Equatorial Guinea, Africa - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea consists of a mainland territory, named Rio Muni, and five island territories within the Gulf of Guinea. Rio Muni, oddly enough, is not the epicentre of the country. While the region is the largest in the country, it is 60% rainforest, a conservation area respected among primate experts for its large variety of gorilla and monkey species. The real buzz of Equatorial Guinea is Bioko Island, which is situated closer to Cameroon than Rio Muni, north of the mainland and home to the capital city, Malabo.

Bioko Island is a beautiful, volcanic isle and Malabo a seemingly dilapidated but charming island town with a prevalence of Spanish colonial architecture which belies the fact that you are in an African state. In fact, the official languages of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish and French, making it one of the few African states not to have an indigenous language as an official language. What does, unfortunately, tip one off to the fact that you are in Africa is the level of abject poverty affecting the local population. While Bioko, Corisco and the other islands of Equatorial Guinea have been heavily invested in by oil companies drilling in the water of the gulf, this money has not made its way to the poor, with President Obiang citing oil revenues as a 'state secret'. Human rights watchdogs such as Amnesty International have described the government as corrupt and the dictatorial leadership of Obiang has, over the last 19 years, been one of the most brutal Africa has seen.

So while the marketplace of Malabo is lively and filled with curiosities and exquisitely wrought tapestry, a tourist will have to take care not to be mugged or worse when travelling the city. The best way to travel is by taxi when on the ground and there are ferries making regular trips between the islands and Rio Muni.


Customs

Both the people and the customs of Equatorial Guinea are friendly and welcoming. Greetings are important, and may last longer than foreign visitors are accustomed to. People tend to stand close together when conversing. Always ask permission before photographing someone; photographing military personnel or buildings is prohibited.

Duty Free

Visitors to Equatorial Guinea may import the following goods: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/250g of tobacco, one litre of wine and one litre of spirits, an amount of perfume reasonable for personal use. Currency in excess of XA50,000 must be declared on arrival.

Passport Visa

All foreign visitors to Equatorial Guinea require two passport-sized photographs for police control, if arriving there for the first time. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Antibes is a pleasant excursion a few miles east of Cannes. It has one of the best markets on the coast and an excellent Picasso museum in its ancient seafront castle, the 16th-century Château Grimaldi. Picasso was lent a room in the castle to use as a studio in 1946; several extremely prolific months followed before he moved to Vallauris, leaving all his Antibes output to what is now the Musée Picasso. Although Picasso donated other works later, most of the collection dates from this one period, including the best known work, Ulysses and his Sirens. Picasso himself is the subject of some of his paintings. There are also works here by some of Picasso's contemporaries, including Nicholas de Stael. Alongside the castle is a cathedral which dates from Medieval times; only the choir and apse survive from the original Romanesque building, the nave and magnificent facade are Baroque. Nearby is a market which is open every morning over the summer and overflows with local produce.


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