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EQUATORIAL GUINEA - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Equatorial Guinea. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to petty crime in some parts of the country.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Although the crime rate is lower than that of other countries in the region, petty crime and corruption do occur, particularly in Bata and Malabo. Armed robberies and muggings involving foreigners have increased in Malabo. Avoid walking alone after dark and avoid groups of young men congregated near bars and restaurants.
Maintain a high level of security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations. Ensure that personal belongings, passport and other travel documents are secure at all times.
Most roads in Equatorial Guinea are paved and traffic signs are adequate. Excessive speeds, increased traffic, and driving habits pose risks. Avoid travel after dark. Do not pick up hitchhikers. In the event of an accident, you should not move your vehicle until the police arrive. Minibuses and taxis are available throughout the country. Car rental companies also exist.
Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
General security information
Police and military checks and roadblocks are common. If you are stopped for a small traffic violation, cooperate with local authorities and request a citation, to be paid at the local court.
When travelling outside of Bata and Malabo, we recommend that you carry a letter from your employer or other organization stating the purpose of your travel. Proper identification must be carried at all times. Failure to do so may result in detention. You should contact local authorities before travelling outside the main cities. A security permit issued by the government is required to visit the Bioko Island destinations of Pico Basile, Moka and Ureca.
On February 17, 2009, an attack occurred near the presidential palace in Malabo. Military personnel were deployed throughout the city to ensure general security. Airports and seaports were closed for a few hours. Although such incidents are not common, you are advised to remain vigilant, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of authorities.
In case of emergency, dial 113 for the police and 115 for fire emergencies. For ambulance services, call La Paz Medical Clinic Bata: 333 083403/333 083501 or La Paz Medical Clinic Malabo: 55 6666 153.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Equatorial Guinea authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Equatorial Guinea, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Canadians must also be in possession of a visa. Equatorial Guinea now requires a Police Clearance Certificate for personal or tourist travel. An HIV test certificate may also be required, and HIV-positive status could lead to refusal of entry or deportation. Please contact the Equatorial Guinean authorities for more information on these new entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
If you are arriving with a domestic animal, you must present an international certificate of vaccination against rabies for the animal.
Although Equatorial Guinea recognizes dual nationality, dual nationals are considered Equatorial Guinean citizens and are subject to Equatorial Guinean laws. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities and supplies are extremely limited. Medicines are not always available outside Malabo and Bata. In case of serious illness, a medical evacuation would be necessary.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict.
Homosexuality is not widely accepted and displays of intimate affection are illegal.
Photography of the presidential palace and surrounding areas, airports, military installations, harbours, and other sensitive areas is strictly prohibited. Special permits may be needed for other photography or filming. For more information, contact local authorities.
The import or possession of camouflage clothing, large knives, binoculars, firearms, or similar items may be deemed suspicious by authorities. These items could be confiscated and you could be detained. Satellite phones are legally permissible, but not all immigration officials may be aware of this. If stopped, make an effort to speak to a higher authority, or if you are forced to leave the satellite phone with an official, ensure that you receive a receipt or some other identification of the confiscator to facilitate the return of the item at a later date.
An Equatorial Guinean driver's licence is mandatory for residents. The licence is renewable each year.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Equatorial Guinea. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you an Equatorial Guinea citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The official currency is the Central African franc (CFA), issued by the Banque Centrale des États d’Afrique Centrale (BEAC). You may be required to declare all currency you are carrying on arrival and departure. As certain import and export limits may apply, you should contact local authorities for information. You should exchange foreign currency at banks. The economy operates on a cash basis. Credit cards and travellers cheques are not accepted.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
The climate is hot and humid. On Bioko Island, the rainy season extends from July to January. On the mainland, there are two rainy seasons - one from April to May and one from October to December. Severe windstorms occur occasionally. Some roads may be impassable to all but four-wheel-drive vehicles during the rainy season. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
The High Commission of Canada in Abuja, Nigeria, has consular responsibility for Equatorial Guinea.
Abuja - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, Nigeria, and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996-8885.
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