Republic. Declared independence from Spain in 1968.
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.
Travellers wishing to travel outside Malabo on the island of Bioko, or outside Bata on the mainland, will need to inform the Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Francophonie in advance.
The threat from terrorism is low, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
There are regular reports of petty theft.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: