Guinea Bissau

Last updated: 4/19/2017

Guinea-Bissau is about half the size of South Carolina. The country is a low-lying coastal region of swamps, rain forests, and mangrove-covered wetlands, with about 25 islands off the coast. The Bijagos archipelago extends 30 mi out to sea. The vital cashew nut crop provides a modest living for most of Guinea-Bissau's farmers and is the main source of foreign exchange. More than 20 languages and dialects spoken in Guinea-Bissau it can be a wonderful country in which to serve and help with MAST.

 

Quick Jump

MAST

Visa:

  • Guinea-Bissau does not currently have representation in the United States. Your team leader can give you instructions for obtaining a visa.
  • Travel with at least one 2 x 2 passport photos.


Local Contact:

  • Your Wycliffe Associates Recruiter or Team Lead for MAST.

Medical:

  • The government of Guinea Bissau requires proof yellow fever vaccination.You must have this available for inspection on arrival in-country.
  • You are encouraged to visit CDC Information for Guinea Bissau for the most up to date travel information.
  • Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
  • Contact your health provider for other recommended vaccinations.
  • Recommend that you carry medication for traveler's diarrhea and some electrolyte powder to avoid dehydration.
  • If you have a weak stomach, it is good to bring Pepto Bismol tablets and take one before each meal..
  • Zika is endemic in Guinea-Bissau. Because of the risk of birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika while pregnant, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their doctor.

 

Clothes:

  • For Men:
    • Casual western shirts and slacks. Shorts and tank tops not recommended. Whites not recommended due to dusty dry season. Good walking shoes and sun hat. You will see some people dressed in shorts, etc. in capitol but we do not recommend this since we must be examples.
  • For Women:
    • National women in the capitol are becoming more western in dress but this is not considered a good idea in the communities we encounter. Women should wear modest dresses/skirts and blouses. There are wonderful fabrics available for sale and a national outfit can be custom made quickly. Most women wear head coverings to church (head wraps, hats, or scarves).
  • Socially acceptable or expected footwear:
    • Nice shoes for church. Sandals or flats, or walking shoes. Please keep your shoes clean.  Africans are often shocked at the condition of many Expat's shoes. There is a proverb, "as you dress so shall you be perceived."
  • Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly! A light sweater will suffice and an umbrella for rainy season.

 

Things to Bring:

  • Bottled water is readily available and most apartments/guest houses where you will be staying will have filtered water available.
  • Bug Spray or wipes with Deet available in the camping department. Easy to transport.
  • A small power strip (250v) is handy and electrical adapter is required.
  • A flashlight, a small portable battery operated fan.
  • Any over-the-counter remedies, your toiletries. Toothpaste, shampoo, etc. are readily available but expensive.
  • Snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.), if you wish but cookies, chocolate, some chips, and especially peanuts are readily available.
  • Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travel insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling). It is always good to have a copy of your passport.

Things to Know:

  • Be prepared to do without running water, electricity or internet on occasion.
  • There are few public restrooms so be prepared with tissues in your pocket.
  • Notify your bank that you will be in Guinea Bissau so that they won't block your card. Be very careful to cover your pin number when getting money.