Equatorial Guinea consists of a mainland territory, named Rio Muni, and five island territories within the Gulf of Guinea. Rio Muni, oddly enough, is not the epicentre of the country. While the region is the largest in the country, it is 60% rainforest, a conservation area respected among primate experts for its large variety of gorilla and monkey species. The real buzz of Equatorial Guinea is Bioko Island, which is situated closer to Cameroon than Rio Muni, north of the mainland, and which is home to the capital city, Malabo.
Bioko Island is a beautiful, volcanic isle and Malabo a seemingly dilapidated but charming island town with a prevalence of Spanish colonial architecture which belies the fact that you are in an African state. In fact, the official languages of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish and French, making it one of the few African states not to have an indigenous language as an official language. What does, unfortunately, tip one off to the fact that you are in Africa is the level of abject poverty affecting the local population. While Bioko, Corisco and the other islands of Equatorial Guinea have been heavily invested in by oil companies drilling in the water of the gulf, this money has not made its way to the poor, with President Obiang citing oil revenues as a 'state secret'. Human rights watchdogs such as Amnesty International have described the government as corrupt and the dictatorial leadership of Obiang has, over the last 19 years, been one of the most brutal Africa has seen.
So while the marketplace of Malabo is lively and filled with curiosities and exquisitely wrought tapestry, a tourist will have to take care not to be mugged when travelling the city. The country is poor but not violent and crime is mostly petty. The best way to travel is by taxi when on the ground and there are ferries making regular trips between the islands and Rio Muni. Equatorial Guinea is a beautiful country and it rewards exploration for those brave enough to set out off the beaten track.
Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.
All foreign visitors to Equatorial Guinea require two passport-sized photographs for police control, if arriving there for the first time. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
Equatorial Guinea Tourism
Foreign Embassies in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea Embassies
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