequence. Single travelers, particularly women, are advised to avoid taxis if possible, or to use taxi drivers personally known to them or recommended as being safe and reliable. Many the taxi drivers do not have a valid driver?s license, have medical conditions that preclude them from driving safely, and/or have no public transportation license. There have been reports from both Malabo and Bata of expatriates boarding taxicabs and being driven to unfamiliar places against their will to be robbed, raped, and otherwise assaulted.

Rental cars are available at the airport through international companies. If you choose to rent a vehicle, be sure to have your registration, passport, and an international driver?s license on you at all times (please refer to the Travel & Transportation section above for more information). You may be required to obtain an Equatoguinean driver?s license if you do not have an international driver?s license. Military and police roadblocks are found throughout the country; an official may stop you and ask questions. Some roads will not have pavement.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Equatorial Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Equatorial 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 safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Equatorial Guinea should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Health

Please visit the Embassy?s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea. 

Medical facilities are limited in terms of space and capability. Pharmacies in Malabo and Bata stock basic medicines including antibiotics but do not carry U.S. brand names or generic over the counter (OTC) medications. Outside of these cities, many medicines are unavailable. You should carry a supply of properly-labeled prescription drugs and other OTC medications adequate to cover your entire stay.

Sanitation levels in hospitals are very low, except for the La Paz Malabo Medical Center, a western level and acute care hospital which meets many of the medical standards of a modern hospital in a developed country. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate payment for health services in cash only (CFA). Patients are sometimes expected to supply their own bandages, linen, and toiletries.

There is no central ambulance dispatch system and no ambulance services in the country.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription. Check with the government of Equatorial Guinea to ensure the medication is legal in Equatorial Guinea.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. There are many counterfeit antimalarials throughout Equatorial Guinea and you should not plan on purchasing them after arrival.

Local laws and Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events. Societal norms do not allow for the public discussion of homosexuality. No antidiscrimination law exists to protect LGBTI individuals.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accommodation for individuals with disabilities is not mandated by Equatoguinean law, and travelers with disabilities are likely to encounter difficulties accessing transportation and public buildings. Although sidewalks often are available in major cities (especially in Malabo and Bata), road crossings are frequently uneven and curbs are usually in need of repair. Neither Malabo nor Bata has a public transportation system, and few vehicles are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Public buildings, including restaurants, bars, medical facilities, stores, and government offices, are rarely accessible and frequently have steps or partially obstructed entrances.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Rape and domestic violence are illegal in Equatorial Guinea. However, authorities do not enforce the laws effectively.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Currency: Equatorial Guinea is almost exclusively a cash economy. Generally, credit cards and checks are not accepted, with the exception of a few Western hotels that cater to international business travelers. Credit card cash advances are not available. Most local businesses do not accept travelers’ checks, dollars, or euros. However, dollars can be exchanged at local banks for Central African Francs (CFA). Cash in CFA is usually the only form of payment accepted throughout the country.

ATMs are increasingly available in major cities. Although they are generally secure, travelers may find them out of order, so it is best not to rely on ATMs. You should also exercise caution when using a local bank or ATM as individuals may be waiting around to rob individuals with cash. In addition, you should not hail a taxi right outside of a bank or ATM.

Photography: In the recent past, a special permit from the Ministry of Information and Tourism was required for virtually all types of photography in Equatorial Guinea. Although the law has changed, police or security officials may still attempt to fine or detain people taking photographs. Federal laws forbid taking photos of the Presidential Palace and its surroundings, military installations, airports, harbors, government buildings, and any other area the government deems as sensitive. Police and security officials have taken photographers into custody for perceived or actual violations of this policy, or to seize the camera (and/or cell phone) of persons photographing in the country. Also, the police may use this as a reason to try to extort money or threaten foreigners with torture or abuse. As these situations have the potential to become hostile, you should exercise prudence and caution while taking photographs.

Safety and Security

Crime: Even though violent crime is rare, there have been instances of violent burglaries/home invasions and of hostility directed at Westerners and people perceived to be of Chinese descent by police and other officials. Many situations, including petty or street crime and official harassment, have the potential to turn violent.

There has been a significant increase in attacks against women, including U.S. citizens, by small groups posing as taxi drivers and passengers. Victims typically are held captive for up to an hour, threatened at knifepoint, and robbed. Take taxis only in groups, use taxi drivers personally known to you, or avoid taxis altogether, especially in Bata. Be mindful of how much cash you have in your possession when entering a taxi and try to avoid carrying large sums of cash.

Avoid dark alleys, remote locations, and traveling alone. Carry a copy of your passport and other pertinent documents at all times. Authorities may perceive notarized copies as more official than non-notarized copies.

Maritime Security: Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to trend upwards. Pirates and armed groups operating in the region typically carry out attacks on vessels using automatic weapons. Attacks, kidnappings for ransom, and robbery of crew, passengers, and ship?s property continue to be common occurrences. More information on current conditions may be found on the Office of Naval Intelligence?s piracy page.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

Report crimes to the local police in Malabo at 113 or nationally to the Equatorial Guinean Ministry of National Security at 666 555 532 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+240) 333-095-741 during business hours or (+240) 555-516-008 after hours. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

It is common to be asked to pay a substantial sum of money (between $50 to $100) in order to file a police report or obtain a copy of a police report on file.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim?s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Cell Phones: Cellular coverage is sporadic, and communication may not be possible outside urban areas.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas and activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in or near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Entry exit Requirementsh

Please visit the Embassy?s COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea.

Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea website for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Equatorial Guinea. However, the Government of Equatorial Guinea may require medical documentation including the determination of the HIV status of third country nationals who are renewing or obtaining residency in Equatorial Guinea.

Vaccinations: A certification of vaccination for yellow fever and polio are required to enter Equatorial Guinea (EG). The Yellow Fever vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to arrival in the country. The EG Ministry of Health requires that all visitors be up to date on the polio vaccine (a booster dose is advised for those who have completed their normal series). It is increasingly common to be asked for proof of vaccination upon entry, and immigration officials may require you to be vaccinated at the airport (potency and sterility of items is always questionable) or bar entry into the country for those who do not comply with the requirements.

U.S. citizens staying longer than 90 days should register with the local police station.

Private ships landing at Equatoguinean ports must get clearance prior to approaching the shore. 

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Destination Description

See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Equatorial Guinea for information on U.S.- Equatorial Guinea relations.

Travel Embassy and Consulate

U.S. Embassy Malabo

Carretera Malabo II
Malabo, Guinea Ecuatorial
Telephone:
+(240) 333-095-741
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +240 555-516-008
Email: 

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