ABOUT Equatorial Guinea is a small country in West Africa, divided into two parts, the mainland and the islands. A former Spanish colony, it borders Cameroon and Gabon. Facilities for tourism are limited but growing. Cash machines are rare and often broken. The cash machine located at Malabo’s airport and one at the SGBGE Bank in downtown Malabo are open to the public; other cash machines that do exist require membership in the local bank. There are no ATMs outside of Malabo and Bata. Equatorial Guinea is a beautiful country with many interesting sites and beautiful beaches, but there is little tourism information to assist in planning a vacation. There is no public transportation and renting a vehicle is difficult. Rental vehicle choices are limited and can be expensive. Taxis are readily available in the larger cities and are generally inexpensive. Unless you pay a significantly higher price, drivers will pick up additional people until the vehicle is full. Passengers are delivered to their destinations at the convenience of the driver, not the passenger. This country is one of the largest oil producing countries in Sub-Sahara, behind Angola and Nigeria. Since the discovery, the country has flown into economic stardom, but this country remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and it is very common to see officials asking for bribes around the corners of the country. Equatorial Guinean-registered aircraft are banned from British and EU airspace on safety grounds. British government employees do not use Equatorial Guinean-registered aircraft unless this is unavoidable. You should bear this in mind when making your travel plans.

CLIMATE The wet seasons in the continental region are from February to June and from September to December. Rainfall is higher on the coast than inland. In Bata the rainiest months are September, October, and November, with rainfall averaging more than 94 inches a year. At Calatrava, farther south on the coast, it sometimes reaches 180 inches. Inland, however, rainfall diminishes; Mikomeseng, for example, receives only about 58 inches. The average annual temperature is about 26.1 °C and is fairly constant throughout the year. The so-called dry season lasts from November to March, and the rest of the year is rainy. The average annual temperature of about 25 °C varies little throughout the year. Afternoon temperatures reach the high low 30s °C and drop to only about 21.1 °C at night. Most of the time the sky is cloudy and overcast.

BEWARE Compared to other countries in the region, the level of violent crime in Equatorial Guinea is not high. However, there have been serious incidents of robbery and assault in a shared taxis in Bata. The victims were trapped in the car by the driver and his accomplices before having their money taken and being dropped outside town. We advise you avoid, where possible, taking taxis with groups of strangers, particularly at night. There are regular reports of other petty theft affecting both visitors and expatriates. You should not walk around Malabo and Bata at night and should also avoid travelling by road after dark. Most roads in Malabo are paved. In rural areas the condition of the roads is likely to be poor. During the rainy season, many roads are accessible only with a four-wheel drive vehicle. There are regular reports of extortion by police and uniformed security forces at roadblocks. You are advised not to pay bribes but to ask for a ticket, detailing alleged offences or violations, which can be paid at a local court.