Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 11:17 NZDT
  • Still current at: 24 February 2020

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Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the northwest part of the country that borders the Casamance region in Senegal due to the presence of armed rebel groups.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Guinea-Bissau due to political instability.

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Political instability/civil unrest
While the security situation is currently calm, Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability and periodic violence. A coup d’etat took place in 2012 and further civil or military unrest is possible.  

New Zealanders in Guinea-Bissau are advised to closely follow local political developments by monitoring the media. We recommend maintaining a high level of personal security awareness at all times and avoiding all large public gatherings and demonstrations, as they have the potential to turn violent.  

While violent crime towards foreigners is not common, foreigners may be the targets of opportunistic crime, such as pickpocketing or robbery. Walking alone or travelling after dark is not recommended and if travelling by road, car doors should be locked and windows up. Incidents of road banditry and car jacking pose a risk for travellers. We do not recommend using public transport. As foreigners are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, avoid wearing or displaying valuables, such as jewellery, cameras and mobile devices.

Although the capital city of Bissau was declared mine-free in 2006, unexploded landmines continue to present a hazard in many other parts of Guinea-Bissau.

Travellers are advised to drive on well-travelled roads only and not to venture off well-used paths, especially if travelling in rural areas in the interior of the country.

General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Guinea-Bissau, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Guinea-Bissau should consider.

Modern medical facilities are limited, so we advise New Zealanders travelling or living in Guinea-Bissau to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

Keep your passport or residence permit in a safe place and carry a photocopy for identification purposes.

New Zealanders in Guinea-Bissau are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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