World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Guinea

Guinea travel guide

About Guinea

Okay, so Guinea might not be the stuff bucket lists are made of. Tarnished by the Ebola crisis and long-term political instability, it is a country most people stay away from. But for travellers who like being far, far from the beaten track, Guinea has many enticements.

A land of remote hills, virgin rainforests and plunging waterfalls, this wild, West African nation is home to some mesmerising landscapes. If you like to immerse yourself in Mother Nature, you’ll love Guinea.

But don’t expect an easy time of it. The country has been mired in political instability and outbreaks of violence, and it was here that the first person died from Ebola in 2014. It is also an exceptionally poor country and beyond the capital, Conakry, it is not an easy place to travel: corruption is rife and the ubiquitous military checkpoints intimidating.

Conakry is a lot of fun, though. The city has a lively nightlife and a reasonable number of international standard restaurants serving predominantly French cuisine. Its hotel scene is hardly blazing a trail – accommodation ranges from small guesthouses to slightly run down international chains – but the city has a certain charm.

If chaotic Conakry wears you thin, hop on a ferry to Iles de Los, a small archipelago floating just off the coast. The antitheses to the bustling capital, these islands are blessed with clean sandy beaches, simple guesthouses and a relaxed vibe, which feels a world away from Conakry.

Beyond the capital Guinea is rarely visited by tourists due to the difficulty in getting around. Public transport is crowded, uncomfortable and slow, but avoids hassle from police officers, which you are likely to attract if driving your own car.

Guinea certainly isn’t for everyone, but those with a curious mind and sense of adventure will be richly rewarded.

Key facts


245,857 sq km (94,926 sq miles).


12,947,122 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

47.9 per sq km.





Head of state:

Transitional President Mamady Doumbouya since October 2021.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Bah Oury since 2024.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Guinea set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Guinean Embassy in the UK.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Guinea.

Passport validity requirements

To enter Guinea, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

You must have a visa to visit Guinea for up to 90 days. Make sure you apply for the correct visa – British nationals have been refused entry with the wrong one.

Applying for a visa

You can apply online for an e-visa for private and business travel. You must apply several days in advance and upload scanned documents, including a yellow fever vaccination certificate. When you arrive in Guinea, take your e-visa registration receipt to the entry checkpoint, where border officials will issue your visa.

Vaccine requirements

You must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk.

For more details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, including yellow fever, see TravelHealthPro’s Guinea guide.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Guinea. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Taking money into Guinea

There is no limit on cash you can bring into Guinea. When you leave, you cannot take more than 100,000 Guinean francs, or 5,000 US dollars or the equivalent in euros.   


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Guinea

Terrorist attacks in Guinea cannot be ruled out.

Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners. Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities. 

Political situation

There was a coup in Guinea in 2021 and a military junta remains in power pending elections – for which there is no firm date – to return the country to constitutional order. Protests are common. Public gatherings and demonstrations can start with little or no notice,  quickly turn violent and lead to loss of life. In more extreme instances,  protestors have ransacked and set fire to public buildings, though this is not common.

Remain vigilant, avoid demonstrations or rallies, particularly those close to military barracks, and monitor local media. Move quickly to a safe place if you see crowds gathering or any signs of disturbances or unrest.

An explosion at Guinea’s primary fuel depot in December 2023 has led to widespread fuel shortages, causing economic and social problems.

Security situation

Guinea’s border areas are often tense with an increased military presence. There is an increase in banditry in the north-east of Upper Guinea, though there is no specific targeting of Western nationals.  There has to date been no spill over of terrorism from Mali.


For assistance or to report a crime in Conakry, call the local police Commissaire on +224 622 86 94 71.  

Vehicle crime

Criminals posing as police or military, armed with military weapons, have robbed drivers and their passengers at gunpoint, particularly at night. Violent carjackings are a threat, especially in the outlying suburbs of Conakry. Reduce the risk of vehicle crime by:

  • getting security advice before travelling by road
  • travelling in convoy
  • using reputable travel operators and taxis, arranged in advance
  • keeping doors locked and windows closed while driving

There are regular reports of hold-ups and armed robbery on the roads to:

  • Mamou
  • Faranah
  • Kissidougou
  • Guékédou
  • Macenta
  • N’zérékoré

If you plan to arrive in Conakry on a flight after dark, arrange your airport transfer before you travel.

