Special Travel Circumstances in Equatorial Guinea

Official Corruption: It is not uncommon for a uniformed member of the security forces to stop motorists on the pretext of minor or nonexistent violations of the local motor vehicle regulations in order to extort small bribes. Visitors are advised not to pay bribes, and to request that the officer provide a citation to be paid at the local court or a receipt stating the violation, amount due, and the officer’s name. If a U.S. citizen visitor is asked to go to a police station or is held up at roadblocks for an extended period of time, he/she should contact the Embassy Duty Officer at 516-008 to report the situation.

Currency: Equatorial Guinea is almost exclusively a cash economy. The country has very few hotels that accept credit cards. Generally, credit cards and checks are not accepted, and credit card cash advances are not available. Most local businesses do not accept travelers' checks, dollars, or Euros. However, dollars can be exchanged at local banks for Central African Francs (CFA). Cash in CFA is usually the only form of payment accepted throughout the country.

Photography: In the recent past a special permit from the Ministry of Information and Tourism (or from the local delegation if outside Malabo) was required for virtually all types of photography. This law changed, but many police or security officials may still attempt to impose a fine on people taking photographs. It is still forbidden to take photos of the Presidential Palace and its surroundings, military installations, airports, harbors, government buildings and any other area deemed sensitive by the local government. Police and security officials may attempt to take a violator into custody, or seize the camera of persons photographing in the country.

Unusual Customs: Possession of camouflage-patterned clothing, large knives, binoculars, firearms, walkie-talkies, or radios, and a variety of other items may be deemed suspicious by the security forces, and grounds for confiscation of the item(s) and detention of the carrier.

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