Guinea-Bissau – Level 3: Reconsider Travel Advisory Issued February 27, 2019

Reconsider travel to Guinea-Bissau due to elections, crime, and civil unrest.

Legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau are scheduled for March 10, 2019. The election date may be subject to change. The risk of violence is heightened during election periods, and in recent elections, some election-related demonstrations have resulted in violence. The Bissau-Guinean government may impose travel restrictions as the elections approach, sometimes without notice, which may affect travel plans. Expect additional police and military checkpoints and possible road blocks throughout the country during elections. Regular road travel is prohibited on election day, and stores will be closed.

Violent crime is common in Guinea-Bissau. Aggressive vendors, panhandlers, and occasionally criminals target foreigners at the Bissau airport and other crowded areas, especially Bandim Market in the center of the capital. Local police lack the resources, capacity, and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

The country has been beset by chronic political and institutional dysfunction for decades, and there is the potential for violence.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens because there is no U.S. Embassy in Guinea-Bissau.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Guinea-Bissau:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Only travel during daylight.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events, and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Guinea-Bissau.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to the Risk Indicators.

Originally Published: February 27, 2019

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