man holding drum
aerial photography of trees and beach
green trees on island surrounded by sea under blue and white cloudy sky during daytime

Is Equatorial Guinea Safe?

Equatorial Guinea is generally safe for tourists, though petty crime and civil unrest pose some risks. Violent crime rates are relatively low, but disputes can escalate quickly. Travelers should exercise caution in crowded areas and events. The country has limited medical facilities, so obtaining travel insurance with emergency evacuation coverage is advisable. Adhering to local customs and respecting religious practices is crucial for a smooth cultural experience.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Equatorial Guinea is generally considered safe for travelers, but there are some risks to be aware of.

  • Petty Crime: Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching occur, especially in crowded areas. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secured.

  • Violent Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, armed robberies and carjackings do happen, particularly at night. Avoid isolated areas after dark.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams like fake tour guides, taxi overcharging, and people posing as officials demanding bribes. Only use legitimate services.

  • Civil Unrest: Protests and demonstrations can occur with little warning. Monitor local media and avoid large gatherings.

  • Disputes: Disputes between locals can quickly escalate. Do not get involved in arguments or confrontations.

  • Terrorism: While the risk is low, terrorist attacks cannot be ruled out entirely. Remain vigilant in crowded public areas.

Travelers should exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and avoid high-risk areas and situations. Consulting local contacts or travel advisories can provide up-to-date safety information.

Health & Medical

Equatorial Guinea poses some health risks for travelers, but with proper precautions, these can be mitigated. Malaria is a concern, so antimalarial medication and insect repellent are recommended. Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry. Other vaccinations like hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies may be advised depending on travel plans.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: Malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus are present. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves/pants, and sleep under treated mosquito nets.

  • Water and Food-Borne Illnesses: Traveler's diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues can occur from contaminated food and water. Only consume bottled/purified water and avoid undercooked foods.

  • HIV/AIDS: Equatorial Guinea has a high prevalence rate. Take necessary precautions.

  • Medical Facilities: Quality medical care is limited, especially outside major cities. Travelers should have comprehensive travel health insurance and funds to cover a medical evacuation if needed.

  • Air Pollution: Air quality in urban areas can be poor due to vehicle emissions and industrial activities. Those with respiratory issues may be affected.

Natural Disasters

Equatorial Guinea experiences a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. While natural disasters are not a major concern, travelers should be aware of the following:

  • Heavy Rainfall and Flooding: The rainy season, from September to November, can bring intense downpours and localized flooding, particularly in urban areas. Exercise caution when driving or walking during heavy rains.

  • Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms are common during the rainy season and can be accompanied by strong winds and lightning strikes. Seek shelter indoors during severe storms.

  • Landslides: In areas with steep terrain, heavy rainfall can trigger landslides, especially on deforested slopes. Avoid hiking or traveling in landslide-prone areas during or immediately after heavy rains.

  • Volcanic Activity: Equatorial Guinea has several dormant volcanoes, but volcanic eruptions are rare. However, travelers should stay informed about any potential volcanic activity and follow local authorities' instructions.

While the risk of natural disasters is relatively low, it's always advisable to monitor weather forecasts, heed any warnings issued by local authorities, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.


Transportation in Equatorial Guinea can be challenging for travelers. While major cities like Malabo and Bata have basic public transportation systems, services are often unreliable and poorly maintained. Taxis are widely available but can be expensive for longer journeys.

  • Road Safety is a significant concern, with poorly maintained roads, lack of proper signage, and reckless driving practices posing risks. Rental cars are an option, but self-driving is not recommended due to these hazards.

  • Air Travel is generally the safest and most efficient way to travel within the country, with domestic flights connecting major cities. However, flight schedules can be erratic, and delays are common.

  • For travel between cities, shared taxis or buses are the most affordable options, but comfort and safety standards may be lower than what many travelers are accustomed to.

  • Infrastructure is limited outside major urban areas, making travel to remote regions difficult and potentially hazardous without proper planning and guidance.

