Guinea-Bissau Guide

Guinea-Bissau Guide

Guinea-Bissau – country information

Country name Guinea-Bissau
Official name Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Capital Bissau
continent Africa
Area 36,125 km
Population 1 704 000 (2013)
Foundation of a state 24. 9. 1973
The highest mountains highest point 250 m (in the Futa Dzhalon highlands)
Longest rivers Tomine
State system transitional government
The biggest cities Bissau (capital) 150,000, Bafatá 20,000
Official language Portuguese
Ethnicity/National Composition Balant 28.5%, Fulba 23.5%, Malinka 12%, Mandajka 10.5%, Pepel 10%, others 15.5%
Religious affiliation traditional faith 54%, Muslims 38%, Christians 8%
Currency 1 Guinean peso (PG) = 100 centavos
gross domestic product (GDP) US$1,210 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 46.87 let (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 45%, mining and industry 6.5%, construction 6.5%, services 42%

Guinea-Bissau – neighboring countries

State Capital Area Populace
Guinea Conakry 245,857 km 10 824 200
Senegal Dakar 196,722 km 13 567 338

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Guinea-Bissau, formerly Portuguese Guinea, lies on the West African coast between Senegal and Guinea. It also includes the neighboring islands of Arquipélago dos Bijagós.

Country data

Location: West Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time CET – 2)

Total area: 36,125 km²

Land area: 28,120 km²

Water area: 8,005 km²

Length of the state border: 724 km

Bordering countries:
Guinea: 386 km
Senegal: 338 km

Coastline: 350 km

Capital: Bissau

Regions: 9
Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali

Telephone code: 00 245 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: 300 m


Population: approx. 1.7 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.9% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 47

Life expectancy: 48 (male), 52 (female)

Official language: Portuguese


  • 50% Muslim
  • 10% Christians
  • 40% other


It is always hot and humid in Guinea-Bissau.

The annual average temperature is 26 ° C.

The dry season lasts from December to May. The rainy season that lasts for the rest of the year peaks in July and August. At this time there are often hurricane-like storms (monsoons) and sudden rains.

Due to the high humidity of up to 98%, the climate is always felt to be very humid and at the same time very tiring.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: CFA franc (XOF)

Classification: 1 Franc = 100 Centimes

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: Credit cards are only accepted in Hotel HOTTI and the BIGB bank (both in Bissau).

Regulations: The import and export of the local currency is prohibited.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. However, these must be declared upon import! The export of foreign currencies is limited to the amount declared upon entry.

There are very strict controls! You should therefore keep all exchange receipts and receipts until you leave the country.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages (opened bottle)
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

Since large areas are still mined (also in the capital), you should exercise particular caution when entering / driving on unpaved terrain.

It is also recommended not to move at night and never alone away from paved roads and outside the big cities.

Since the hygienic conditions in the entire country are very poor, you should be particularly careful and picky about the consumption of food and drinks.

Before traveling to Guinea-Bissau, we strongly recommend consulting a tropical doctor and taking out travel health insurance with repatriation in the event of illness, as the medical care does not even meet minimal standards!

Behavioral advice

You should always keep valuables hidden on your body and never leave them open!

Since there is often a high degree of violence during robberies and the thieves are often armed, you should not offer active resistance.


Since the income from their own agriculture is hardly sufficient to supply the population, Guinea-Bissau is dependent on foreign aid.

The wood processing industry is by far the largest branch of industry.

Most of the population works in agriculture. Mainly potato, millet, corn, cassava, rice, yams and sugar cane are grown.

Industries: fish, wood processing, nuts

Natural resources: bauxite, fish, wood, phosphates

Land use:

  • Usable land: 11%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 38%
  • Forests: 38%
  • other: 12%


The large savannas, which are covered with many different types of grass, take up a large part of the country.


Antelopes, flamingos, hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, pelicans, snakes and wild boars live in the vast plains around rivers and lakes.

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