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Equatorial Guinea Driving Guide

Equatorial Guinea is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-26 · 9 mins

Situated on the west coast of Central Africa, Equatorial Guinea is home to unspoiled beaches and pristine rainforests where rare wildlife roam free. This small African nation also offers Spanish Colonial architecture and an idyllic urban setting, which leaves a striking impression on tourists. These untouched sceneries and natural attractions make Equatorial Guinea a must-visit country on your trip to Africa.

The country has a total population of 1.3 million people, most of whom are indigenous to the African mainland. The official languages spoken in Equatorial Guinea are Spanish, French, and Portuguese. English is also a recognized regional language, but it’s recommended to bring a travel phrasebook to avoid misunderstandings.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Traveling to a foreign country without learning about essential information could be dangerous. You need to be aware of the things to do for a long-term stay, and other country facts before going to Equatorial Guinea. Fortunately, this world travel guide will include all the things you need to keep in mind for a pleasant and safe travel to Equatorial Guinea. As for driving in Equatorial Guinea, this comprehensive guide also covers driving rules and etiquette you need to follow.

General Information

Equatorial Guinea is a Central African nation that consists of a mainland territory and five small islands. Its capital, Malabo, can be found on Bioko Island in the Bight of Biafra. This makes Equatorial Guinea one of the only few countries that do not have their capitals located within the mainland region.

Geographic Location

Equatorial Guinea is located on the west coast of Central Africa. It comprises mainland Río Muni, also known as Continental Equatorial Guinea, and five islands known collectively as insular Equatorial Guinea. Continental Equatorial Guinea shares borders with Cameroon on the north, Gabon on the east and south, and the Bight of Biafra on the west.

The small islands of Corisco, Little Elobey, and Great Elobey are situated near Río Muni’s coast. Bioko, the largest of the islands, sits off the coast of Cameroon in the Bight of Biafra. The volcanic island of Annobón lies south of the Equator and almost 640 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Bioko.

Equatorial Guinea’s geography is unique. Rio Muni consists of coastal plains, valleys, and a river that divides the mainland in half. Meanwhile, the islands of Bioko and Annobón are volcanic in nature, with lakes found at the craters. You’ll experience a tropical climate in Equatorial Guinea with distinct wet and dry seasons. The mainland is dry while the islands are wet from June to August. The opposite occurs from December to February. These variations are due to elevation levels and proximity to the sea.

Languages Spoken

Due to its history as a Spanish colony on two separate occasions, Equatorial Guinea uses Spanish in education and administration, making it one of the country’s official languages. Equatorial Guinea is also the only country in Africa with Spanish as its official language.

Despite this, each ethnic group in Equatorial Guinea speaks a different language. Fang and Bubi are among the most commonly used dialects in the country. French, Portuguese, and English are also spoken by a few locals.

Land Area

Equatorial Guinea has a total land area of 28,051 square kilometers, making it the 11th smallest country in Africa. Mainland Río Muni comprises 26,000 square kilometers of this area. Meanwhile, Bioko Island, the largest island in the country, covers 2,017 square kilometers. The small volcanic island of Annobon spans 18 square kilometers. The rest of the small islands cover 16 square kilometers of land area.

History

The island of Bioko of today’s Equatorial Guinea was first discovered by Portuguese explorer Fernão do Pó at around 1472. Another Portuguese explorer named Rui de Sequeira discovered Annobón, one of the five islands comprising today’s Equatorial Guinea. Portugal owned exclusive trade rights in Africa until 1778, when they ceded Bioko and Annobón to Spain. However, the Spanish were soon defeated by yellow fever and withdrew in 1781.

In 1827, the British were responsible for administering the islands. But the Spanish were determined to occupy the islands and eventually discovered Río Muni, the mainland region. These areas officially became the Western African Territories, later renamed Spanish Guinea, in 1904. Spanish Guinea was granted independence and became the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in 1968.

