Travel Consideration: Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea Official Info
Equatorial Guinea is a developing country in Central Africa. Its capital, Malabo, is located on the island of Bioko, off the coast of Cameroon. The mainland territory of Equatorial Guinea is located between Cameroon and Gabon. Facilities for tourism are limited.
A passport is required. U.S. citizens are not required to have visas to enter Equatorial Guinea. However, travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Suite 410, 1712 I Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20006, telephone 202- 296-4174, fax 202-296-4195. Overseas inquiries should be made to the nearest Equatoguinean Embassy or Consulate.
Violent crime is rare and the overall level of criminal activity is low in comparison to other countries in the region. However, non-violent street crime and residential burglaries are on the rise. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The pamphlets A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402, telephone 202-783-3238, or via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs.
Medical facilities are extremely limited. Many medicines are unavailable. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The sanitation levels in even the best hospitals are low. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical service outside the U.S.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Equatorial Guinea is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair to Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor to Nonexistent
Equatorial Guinea’s road network, both paved and unpaved, is underdeveloped and unsafe. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles. There are few road and traffic signs. Livestock and pedestrians create constant road hazards.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Equatoguinean law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
AVIATION OVERSIGHT: There is no direct commercial air service at present, nor economic authority to operate such service between the U.S. and Equatorial Guinea. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Equatoguinean Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards oversight of Equatorial Guinea’s air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.htm. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS: The Government of Equatorial Guinea has established stringent currency restrictions, applied upon arrival and departure from the country. Visitors bearing tourist passports must declare any currency in excess of 50,000 CFA (currently, approximately $85) upon arrival. Although this requirement is not clearly posted, travelers who fail to declare their excess currency risk forfeiture of any amount over 50,000 CFA upon departure. Further, credit cards and checks are rarely accepted. Cash in local currency is usually the only form of payment accepted throughout the country. Credit card cash advances are not available, and most banks do not cash personal or Traveler’s checks.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: Special permits may be needed for some types of photography. Police or security officials may charge a fine, attempt to take the person into custody or seize the camera and film of persons photographing the Presidential Palace and its environs, military installations, airports, harbors and other areas.
The United States closed its Embassy in Malabo in November 1995. U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon or with the Embassy Branch Office in Douala, Cameroon. Travelers may also obtain updated travel and security information from these offices. The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde is located on Rue Nachtigal. The mailing address is B.P. 817, Yaounde, Cameroon, telephone 237- 23-40-14, fax (237) 23-07-53. The Embassy Office in Douala can be contacted at 237-42-53-31, fax 237-42-77-90.
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