Thursday, May 26, 2022
Guinea-Bissau Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Guinea-Bissau, formally the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, is a West African country. It has a total area of 36,125 square kilometers (13,948 square miles) and a population of 1,704,000 people.

Guinea-Bissau was previously a member of both the kingdom of Gabu and the Mali Empire. Parts of this kingdom lasted until the 18th century, while the Portuguese Empire ruled over a few others since the 16th century. It was colonized as Portuguese Guinea in the nineteenth century. When the nation gained independence in 1973 and was recognized in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country’s name to avoid confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea). Since independence, Guinea-Bissau has had a history of political instability, with no elected president serving a complete five-year term.

Only 14% of the population speaks Portuguese, which was designated as the official language during the colonial era. Almost half of the population (44 percent) speaks Crioulo, a creole language based on Portuguese, while the remainder speak a variety of local African languages. African traditional faiths and Islam are the dominant religions, with a Christian (primarily Roman Catholic) minority. The country’s per-capita GDP is among the lowest in the world.

Guinea-Bissau is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Latin Union, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, La Francophonie, and the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone.


Guinea-Bissau’s population was 1,515,000 in 2010, up from 518,000 in 1950, according to the UN World Population Prospects 2010 edition. In 2010, 41.3 percent of the population was under the age of 15, 55.4 percent was between the ages of 15 and 65, and 3.3 percent of the population was 65 years or older.

Guinea-Bissau’s population’s is ethnically varied, with many different languages, traditions, and social systems.


Animism was practiced by the majority of Bissau-Guineans during the twentieth century. Many people have converted to Islam in the early twenty-first century, with Islam currently being embraced by 50% of the country’s population. The majority of Muslims in Guinea-Bissau are Sunni, with Ahmadiyya Muslims accounting for around 2% of the population.

Approximately 10% of the country’s population is Christian, while 40% of the population still adheres to Indigenous beliefs. However, since many people follow syncretic versions of Islamic and Christian religions, mixing their rituals with indigenous African beliefs, these figures may be deceptive.

The majority of Christians belong to the Roman Catholic Church.


Guinea-Bissau is bounded to the north by Senegal, to the south and east by Guinea, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It is mostly located between latitudes 11° and 13°N (with a tiny region south of 11°) and longitudes 13° and 17°W.

The nation is bigger than Taiwan or Belgium at 36,125 square kilometers (13,948 square miles). It is located at a low elevation; its highest point is 300 meters (984 ft). The landscape consists mostly of low coastal plains with wetlands of Guinean mangroves rising to a Guinean forest-savanna mosaic in the east. Its wet season is monsoon-like, with intervals of scorching, dry harmattan winds coming from the Sahara. The Bijagos Archipelago is located off the coast of the mainland.


Guinea-Bissau is warm all year and has minimal temperature variation; the average temperature is 26.3 °C (79.3 °F). Bissau’s average rainfall is 2,024 millimetres (79.7 in), although this is nearly completely accounted for during the rainy season, which lasts from June to September/October. Drought affects the nation from December to April.


Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest GDP per capita rates in the world, as well as one of the lowest Human Development Indexes. More than two-thirds of the population lives in poverty. The economy is mostly based on agriculture; its primary exports are fish, cashew nuts, and ground nuts.

A lengthy period of political insecurity has resulted in low economic activity, worsening social circumstances, and increasing macroeconomic imbalances. Except for Suriname, it takes longer on average in Guinea-Bissau (233 days or about 33 weeks) to register a new company.

Guinea-Bissau has begun to show signs of economic progress after the signing of a stability agreement by the country’s major political parties, which resulted in an IMF-backed structural reform program. The country’s main tasks in the next years will be to establish budgetary discipline, restore public administration, enhance the economic environment for private investment, and encourage economic diversification. The rapid exodus of Portuguese civilian, military, and political authorities following the country’s independence from Portugal in 1974 as a result of the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution caused significant damage to the country’s economic infrastructure, social order, and standard of living.

Following many years of economic decline and political turmoil, Guinea-Bissau joined the CFA franc monetary system in 1997, providing some internal monetary stability. The civil conflict in 1998 and 1999, as well as a military coup in September 2003, interrupted economic activity once again, destroying a significant portion of the economic and social infrastructure and exacerbating the already widespread poverty. Despite a still-fragile political environment, the nation is attempting to emerge from a lengthy period of insecurity after parliamentary elections in March 2004 and presidential elections in July 2005.