Protecting yourself and your possessions

Break-ins are common, and burglars may be armed. There is also a high level of street crime – mugging, pickpocketing and bag-snatching. Take precautions by:

  • ensuring your accommodation is secure and has security guards
  • taking a pre-arranged taxi if you are changing money or visiting a bank
  • not wearing expensive-looking jewellery or watches and keeping mobiles out of sight
  • avoiding emptier parts of towns and cities
  • not walking alone at night

Scams and extortion

The British Embassy in Conakry is aware of police extorting cash from foreigners and Guineans.

Take particular care if you trade gold and diamonds. This trade attracts criminal gangs and can involve kidnapping and extortion. There are reports of trading scams involving diamonds, gold export and gold certification.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

Always carry ID such as a passport.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

Do not become involved with illegal drugs of any kind. 

If you commit a drugs crime, you are likely to be prosecuted. There are heavy penalties for those convicted. Local prison conditions are harsh, often without regular food and water. Pre-trial detention is common and can last for many months.

Using cameras in secure areas

Photography and filming in many areas is highly restricted. This includes:

  • military bases and checkpoints
  • the President’s residence and offices
  • police and gendarmerie HQs

It’s illegal to photograph or film anything of strategic value such as airports and bridges. Do not photograph military or police installations or government buildings, or you could be arrested.

Individuals may prefer not to be photographed. If in doubt, ask, or do not take pictures.


Credit cards are not widely used in Guinea and obtaining hard currency is very difficult. There are a few ATMs in Conakry that accept foreign cards, but they give only small amounts of currency. They are also unreliable. Banks in Conakry accept international credit cards and exchange money.

Exchanging foreign currency on the street is illegal. Foreign nationals have been arrested and held in military custody for using unofficial money changers even for small amounts, including at the airport.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal. Penalties range from 6 months to 3 years in prison and a fine of 500,000 to 1 million Guinean francs.

Same-sex relationships are not widely accepted or understood. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Precious stones

You need an export licence to take precious stones out of Guinea. Gem smuggling is illegal, and anyone convicted can expect a severe prison sentence. Local prison conditions are harsh.

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Guinea, see information on driving abroad.

You’ll need to have both the 1949 version of the international driving permit (IDP) and your UK driving licence with you in the car. You cannot buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

Most major hotels and travel agencies offer cars for hire, with a driver if required.

Driving conditions

Road travel can be hazardous, especially during the rainy season from May to October. Roads, even within Conakry and other principal towns, can be flooded and become impassable.   

The standard of road maintenance is low. Many roads are unmetalled and have deep potholes as damage caused during the rainy season goes unrepaired.

Fuel is not always available at petrol stations. Carry an emergency supply on long journeys.

Buses and taxis

Taxis and long-distance buses are generally poorly maintained, overcrowded, and the drivers are often unqualified.

Roadblocks and checkpoints

Police and local militia maintain checkpoints across the country. They check vehicle and passenger documentation and baggage. Corruption and extortion are common at roadblocks. Occasionally, checkpoints can be a pretext for armed robbery.

The authorities may close the Guinea-Sierra Leone border at short notice.

Sea travel

There have been reports of piracy attacks against vessels in Guinean territorial waters.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical numbers

In remote areas you will have to arrange local transport. In Conakry, call local clinics.

Clinique Pasteur: +224 621 35 01 01 or +224 664 26 98 53

Clinique Ambroise Paré: +224 631 40 10 40

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Health risks and vaccine recommendations

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

Go to TravelHealthPro to see what health risks you’ll face in Guinea, including:

  • yellow fever
  • Zika virus
  • malaria and dengue

There are occasional outbreaks of Ebola in Guinea. The last one was in 2021. Cholera and malaria are also present in Guinea and have similar early symptoms to Ebola. You can read more information on Ebola and similar diseases.


There are some well-stocked pharmacies in Conakry but few outside the capital. Check that medicine is genuine.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

Healthcare facilities in Guinea

Medical facilities are poor. Equipment is basic and often not sterile. Carry basic medical supplies and a first aid kit.

For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to Europe is necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Guinea where some staff will speak English. 

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Guinea

There are no emergency services in Guinea. If you need urgent medical assistance, contact a clinic in Conakry:

Clinique Pasteur: +224 621 35 01 01 or +224 664 26 98 53

Clinique Ambroise Paré: +224 631 40 10 40

You may also be able to get advice from your hotel or the local police.

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Guinea and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Conakry.  

The British Embassy in Conakry can only provide limited emergency consular assistance. Access to the Embassy is strictly by appointment only. Please send an email to for consular assistance or to make an appointment. If you need urgent consular help, call +44 (0) 1908 516 666.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating in Guinea on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

A digital image at

Book a Hotel