Guinea-Bissau, Africa - Stein Travel
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Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a tiny country on the coast of west Africa bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south. Very few people come here but those that do travel to Guinea-Bissau describe it as one of Africa's true gems, a land of great beauty, variety and warm welcomes. Chief highlights include the beautiful and mostly unspoiled beaches, abundant wildlife including significant populations of chimpanzees and rare salt-water hippopotamuses, and elegantly decaying colonial architecture from the Portuguese era. Guinea-Bissau is a flat country characterised by two distinct terrains. The coast is lush and forested, while the interior is dry and dusty, although intersected by myriad rivers, pools and lagoons. The country's best natural splendour can be viewed in the celebrated Cantanhez Natural Park in Jemberem, while the Bijagos Archipelago offers some of Africa's best island experiences, including incredible snorkelling and diving, and indigenous tribes with rich traditions. The capital Bissau has the country's best tourist facilities although these are still very limited. Roads are notoriously rough with one traveller advising that the road to Goba is for 'perverse masochists' only! In general the very limited tourist infrastructure makes Guinea-Bissau a destination that attracts only adventure travellers and overlanders. A terrible civil war broke out in 1998 and although hostilities have ceased a succession of military coups since then has ensured the country remains in a state of uncertainty. Currently the borders are open and conditions favourable for intrepid travellers, however you are strongly advised to stay abreast of current developments before departure.

Information & Facts

Customs

Travellers to Guinea-Bissau will find a generally open, relaxed society, which values friendliness and camaraderie. Social conduct and dress codes will be familiar to western travellers, although among the Muslim section of the population (thought to be about 40 per cent), more conservative values are upheld.

Duty Free

Visitors to Guinea-Bissau may import a reasonable quantity of tobacco products and perfume in opened bottles. Non-Muslims may import up to 2.5 litres of alcoholic beverages.

Passport Visa

Foreign passengers to Guinea-Bissau must hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay in the country, and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination. Entering Guinea-Bissau on a one-way ticket is permitted. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Guinea-Bissau, if arriving in the country within 6 days of leaving or transiting through one of the following in countries: (in Africa) Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tom and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia; (in South America) Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. 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.

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