Overland Guinea-Bissau Travel

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Visiting Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Guinea-Bissau is a small and often overlooked country in West Africa. The official language is Portuguese, though many people speak English and French. People are extremely friendly, and the jungle in the East is spectacular.

Entering Guinea-Bissau with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: August 2016

Travel Visa for Guinea-Bissau[edit]

The visa for Guinea-Bissau is extremely easy to obtain at virtually any bordering country.
The Embassy in Ziguinchor Senegal is very friendly, and the process is very easy. The visa is issued immediately. Expect to pay CFA20,000.00 XOF for one month double entry.

Required Paperwork[edit]

(no copies are required)

Process at border[edit]

  • Get yourself stamped in at immigration.
  • Go to Douane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out a Passavant, valid for 2 weeks.
  • If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the Passavant.

Cost of entry[edit]

CFA2,500.00 XOF for the Passavant, should be free if you have a Carnet de Passage

Permitted length of stay[edit]

Passavant is good for 2 weeks.

Extension of stay[edit]

Unsure, Customs said it can be done in Bissau.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]


Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

  • Hand in your Passavant to Duane.
  • Get yourself stamped out at immigration.

All should be free, do not pay for this.

Driving in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa: Myths, Miscon...
Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa: Myths, Miscon...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Lonely Planet West Africa (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet West Africa (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet
From $32.99 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon

Travel insurance for Guinea-Bissau[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Liability Insurance is required, and the corrupt police will ask repeatedly to see it.
If you travel through more west African countries get a 'Carte Brun' which is valid in most west African countries at no extra cost.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

Expect to pay CFA10,000.00 XOF to CFA20,000.00 XOF per vehicle per month, depending on engine size and vehicle age (newer costs more)

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

Unknown in Bissau.

Driving side of road[edit]

RHD vehicles are allowed but ensure you have correct paperwork, because it’s a good chance for bribery.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

You need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. They even checked the expiry date and amount of gas on the gauge.


General Road quality[edit]

The main highways are excellent pavement, without potholes.
In Bissau the roads are horrible.
Minor dirt roads can be horrible, and even impassable in the rainy season.

Road signs[edit]

Not overly common.

Toll roads[edit]

There are toll booths on the main highways every 100km or so that cost <price="500" currency="XOF" /> each time. There are maybe 3 or 4 on the whole length of the country.

Bribery in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Bribery is extremely common, with every police stop and checkpoint an attempt to get money out of you. Be polite, and don’t pay. See the bribery tips page for general advice.


There are checkpoints and random stops where Police will check all your paperwork.

Traveling with pets[edit]


Gas price in Guinea-Bissau and Diesel price in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Last updated: August 2016

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Unleaded (called Gasolina) CFA594.00 XOF per Liter
Diesel (called Gasóleo) CFA603.00 XOF per Liter

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

All towns have stations, all stations always have gasoline and diesel.
Make sure you understand the difference between Gasolina and Gasóleo!

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Seemed to be no problem with quality.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Driving at night is not recommended due to hazards on the road, vehicles without lights and bad roads.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Vehicles seem safe enough on the street during the day, secure overnight parking is recommended in the cities, especially Bissau.

Special driving considerations[edit]

As in all of West Africa, expect hazards on the road around every turn - animals, children, pot holes and speed bumps!

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

There are a few campsites in Guinea-Bissau, and a few hotles that allow camping. Expect to pay between CFA2,000.00 XOF and CFA5,000.00 XOF per person per night.
Wildcamping is possible in Guinea-Bissau, especially in rural areas. Try to camp away from villages unless you don't mind lot of attention and lot of demand for ‘Cadeaux’ which means gift.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Drinking water is generally not considered safe to drink for visitors who are not used to it.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Guinea-Bissau

Nonfiction Reading And Writing Workshop Springboard: A...
Nonfiction Reading And Writing Workshop Springboard: A...
by National Geographic Learning
From $14.95 on Amazon
The Ringtone And The Drum: Travels In The World's Poor...
The Ringtone And The Drum: Travels In The World's Poor...
by Mark Weston
From $14.02 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Guinea-Bissau[edit]

  • Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
  • Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
Gps Map Of Africa
Gps Map Of Africa
From $click on Amazon

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.