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Guinea

Guinea
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Guinea or officially the Republic of Guinea is a West African country. On the north, it borders Senegal, on the north-east – Mali, on the east – Cote d’Ivoire, on the south – Liberia, on the south-west – Sierra Leone, and on the north-west, it shares its border with Guinea-Bissau. The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is Conakry.

The sub-equatorial climate brings rainy summer and dry winter. The average annual temperature varies from +18°C - +27°C. The best time for visiting Guinea is from November to March.

The official language is French, but the people can speak the local dialects. The majority of the population are the Muslims.

Dalaba is an attractive place for excursions and out-of-town holidays. The local travel agency arranges hiking across picturesque districts. There are also hiking routes across the North Guinea Hill.

In Keruan, the tourists can see the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, which is a UNESCO site.

In the city of Candia, anyone can bike to the Marie Waterfall.

The climbers can try and climb the Gangan Mount. In Conakry, there are many historical and architectural monuments.

Get in

By Plane

There are no direct flights between CIS countries and Guinea. The tourists will have to take transit flights with a transfer in European or African airports. British Airways, Air France, and Ibera offer the most convenient routes. Also there are regular routes from all the large cities in West Africa to the Conakry International Airport.

By Sea

From August to January, there is a ferry route across the Niger river between Guinea and Mali.

Visa

The tourists from CIS and EU countries must obtain a visa to travel to Guinea. The Russian citizens can obtain a visa at the Embassy of Guinea in Moscow. The documents for a visa can also be submitted to the Consulates of the neighbouring countries. The tourists can obtain a visa within 3 days. In some case, a visa is issued at the border on arrival.

The visa is valid for 30 days. We strongly recommend receiving a vaccination against yellow fever.

Customs

The Customs legislation of Guinea allows bringing in any amount of foreign currency. The sums exceeding 800 US dollars must be declared.

The tourists can import the following things duty-free:

  • cigarettes and alcohol for personal use;
  • food and personal belongings (the total cost should not exceed 800 US dollars).

It is prohibited to import:

  • gold bars, gold plates and gold scrap;
  • gems (without a special permission of the authorities of Guinea).

The Customs thoroughly controls the export of the following goods:

  • products made of ivory, wood, horns or skins of animals and unprocessed material;
  • national crafts;
  • gold and gems;
  • weapons.

Cuisine

The traditional cuisine of Guinea is not very diverse. The staple food here is rice and fish. The locals also eat vegetables, fruits, milk, beans, root plants and they use a lot of spices. In Guinean diet, there are virtually no meat dishes.

For the first course, the tourists will be offered a bean soup. For breakfast, they will be served hegari porridge rich in complex carbohydrates. Hegari is also used by the local chefs for making desserts because this grain is as sweet as sugar cane.

Peanut butter is a popular ingredient here. It is used both in soups and in desserts. The second-course dishes are served with peanut sauce.

The national cuisine of Guinea is rich in fish and seafood. Commonly, they cook the fish over the open fire with a lot of hot spices and herbs.

For a dessert try sugared and fresh fruits, sweet cassava cakes.

In restaurants and bars in large cities, there is a great choice of imported alcoholic drinks.

Money

The official currency in Guinea is the Guinean Franc (GNF). In circulation are the banknotes from 100 to 5.000 francs and 1 to 50 francs coins.

The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices. The rate is the best on the black currency exchange market, but there is a higher risk of the fraud.

The tourists can cash the traveller’s checks or withdraw the money from their credit card account only in the capital city. In other large cities, the qualification of the bankers is extremely low. We recommend taking the checks in Euro.

The hotels and restaurants in Conakry accept credit cards. You may be sure that you can pay with MasterCard, Diners Club, and American Express.

The best rate for exchanging traveller’s checks is at the airport in the capital city.

Details of interest

Sightseeing in Guinea

In Guinea, there is one UNESCO site. It was selected on the basis of a natural criterion.

  • The Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has been included on the UNESCO list as an endangered site. It occupies the territory of two countries, Guinea and Cote d’Ivore. The Guinean part is included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Three types of vegetation grow here. They are forests, mountain meadows, and savanna. The park is the habitat for endemic animals such as African live-bearing toad and the Western chimpanzee.

Trips to Conakry are arranged for the tourists who like historical and architectural sights:

  • The Conakry Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in West Africa. The four minaret mosques can be seen from any place in the city.
  • The largest museum in the country is the Conakry National Museum. The exposition of the museum consists of 10.000 items of the everyday life of the region since its foundation until today.
  • The Presidential Palace of the West African state of Guinea which is also known as the Presidential Palace Sekhoutoureah.
  • The oldest educational institution in Guinea is the Universite Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry. The building was founded in 1963 with the assistance of the USSR.
  • The largest market is the Marche Madina. It is a good place for shopping. On the market, you can buy almost everything from old local magazines to Chinese accessories.

One of the most popular touristic places is Iles de Los and its beaches. It is situated on the western coast of the Atlantic ocean.

Souvenirs in Guinea

  • bright textile with traditional African patterns;
  • pottery and clay goods;
  • wooden masks;
  • African-style bijouterie;
  • corals and sea shells.