Guinea-Bissau

30.11.2013-19.12.2013

Distance driven: 388km

Days spent: 19

Distance driven/day: 20,4km

Diesel price: 1,09€/l

Money spent: 796€

Costs/day: 42€

Costs/km: 2,05€

Visa:

The consulate (N12 34.832 W016 16.056) located in Ziguinchor (Senegal) has moved recently and is not easy to find.

They issue visas while you wait and we were out of there with visas in hand after about 10 minutes.

We needed to fill out one form and hand in one passport photo.

Costs are 20.000CFA/person (30€) for a 1 month double entry visa.

 

We did not often hear of Guinea-Bissau before and were not quite sure what to expect. The country turned out to be thoroughly worthwhile with once again calm and friendly people, a rundown capital which was a joy to explore on foot and the beautiful Bjagos Islands off the coast. Our stay on Bubaque was very relaxed and gave us a welcome distance from traveling in a vehicle for a while. However we passed plenty of police checkpoints and a good few of them tried to extract a 1000CFA bribe or false fine. Patient refusal paid out as it has always done so far.

 

Nigeria visa:

The Nigeria embassy (N11 52.554 W015 38.137) moved recently close to the Restaurant Almagui. We met with the consul and explained our situation and intended route through the country. He was very friendly and gave us tips on what to see. We could collect our post-dated visas later the same day. It was one of the easiest visa applications so far.

We had to fill out one form and hand in one passport photo.

Costs are 40.000CFA/person (61€) for a one month visa valid for three months from the date of issue (post-dating no problem).

 

Guinea Conakry visa:

The Guinea consulate is located right in the city centre and issues visas on the same day.

We needed to bring 2 passport photos and our yellow fever certificates to be copied by the secretary and had to fill out one form.

Costs are 30.000CFA/person (46€) for a 1 month multiple entry visa, 60.000CFA/person (91€) for a 2 month multiple entry visa and 90.000CFA/person (137€) for a 3 month multiple entry visa.

 

Practicalities Bjagos Islands:

The official ferry leaves every Friday from the container port towards Bubaque when it is not under repairs and returns on Sunday. The ticket for staying on deck costs 3500CFA/person (5,34€) and the ticket for more comfortable benches inside 7500CFA/person (11,43€). The passage is supposed to take 5 hours but we ended up boiling away on deck for more than 9 hours. There are also numerous pirogues leaving for the islands during the week if you feel adventurous.

If you want to visit the island Orango with its salt water dwelling hippos, pirogues leave Bubaque every Saturday and return on Monday or Tuesday.

A good place to stay on Bubaque if you have to stick to a budget is the Chez Titi run by a friendly Senegalese. The double room costs 7000CFA/night (10,67€) with bucket shower and a beautiful view over to the neighbour island Rubane.

A good place to eat is the French run Chez Paul just off to your left from the jetty with tasty chicken and fresh fish for 2500-3000CFA.

 

The border crossing north of Sao Domingo was a breeze and we only had to pay 2000CFA (3,05€) to get our driver license and car registered. There is supposedly a road tax but they asked us whether we were tourists and said we would not have to pay then. J

Our carnet was accepted after a bit of confusion and the whole crossing took less than an hour.

 

Recommended Campings (prices for 2 people and a 4×4):

 

Restaurant & Residence Almagui, Bissau – N11 52.699 W015 38.346

German run place with large, secure area near the airport, free pool and laundry usage and good restaurant, good place for leaving the vehicle for a visit to the Bjagos Islands

5000CFA/night (7,62€), parking 1000CFA/day (1,52€)