Western Lowland Gorilla, Equatorial Guinea
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Western Lowland Gorilla, Equatorial Guinea

© Creative Commons / cliff1066

Equatorial Guinea Travel Guide

Key Facts

28,051 sq km (10,831 sq miles).


722,254 (2014).

Population density

25.7 per sq km.





Head of state

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo since 1979.

Head of government

Prime Minister Vicente Ehate Tomi since 2012.


220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.

Equatorial Guinea is a country of luscious vegetation and beautiful scenery, including tropical forests and snow-capped volcanoes. The capital, Malabo, is a rather rundown but attractive town, with pleasant Spanish colonial architecture, a striking volcanic setting and a lively market. The white-sand beaches around the islands are stunning. No wonder the country was first of all named 'Formosa', meaning 'beautiful', by the Portuguese.

The area was first colonised by the Portuguese in the late 15th century and handed over to the Spanish in 1788. Self-government was granted in 1959, followed by full independence in 1968.Its economy has expanded rapidly following the discovery of oil and gas deposits in the Gulf of Guinea, though little of this wealth has trickled down to the general population. The government has been described by a variety of human rights organisations as among the worst abusers of human rights in Africa.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 27 August 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Compared to other countries in the region, the level of violent crime in Equatorial Guinea is low and there have been very few cases of British nationals needing consular assistance. However, there have been recent reports of robberies against people travelling by taxi in both Malabo and Bata including a serious incident of robbery and assault in a shared taxi in Bata. Avoid taking taxis with groups of strangers, particularly at night.

There are regular reports of petty theft affecting both visitors and expatriates. Take sensible personal security precautions. Don’t carry valuables or wear jewellery in public and avoid isolated or poorer areas of town. Don’t walk around Malabo and Bata at night and avoid travelling by road after dark.

Local travel

Unless you have an EG resident permit, you will need to inform Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Francophonie in advance if you wish to travel outside Malabo on the island of Bioko, and outside Bata on the mainland.

Land borders often close with little or no notice. Check the situation with the local authorities before travelling to border areas. 

Road travel

Most major roads on Bioko Island are now paved. In rural areas the condition of the roads is likely to be poor. During the rainy season, many roads are accessible only with a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Police and military roadblocks are common. You may be asked to show your passport, driving licence or vehicle registration documents and explain your reason for being in the area.  Failure to comply can lead to detention.

There are regular reports of extortion by police and uniformed security forces at roadblocks. You are advised not to pay bribes but to ask for a ticket, detailing alleged offences or violations, which can be paid at a local court.

Public transport facilities, particularly on the mainland, are extremely limited.

Air travel

Equatorial Guinean-registered aircraft are banned from EU airspace on safety grounds. British government employees do not use these aircraft unless this is unavoidable.

Sea travel

There have been attacks of armed robbery on commercial shipping vessels in the Gulf of Guinea. Take extreme care when travelling in coastal waters.

Political situation

The political situation has been calm in recent years but you should be aware that political events can lead to increased presence of police, military or security forces on the streets. Avoid any political rallies, demonstrations or large public gatherings.

Consular assistance

There is no British Embassy. In an emergency, you can get consular assistance from the British Honorary Consul in Malabo:

David Shaw

Honorary Consul

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

email: ShawD@rpsgroup.com

telephone: 00240 222277502 / 00447775996895

The nearest British Diplomatic Mission is in Yaoundé, Cameroon (see contact details).

email: bhc.yaounde@fco.gov.uk Telephone:+237 22 222 07 96 / +237 22 222 05 45

If you’re unable to contact the British Honorary Consul in Malabo or the British High Commission in Yaoundé, then in an emergency call the FCO in London:

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 008 1500.

Commercial disputes

There have been occasions when expatriate staff of foreign companies have been confined to the country for prolonged periods when commercial disputes have arisen.