Beginning about 2005, Latin American drug criminals started to utilize Guinea-Bissau, along with other bordering West African countries, as a transshipment site for cocaine to Europe. A United Nations official characterized the country as being on the verge of becoming a “narco-state.” The government and military have done little to combat drug trafficking, which has risen after the 2012 coup.

Guinea-Bissau is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of African Commercial Law (OHADA).

Things To Know Before Traveling To Guinea-Bissau

Internet, Comunication

There are a lot of internet cafés in Bissau’s downtown area, but if you ask around, you’ll find that many of them are hard to find from the outside. Lenox or going WiFi at Restaurant Phoenicia or the Hotel Bissau Palace are more possibilities.

In Guinea Bissau, there are three mobile phone providers, all of which offer prepaid mobile cards that may be purchased anywhere. It’s simple to phone overseas or to other mobiles within the same business, however calling from one company to another (for example, MTN->Guinétel) may be difficult.


If your stay in this nation is deemed transitory, Muslims are generally tolerant of others. Because there are a few extremist mosques in the nation, it is recommended that you avoid going there. The Christian minority is permitted, but activists and government officials in Guinea-Bissau keep a close eye on them.

Check your local government’s or state department’s Guinea-Bissau warnings.

Some individuals (particularly youngsters) may want you to snap their picture, while others will be offended if you do so; always ask ahead of time if you’re going to take close-ups. Avoid photographing military sites without permission, but you may be permitted to do so on rare occasions.

How To Travel To Guinea-Bissau

By planeEvery Wednesday and Friday, EuroAtlantic airlines  offers direct flights from Portugal, returning the same day.The daily Air Senegal trip is no longer available, however TACV Carbo Verde Airlines operates daily flights from Dakar, Senegal to Bissau. The flight is 75 minutes long.By carDepending on border bureaucracy, the trip...

How To Travel Around Guinea-Bissau

Toca-toca minibuses are used for city transportation in Bissau. Regular cabs are also available. There are sept-places (seven-seat Peugeots) and candongas (large commercial vehicles seating ten to twenty people) for intercity transport. Prefer sept-place or, at the very least, front-row seats. Taxis may also be rented to go to...

Destinations in Guinea-Bissau

Cities in Guinea-BissauBissau - capitalBafatá - Bafata, on the Rio Gêba, is a charming town with an attractive colonial center. Amilcar Cabral, a Bissau-Guinean patriot, was born in this town. To see his home, ask around near the old market.Bolama - The country's capital until 1941, it contains several...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Guinea-Bissau

There are no websites for Guinea-Bissau embassies where you may get admission information. To make things even more complicated, neither the United States nor the United Kingdom have embassies in Guinea-Bissau. For visa information, visitors can contact the British embassies in Dakar, Senegal; Lisbon, Portugal; or Paris, France (tel:...

Money & Shopping in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau uses the West African CFA franc (XOF). Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo all use it. While technically distinct from the Central African CFA franc (XAF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par in all nations that utilize the CFA franc (XAF &...

Food & Drinks in Guinea-Bissau

Food in Guinea-BissauBecause Guinea is abundant in fish and rice (homegrown or imported from Thailand) is relatively inexpensive, most Guineans eat rice with fish. Meals with beef, goat, chicken, or pork are more expensive. Palm oil and peanut sauces, as well as a variety of vegetables, are used in...

Language & Phrasebook in Guinea-Bissau

During centuries of colonial control, 14 percent of the population speaks Portuguese, the official language of administration and national communication. Kriol, a Portuguese-based creole language that functions as a national language of communication among groups, is spoken by 44 percent of the population. The others speak a range of...

Culture Of Guinea-Bissau

MusicBissau's music is most often linked with the polyrhythmic gumbe genre, which is the country's main musical export. Civil instability and other reasons, however, have kept gumbe and other genres out of popular audiences throughout the years, even in typically syncretist African nations.The calabash is-main Bissau's musical instrument, and...

History of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau was originally a component of the Mali Empire's kingdom of Gabu; portions of this kingdom lasted into the 18th century. The Portuguese believed other portions of the present country's area to be part of their empire. The Slave Coast was the name given to Portuguese Guinea because it...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Guinea-Bissau

Stay Safe in Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau has one of the highest rates of petty and violent crime on the continent, which should not be overlooked, as well as a dysfunctional administration and a lack of law enforcement. A significant amount of drugs travels via isolated islands and airstrips en route from...



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