Government

The government of Equatorial Guinea was once a one-party nation. In 1991, this was abolished when a new constitution allowed opposition parties to run for office. Since then, Equatorial Guinea has been conducting multi-party general elections for the office of the president and the bicameral legislature of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

However, opposition parties do not wield much power in the government. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has won every election since taking office and overthrowing Francisco Macías Nguema in 1979. His own political party, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), also holds most of the seats in the legislature.

Tourism

Equatorial Guinea’s tourism industry is not yet fully developed, but it is slowly growing. The country now offers many exciting opportunities so one can experience the rich colonial history and unspoiled natural beauty of Central Africa. There are hotels and accommodations open for tourists, especially on the islands where unspoiled beaches are starting to gain traction.

Rio Muni, the mainland region, boasts extensive and protected rainforests where various endangered primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and mandrills roam free. Malabo, the capital, is known for its laid back vibe and stunning architectural buildings. Outside the capital, several provinces in Bioko Island feature idyllic beaches and enchanting crater lakes that will leave you in awe.

IDP FAQs in Equatorial Guinea

Driving in Equatorial Guinea is one of the best ways to get around the country and discover its natural wonders. However, you must provide all the necessary documents for a hassle-free driving experience. These include having an international driving permit, which serves as a translation of your local driver’s license so you can avoid getting in trouble when driving around the islands of Equatorial Guinea. Read on to learn about IDP in Equatorial Guinea.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Equatorial Guinea?

Tourists with a valid local driver’s license and an IDP can drive in Equatorial Guinea. You also have the option to obtain an Equatorial Guinean license if you’re planning to stay in the country for a long time. Simply surrender your native driver’s license to the local police station and pay a fee to obtain an Equatorial Guinean license.

Do I Need an IDP to Drive in Equatorial Guinea?

It’s highly recommended to bring an IDP when driving in Equatorial Guinea, especially if your local driver’s license is not written in the Roman alphabet. Most officials don’t speak English, so having an IDP will come in handy if you need to present your travel documents on the road.

Does an IDP Replace a Native Driver’s License?

Although an IDP contains your name and driver information, it does not replace your native driving license. It simply translates your local driver’s license to 12 UN-recognized languages, making it a valid document in over 150 countries worldwide, including Equatorial Guinea. You still need to present your original government-issued driver’s license to authorities when driving in Equatorial Guinea and renting a car.

When I Visit Another Foreign Country After Equatorial Guinea, Is My IDP Still Valid?

Yes, you can visit another country and use your IDP for the next foreign road trip as long as it’s still valid. Just make sure to check the validity of the document first before driving in another country. An IDP issued by the International Driver’s Association is valid in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Renting a Car in Equatorial Guinea

Public transportation is scarce in Equatorial Guinea, and it’s easily overcrowded. It’s highly recommended to rent and drive a car for a pleasant travel experience around the country. However, you must consider several factors before renting a vehicle. Below is all the essential information you need to know when renting a car in Equatorial Guinea.

Car Rental Companies

International car companies such as Avis and Europcar serve the cities of Malabo and Bata in Equatorial Guinea. It’s recommended to book a rental car online before arriving in the country as it’s more convenient and more comfortable. However, you can also rent a car from several local rental companies at the main airport once you arrive in the country.

Documents Required

If you wish to rent a car in Equatorial Guinea, you need to present your valid driver’s license and other government-issued identification like your passport. You also need to present an international driver’s permit if your native driver’s license is not written in Roman characters.

Fortunately, you can quickly obtain an IDP through the International Driver’s Association’s website. All you need to do is submit all the necessary documents online and wait for several days to receive your IDP at your email address. You can also obtain your IDP at your home address. Simply provide us your complete residence and zip code to be allowed driving in Equatorial Guinea.

Vehicle Types

Car rental companies offer different types of vehicles to ensure comfortable driving in Equatorial Guinea locations across the city and islands. The most common vehicle types you can rent are sedans and SUVs. Other cars, such as vans and luxury cars, are also available upon request. However, it’s not recommended to drive with such vehicles due to the ongoing repairs to improve the road conditions in Equatorial Guinea.

Car Rental Cost

A rental car in Equatorial Guinea starts at $8.99 per day. The rental fee depends on the type of vehicle you rent, the car’s size, and the insurance. Optional products and services, such as GPS Navigation, WiFi, and child seats, also affect the car rental price.

