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.
Last updated: 28 July 2014
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.
There is no British Embassy in Equatorial Guinea. In an emergency, you can get consular assistance from the British Honorary Consul in Malabo.
Be alert and take sensible personal security precautions. Roadblocks and unannounced identification checks are likely. Carry an appropriate form of identification (passport or residence permit) with you at all times.
If you wish to travel outside Malabo on the island of Bioko, or outside Bata on the mainland, you will need to inform the local authorities in advance.
There have been attacks of armed robbery on commercial shipping vessels in the Gulf of Guinea.