- We recommend you reconsider your need to travel to Guinea because of the unpredictable security situation in the country and high risk of violent crime.
- There is a risk of retaliatory attacks against Western targets in Guinea following the French intervention in the conflict in Mali in January 2013. Terrorist groups in the region have declared their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners.
- Elections to form a new National Assembly have been delayed to 30 June 2013. Regular protests are expected in the lead-up to the election, and as a result the security environment remains volatile at this time.
- Since February 2013 there have been sporadic instances of rioting and violence in Conakry and other towns related to the current political environment. A number of deaths and injuries have been reported. Further violence and rioting could occur in the current political environment.
- You should monitor local media for information on your safety and security. You should avoid protests and demonstrations, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent and attract a heavy response from security forces.
- We strongly advise against all travel to the areas bordering Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone where cross-border armed activity makes the general security situation unsafe.
- There is a high risk of violent crime in Guinea. Theft at gunpoint is a common occurrence. There are regular reports of armed robbery and violent assault carried out by individuals wearing military style uniforms.
- Travellers may face delays, or be refused entry, if attempting to cross land borders.
- There is a risk of inter-ethnic violence in and around the town of N’Zerekore in the Guinee Forestiere region in the south-east.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Guinea. If you require consular assistance you should contact the Australian High Commission in Ghana. The Canadian Embassy in Senegal can also provide consular assistance to Australians (except the issue of passports).
- Because of the unpredictable security situation we strongly recommend that you register your travel and contact details with us, so we can contact you in an emergency.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa conditions change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Guinea for the most up to date information.
A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for entry into Guinea.
Guinea is listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country. If in doubt, check with your airline.
If you have visited Guinea in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on entry into Australia.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and Security
We assess that there is currently a heightened risk of retaliatory attacks against government and Western targets in Guinea following the French intervention in the conflict in Mali in January 2013. Terrorist groups in the region have declared their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners. Such attacks could take place at any time, including at locations frequented by Westerners.
The current instability in West and North Africa has increased the threat of terrorist attack in regional countries such as Guinea. Terrorists are active throughout the region and pose a significant security threat. A large number of foreigners have been kidnapped in the region in recent years. Some have been killed and many others remain in captivity.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
Civil unrest/Political tension
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Guinea at this time because of the unpredictable security situation and the high risk of violent crime.
Elections to form a new National Assembly have been delayed to 30 June 2013. Regular protests are expected in the lead-up to the election, and as a result the security environment remains volatile at this time.
Since February 2013 there have been sporadic instances of rioting and violence in Conakry and other towns related to the current political environment. A number of deaths and injuries have been reported. Further violence could occur in the current political environment.
You should monitor local media for information on your safety and security. You should avoid protests and demonstrations, street rallies and public gatherings as they may turn violent and attract a heavy response from security forces.
There is a large military presence in Conakry and roadblocks are common.
Demonstrations and strikes may disrupt the supply of essential goods and services, including international flights. We recommend you have with you a supply of water and food to last several days, cash, medications and a basic first-aid kit. Ensure your vehicle has an adequate supply of fuel and ensure mobile phones are fully charged.
You should monitor the media and other local sources of information about possible new safety or security risks and avoid unnecessary movement in Conakry and throughout Guinea.
There is a risk of inter-ethnic violence in and around the town of N’Zerekore in the Guinee Forestiere region in the south-east.
Border regions with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire: We strongly advise you not to travel to the border regions with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire because of the continuing unstable security situation, and military and rebel activity in these regions. Past or ongoing conflicts in these countries have left the border areas tense, with displaced persons and refugees from neighbouring countries continuing to travel through Guinea. Banditry is also a risk in these border areas.
There is a high risk of violent crime in Guinea. Theft at gunpoint is a common occurrence. Assaults, muggings, armed robbery and break-ins, as well as minor theft, are prevalent in Conakry and in most other parts of the country. Criminals are known to target tourists, particularly at the airport, in markets and near hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners. In Conakry petty criminals are particularly active in the Madina, Niger and Taouyah markets. Children have been used by criminals to conduct the crimes. Ensure your personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times and remain alert to your surroundings.
We recommend you exercise caution with offers of unsolicited assistance, especially in airports and hotels. The offer may come from persons seeking an opportunity to steal luggage, purses or wallets.
Criminals have been reported wearing military-style uniforms and carrying military weapons.
Power failures are frequent throughout the country and may affect security conditions, especially in large urban centres.
Commercial and internet fraud is prevalent 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 have been known 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 also 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 a business opportunity. If you are a victim of a financial scam, we advise you to obtain legal advice and not to travel to Africa to seek restitution as there is a risk of physical assault from the perpetrators. Our international scams page provides more detail on these types of scams.
Some Australian citizens have also been defrauded or had their lives endangered by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes operating from West African countries. These scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual relationship develops, the Australian citizen is asked by their friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. Once the money has been received, the relationship is usually terminated and any chance of recovering the funds is highly unlikely. In some instances, foreigners who have travelled to Africa to meet their friend or prospective marriage partner have been kidnapped and held to ransom.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas. Travellers' 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. Australian currency is generally not an acceptable means of foreign exchange in West Africa.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
The airport could close without notice and flights may be cancelled or postponed. Australians intending to travel should confirm with their airline the latest situation on flights.
Land borders may be closed without notice.
It is a legal requirement to carry original identity documents at all times and original vehicle documents, registration and car ownership papers when driving. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see identification at any time.
Roads and vehicles are poorly maintained in Guinea and public transportation is limited. You should avoid all travel between towns and cities after dark because of the risk of robbery and high incidence of motor vehicle accidents. For further advice on road safety, see our road travel page. Fuel shortages often occur.
Army or other roadblocks may be encountered in Conakry and across the country at any time, and particularly at night.
Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.
When you are in Guinea, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
It is a legal requirement to carry original identity documents at all times. Police or other law enforcement agencies can request to see identification at any time.
Penalties for serious offences, such as murder and armed robbery, may attract the death penalty.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include imprisonment.
Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include imprisonment.
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, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Guinea and you should 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.
Our Dual Nationals page provides further information for dual nationals.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that 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 a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our Travelling Well page also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
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. Medical evacuation costs could exceed $A100,000.
Malaria is endemic in Guinea. Other insect-borne diseases (including yellow fever and filariasis) also occur. We encourage you to consider taking prophylaxis against malaria and to take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose fitting, light-coloured clothing, and ensuring 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 prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time We recommend you 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.
Where to get help
Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Guinea. If you require consular assistance you should contact the Australian High Commission in Ghana. By agreement between the Canadian and Australian governments, the Canadian Embassy in Senegal also provides consular assistance to Australians in Guinea. You should register your presence with the Canadian Government. This service does not include the issue of Australian passports. Contact details are:
Canadian Embassy (Senegal)
Corner Rue Galleni and Rue Briere de l'Isle
Telephone: 221 33 889 4700
Facsimilie: 221 33 889 4720
You can obtain consular assistance from the nearest Australian High Commission in Ghana:
Australian High Commission
2, Second Rangoon Close
(cnr Josef Broz Tito Ave)
Telephone: +233 302 216 400
Facsimile: +233 302 216 410
If you are travelling to Guinea, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are 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.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
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 Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children brochure.