Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 19 September 2018, 10:50 NZST
  • Still current at: 22 September 2018

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the border regions with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire due to cross-border military and rebel activity and the threat of banditry.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Guinea due to violent crime and the potential for civil unrest.

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Violent crime
Violent crime is prevalent in Guinea, especially in Conakry. Armed robberies, carjackings, break ins and muggings are becoming increasingly common throughout the country, especially at night. Violent crime is sometimes carried out by individuals wearing police or military uniforms. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching is also an issue.

As foreigners may be targeted due to their perceived wealth, avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable such as mobile devices, cameras and jewellery. Walking alone or travelling after dark should be avoided and if travelling by road, car doors should be locked and windows up. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery or carjacking, as this could lead to an escalation in violence.  

Civil unrest
Ethnic tensions are an issue in Guinea. In the past, there have been instances of ethnic violence in parts of the country, such as the south-east, which have resulted in a large number of deaths. Demonstrations, protests and political rallies also occur regularly in Guinea, often in response to domestic political developments or around elections.  Protests occasionally lead to violence or clashes with security forces.

New Zealanders in Guinea are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as even those intended as peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little warning. We also advise monitoring the media and other local sources for new information on possible threats to safety and security. During periods of unrest, the supply of essential goods and services, such as food, water and fuel, may be disrupted. Make sure you have evacuation plans in place.

Terrorism
Terrorism is a threat in Guinea, and terrorists could target places frequented by foreigners such as hotels, beaches and restaurants. New Zealanders in Guinea are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend exercising vigilance in public places.

Local travel
There are checkpoints and roadblocks, manned by Guinean authorities and other groups, throughout the country. It is a legal requirement to carry identity documents at all times and travellers may be submitted to checks or required to pay money.  

New Zealanders are advised to be particularly security conscious near the Conakry airport. If your flight is scheduled to arrive after dark, it is advisable to arrange for an airport transfer service prior to your arrival.  Do not accept unsolicited offers of assistance. 

Piracy
Piracy has been reported in the coastal waters off Guinea. Mariners are advised to be vigilant and take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.

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

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious, social and cultural traditions in Guinea to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines. The possession, sale and export of special gems without a licence or correct authorisation may carry also heavy penalties.

Photography of government offices, military establishments or officials, official residences or transportation facilities is prohibited, and could result in detention. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Guinea should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Guinea are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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