Cultural Norms

Equatorial Guinea is a culturally diverse nation with a rich blend of African, Spanish, and Portuguese influences. As a traveler, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions to ensure a smooth and enriching experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Greetings: Greetings are an integral part of Equatorial Guinean culture. It's customary to greet people warmly, even strangers, with a handshake or a nod. Avoid rushing through greetings, as they are seen as a sign of respect.

  • Dress Code: While casual attire is generally acceptable in urban areas, it's advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural communities. Revealing clothing may be considered disrespectful.

  • Hospitality: Equatorial Guineans are known for their warm hospitality. If invited to someone's home, it's polite to bring a small gift, such as chocolates or a bottle of wine. Removing shoes before entering a home is also expected.

  • Language: While Spanish and French are widely spoken, learning a few basic phrases in the local languages, such as Fang or Bubi, can go a long way in demonstrating respect for the culture.

  • Photography: Exercise caution when taking photographs, especially in rural areas or of individuals. It's advisable to seek permission before photographing people or sacred sites.

  • Religious Observances: Equatorial Guinea has a significant Christian population, with a mix of Catholic and Protestant denominations. Be mindful of religious customs and avoid disruptive behavior during religious events or services.

By respecting local customs and traditions, travelers can foster a deeper appreciation for Equatorial Guinea's rich cultural heritage and create lasting positive impressions.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Equatorial Guinea are limited, especially outside the major cities. The availability and reliability of emergency services can vary greatly depending on the location within the country. In general, emergency response times tend to be slow, and the quality of services may not meet international standards.

  • Medical Facilities: Equatorial Guinea has a shortage of well-equipped medical facilities, particularly in rural areas. Many travelers opt for medical evacuation to neighboring countries or their home countries in case of serious medical emergencies.

  • Police and Fire Services: The police and fire services in Equatorial Guinea are often understaffed and underfunded, which can lead to delays in response times and limited capabilities. Travelers should exercise caution and take necessary precautions.

  • Tourist-Specific Services: There are no dedicated emergency services specifically for tourists in Equatorial Guinea. Travelers are advised to contact their respective embassies or consulates in case of emergencies.

  • Language Barriers: Communication can be a challenge during emergencies, as many emergency service personnel may not speak English or other foreign languages fluently. It is advisable for travelers to learn basic Spanish phrases or carry a translation guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Equatorial Guinea safe for tourists?

Equatorial Guinea is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised. Petty crime and robberies occur, so avoid isolated areas and take precautions with valuables. Political demonstrations can turn violent, so monitor local media and avoid protests. Obtain comprehensive travel insurance and follow the advice of local authorities.

Is Equatorial Guinea safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Equatorial Guinea. While not overly dangerous, incidents of harassment and gender-based violence do occur. Avoid walking alone at night, dress conservatively, and be aware of your surroundings. Consider joining group tours or hiring a local guide for added safety.

Is Equatorial Guinea safe for families?

Equatorial Guinea can be a challenging destination for families with children. Medical facilities are limited, and some areas lack adequate sanitation and clean water. However, with proper precautions and preparation, it can be a rewarding cultural experience. Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and pack necessary medications.

Is Equatorial Guinea LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Equatorial Guinea, and the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination and persecution. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples are not advised. Exercise caution and discretion, as the legal and social climate is not LGBTQ+-friendly.

Do you need a visa to go to Equatorial Guinea?

Most visitors require a visa to enter Equatorial Guinea. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and the European Union can typically obtain a visa on arrival for stays up to 90 days. However, it's advisable to check the latest requirements with the Equatorial Guinean embassy or consulate before travel, as regulations can change.

Can you drink tap water in Equatorial Guinea?

Tap water is not safe to drink in Equatorial Guinea. Waterborne diseases are a risk, so drink only bottled or purified water. Avoid ice cubes and raw foods washed with tap water. Boiling water or using a reliable purification method is recommended.

What is the currency in Equatorial Guinea?

The official currency in Equatorial Guinea is the Central African CFA franc (XAF). US dollars and euros are also widely accepted, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and restaurants, but cash is preferred for smaller transactions.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play