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Travel Insurance Guinea bissau

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Guinea-Bissau Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Capital City: Bissau
Language Spoken: Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages

Guinea-Bissau Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

12 00 N, 15 00 W

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m

Land boundaries

total: 724 km border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires

Natural resources

fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum

Land use

arable land: 8.31% permanent crops: 6.92% other: 84.77% (2005)

Environmental current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing

Climate

The climate is tropical, with a wet season from June to October. The dry season is from December to April, with hot winds from the interior. Humidity is high from July to September. Temperatures vary with altitude and distance from the coast. Required clothing Tropical lightweight cotton clothes and raincoat for the rainy season.

Time difference

time difference: UTC 0

Population

1,442,029 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 41.4% (male 297,623/female 298,942) 15-64 years: 55.6% (male 384,559/female 417,811) 65 years and over: 3% (male 18,048/female 25,046) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 19 years male: 18.4 years female: 19.6 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.07% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

37.22 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

16.53 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 46.87 years male: 45.05 years female: 48.75 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.86 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Businessmen wear safari suits (bush jackets without a tie). A knowledge of Portuguese is useful as only a few executives speak English. Visits during Ramadan should be avoided. Office hours: Mon-Fri 0730-1400.

Crime

Foreign residents and businesses are increasingly becoming targets for armed robbery and petty crimes are common. Thieves have occasionally posed as officials to make off with bags and other personal items and roadblocks are common.

Hotels

Several business class hotels include the 4-star Sheraton in north Bissau with 175 rooms and the 24 Septembre Hotel. There is also a brand new leisure hotel on the island of Maio that can be reached by ferry from Bissau, and another hotel in the north at the beach in Varella.

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available. The country code is 245. Outgoing international calls must go through the operator. It is difficult to find public telephones or to receive international calls. Telephone services are also expensive. Telex Facilities are available at the main post office in Bissau. International telex code: BI.

Electricity

is at 220 volts AC, 50Hz, but is subject to frequent disruptions. Electricity Limited electricity supply on 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types

C

Food And Dining

Guinea-Bissau's few hotels and restaurants offer excellent food, though some places are expensive. Local specialties include jollof rice, chicken and fish dishes. Staples are cassava, yams and maize.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for six months required by all.

Visas

Required by all except the following:

(a) Nationals of ECOWAS member countries for a maximum stay of one month (exceptions are possible, check with nearest Consulate);

(b) Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist, Business: US$53 (single-entry). Multiple-entry and Transit only available on request. An extra US$6 is needed for postal applications.

Validity

Single-entry visas are normally valid for up to 45 days; multiple-entry visas are valid for up to 90 days within a period of six months. Transit visas are valid for up to five days. Extensions are then granted at the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see General Info section.

Application requirements

(a) Two completed application forms. (b) Two passport-size photos. (c) Valid passport. (d) Return ticket. (e) Fee. Business: (a)-(e) and, (f) Confirmation of a job placement.

Working days required

Five. Urgent visas can be handled within 24-48 hours.

Passport/Visa Information

Embassy of Guinea-Bissau in France

94 Rue St Lazare, 75009 Paris, France

Tel: (1) 4526 1851. Fax: (1) 4526 6059.

Embassy of Guinea-Bissau in the USA

15929 Yukon Lane, Rockville, MD 20855, USA

Tel/Fax: (301) 947 3958.

Also deals with Canadian enquiries.

Travellers should avoid political demonstrations or rallies.

The threat from terrorism is low.

Since June an outbreak of cholera has affected over 10,000 people in Bissau, Biombo and Cachea districts; over 200 people have died as a result. Travellers are advised to take particular care and to drink only boiled/bottled water.

This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: http://travel.state.gov/travel

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

None

Embassies

Embassy of Guinea-Bissau in France

94 Rue St Lazare, 75009 Paris, France
Tel: (1) 4526 1851. Fax: (1) 4526 6059.

Embassy of Guinea-Bissau in the USA

15929 Yukon Lane, Rockville, MD 20855, USA
Tel/Fax: (301) 947 3958.
Also deals with Canadian enquiries.

Travelers should avoid political demonstrations or rallies.
The threat from terrorism is low.
Since June an outbreak of cholera has affected over 10,000 people in Bissau, Biombo and Cachea districts; over 200 people have died as a result. Travelers are advised to take particular care and to drink only boiled/bottled water.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

CFA (Communaut? Financiaire Africaine) Franc (CFAfr) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of CFAfr10,000, 5000, 2500, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of CFAfr250, 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5. Guinea-Bissau is part of the French Monetary Area. Only currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Bank of West African States) is valid; currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) is not. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided declared on arrival; export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1430.

Currency exchange

US currency in small denominations is the most useful for exchange. Inter-bank fund transfers are frequently difficult and time-consuming to accomplish.

Credit cards

Very limited use. Check with your credit or debit Card Company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

These are rarely accepted. They can sometimes be cashed at banks. There is a fixed rate of commission on all transactions.

N/A

  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

There is little or no dental care available in Guinea Bissau

Medication Availability

There is little medication available in Guinea Bissau

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Guinea Bissau

Medical facilities

 

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Meningitis: Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers, particularly during the December-June dry season when epidemics are most likely to occur. Importance of vaccination increases with length of stay and/or exposure to crowded conditions. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination. Protection may be less effective for infants and children aged 3-23 months than it is for persons aged 2 years and older. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases, including yellow fever, are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Loiasis - prevalent Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Tungiasis - prevalent Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Lassa fever - occurs (exists in some rural areas, and people visiting these areas should take particular care to avoid rat-contaminated food or food containers; but the extent of the disease should not be exaggerated) Schistosomiasis - common

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas, and from the following countries: Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia. America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela. (However, the U.S. Embassy reports that proof of a yellow fever vaccination must accompany visa applications.)

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Iamat CenterBissau

Media

Since the overthrow of Kumba Yala in 2003, the media scene has been less repressive. The lack of a reliable power supply is still a problem. Private radio stations operate alongside the state-run broadcaster. There are few private newspapers, essentially due to financial constraints rather than to Government interference.
Press: There are no English-language papers. Journal N? Pintcha is a state-run newspaper published daily; Banobero, Correio-Bissau and Fraskera are private weekly publications.
TV: Radio Televisao de Guinea-Bissau (RTGB) is state-run; RTP Africa, operated by Portuguese public broadcaster RTP, is run by local management; its studios and infrastructure are funded by Portugal.
Radio: Radio Nacional is a state-run station; Radio Pindjiguiti, Bombolom FM and Voice of Quelele are private stations.

Need help?

UK Customer Services0330 880 3600

Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
Sat 8:30am - 4pm.
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)

Contact details can be found in your policy documentation

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