Guinea Travel Information

Photo Guinea, formerly People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea, independent nation in western Africa, bounded on the north by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali; on the east and southeast by Côte d'Ivoire; on the south by Liberia and Sierra Leone; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The total area of the country, including the Los Islands of Conakry, is 245,857 sq km (94,926 sq mi). Conakry is the capital and largest city. Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains a poor underdeveloped nation. The agricultural sector employs 80% of the work force Guinea possesses over 25% of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for about 75% of exports in 1998. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty.

The ethnic makeup of the people of Guinea is diverse. The most numerous of the groups (about 35 percent of the population) are the Fulani, who are concentrated mainly in the Fouta Djallon. The other principal groups comprise people of the Mande group. They include the Mandinka (also known as Mandingo or Malinke) (about 30 percent) of northeastern Guinea and the Susu (about 20 percent), who inhabit the coastal area. According to the 1983 census, the population of Guinea was 5,781,014. The estimated population in 2001 was 7,613,870, giving an overall population density of 31 persons per sq km (80 per sq mi). Some 68 percent of the population live in rural areas. The capital is Conakry, a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean. Other major cities are the railroad centers Kankan and Kindia. About 85 percent of the population of Guinea is Muslim; the remainder is split between those who adhere to traditional beliefs and Christians. French is the official language. The country has eight national languages: Mandinka (also known as Mandingo and Malinke), Susu, Fulfulde, Kissi, Basari, Loma, Koniagi, and Kpelle.
Travelers should restrict photography to private gatherings. Permission from the government is necessary in order to photograph military or government installations or public works.
All precious stones require an export license and there are heavy penalties for those involved in smuggling, particularly diamonds and other gems.
The local currency is the Guinean franc. Credit cards are rarely accepted, and credit card cash advances are not available. Traveler's checks should be in U.S. dollars. Islamic practices and beliefs are part of the country's customs, laws, and regulations. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behavior. Visitors should dress conservatively (i.e. women should not wear shorts or bare their legs) and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Important: Travel to Guinea may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Guinea visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Guinea
Capital city: Conakry
Area: 245,857 sq km
Population: 10,884,958
Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
Languages: French
Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Alpha CONDE
Head of Government: Prime Minister Mohamed Said FOFANA
GDP: 11.5 billion
GDP per captia: 1,100
Annual growth rate: 3.9%
Inflation: 21.4%
Agriculture: rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava
Major industries: bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron
Natural resources: bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Trade Partners - exports: Chile 24.6%, Spain 9.2%, Russia 7.5%, India 5.2%, Germany 5.2%, Ireland 5.1%, US 5%, Ukraine 4.4%
Trade Partners - imports: China 13.2%, Netherlands 8.1%, US 5.4%