Age Requirements

The minimum age requirement to rent a car is 18 years old. However, most international car companies will require an underage surcharge from individuals under 25 years old due to accidents caused by young drivers. Some companies also prohibit young drivers and only accept 21 years old and above when renting specific vehicles.

Car Insurance Cost

Driving in Equatorial Guinea locations may seem daunting at first due to the unfamiliar roads. Fortunately, most car rental companies already offer insurance in their fees. Car insurance gives you a sense of safety and security while driving in Equatorial Guinea city and islands. It also reimburses you of any costs if the car is damaged or stolen. It can even include medical coverage to take care of any hospital fees when an accident happens.

If you rent a car at a company that does not offer insurance, it’s best to get one from a third-party provider before driving in Equatorial Guinea. You also have the option to choose additional plans if you think one insurance is not enough to protect you.

Car Insurance Policy

Car rental companies in Equatorial Guinea offer insurance policies such as Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Additional Liability insurance (ALI), Emergency Sickness Plan, and Extended Roadside Assistance. A LDW will come in handy if your car is damaged or stolen since it discharges you from any financial responsibility. The PAI covers medical bills if you and your passengers get into an accident.

The Road Rules in Equatorial Guinea

Before driving in a foreign country, you need to be aware of the road rules to prevent accidents and unwanted situations with authorities. Most road rules in Equatorial Guinea might be unfamiliar to you, but it’s easy to get used to them. Read on below to learn the essential road rules before driving in Equatorial Guinea today.

Important Regulations

When driving in Equatorial Guinea locations, it’s essential to know the important regulations enforced in the country. If you fail to follow these road rules, you might face serious consequences such as fines, penalties, or worse, injury and death. Here are the important regulations you need to follow in Equatorial Guinea.

Drunk Driving Is Illegal

According to the Directorate-General for Road Safety published by the World Health Organization, 60% of road traffic deaths in Equatorial Guinea are caused by drunk driving. Therefore, a national drink-driving law is strictly imposed in the country. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is at 0.15% or 0.015 g/dl. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Equatorial Guinea, you’ll be fined.

When driving in Equatorial Guinea, expect to see random breath testing and police checkpoints to test your BAC. If you encounter one, stop your vehicle and follow the authorities. The general rule is to never drink alcohol when you’ll be driving.

Do Not Text and Drive

Foreigners driving in Equatorial Guinea are prohibited from using mobile phones, including hands-free devices, on the road. You will be pulled over and fined by the police for not following this anti-distraction driving law.

General Standards of Driving

Like other countries, Equatorial Guinea also observes general standards of driving to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. It is essential to follow these rules to avoid any unfortunate circumstances on the road. In Equatorial Guinea, locals mostly use manual cars. But you can also rent an automatic vehicle in some car rental agencies, if that’s what you prefer. Here are other standards to remember when driving in Equatorial Guinea.

Before Driving

Before driving in Equatorial Guinea, you must ensure that your vehicle is in good condition. Check the mirrors, windows, brakes, lights, and tires if they are working. If you’re renting a car in Equatorial Guinea, make sure that the company has permits, and the vehicle is registered. Report any bumps or scratches immediately to the car rental company prior to driving.

Always carry your passport, secondary identification cards, insurance documents, native driver’s license, and international driving permit when driving in Equatorial Guinea island. You can get fined for unlicensed driving if you fail to present a valid driving license. Lastly, remember to get enough sleep before hitting the road.

When Driving

Most roads in urban areas of Equatorial Guinea are paved and properly maintained. You simply have to pay attention to the road to ensure your safety. When traveling to Equatorial Guinea’s rural areas, you might encounter unpaved and narrow streets, pedestrians, and stray animals. Make sure to slow down to prevent accidents.

After Driving

Once you reach your destination in Equatorial Guinea, make sure to park the vehicle at designated parking spaces and well-lit areas. If you can’t see any parking signs in the area due to ongoing road construction, you must still avoid illegal parking on the roadside. In general, do not park on or within five meters of a pedestrian crossing and junctions.

Before you step off the vehicle, make sure to switch off the engine and engage the handbrake. You should also check pedestrians or stray animals that you might hit before opening the car door.

Speed Limits

Overspeeding is strictly prohibited in Equatorial Guinea, where ongoing road constructions and repairs are common across the country. The maximum speed limit on urban roads is 20 KpH. Take note that local authorities can set even lower speed limits on rural areas. It’s best to drive below the speed limit to prevent accidents and penalties.

Seatbelt Law

Equatorial Guinea has imposed a strict national seatbelt law to reduce fatalities in case of road accidents. The driver and front-seat passenger must always wear seatbelts when driving in Equatorial Guinea islands. Rear seat occupants are also required to fasten seatbelts.

However, unlike other countries, Equatorial Guinea currently has no child-restraint law that requires young children to be fastened in a car seat. If you’re traveling with young individuals less than 135 centimeters in height, it’s best to have child restraints to reduce the risk of injury on sudden stops.

Driving Directions

Most major roads on Bioko Island and Rio Muni in Equatorial Guinea are paved and in good condition. There are only a few road and traffic signs since new road construction is taking place all over the country. Nevertheless, it’s easy driving in Equatorial Guinea and finding your hotel and other of the world's best travel destinations in Equatorial Guinea since the country is relatively small. Driving in Equatorial Guinea to see marinas can be done within the day.

Cross-border movement is closely monitored, and you probably won’t be allowed to leave Equatorial Guinea to reach nearby countries. Traveling outside the cities of Malabo and Bata may also prove to be challenging due to the occasional military roadblocks. However, as long as you provide identification and documentation for your rental vehicle, you won’t encounter any problem with the authorities.

Traffic Road Signs

Equatorial Guinea is undergoing significant road developments, so expect fewer road and traffic signs. Nevertheless, most of these road signs are similar to that of other countries. For tourists who plan on driving in Equatorial Guinea today, it’s essential to follow what each road sign indicates to ensure safety. Here are some examples of the road signs you may encounter in Equatorial Guinea.

  • Regulatory Road Signs: traffic signals, steep ascent, steep descent, left bend, right bend, series of bends, one-way or two-way traffic ahead, speed bump ahead, and more
  • Priority Road Signs: stop, priority road ahead, no entry, roundabout ahead, and more
  • Mandatory Road Signs: maximum speed limit, meter zone, turn right or left, u-turn, and more

Right of Way

There is currently no right of way rules in effect when driving in Equatorial Guinea now. But to ensure safety, always practice the basic right of way imposed on most countries. Remember to yield to the car that arrived first. When turning at an intersection, you must give way to vehicles going straight ahead (if you are turning right) or cars turning left (if you are turning right).

The legal driving age in Equatorial Guinea is 18 years old. However, most car rental companies don’t allow individuals under 21 years old to rent a car. Some companies may even charge an underage surcharge fee for drivers under 25 years of age.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking can be dangerous in Equatorial Guinea since the roads mostly have two lanes. There’s also no clear overtaking rules imposed by authorities, which makes it even more hazardous.

But if you must overtake when driving in Equatorial Guinea, distance yourself from other vehicles on the road. You should only overtake if there is enough space for you and the car you’re overtaking in the lane. It should be done on the right side. Before overtaking, you need to signal the drivers behind you about your intent. Get back to the lane as soon as you finish overtaking. Do not overtake if you can’t see clearly on the lanes. Avoid it unless necessary.

Driving Side

You will be driving on the right side of the road in Equatorial Guinea. It’s one of the main road rules that you need to know when planning to drive in Equatorial Guinea. Fortunately, most countries around the world drive on the right side, so driving would be the same if you’re coming from those countries. However, if you come from left-driving countries, you need to be familiar with driving on the right to avoid accidents in Equatorial Guinea.

Driving Etiquette in Equatorial Guinea

You can’t prevent unfortunate circumstances from happening during your trip to Equatorial Guinea. Whether it’s a minor situation or a major car accident, anything can occur on the road. It’s essential to know what to do in any situation to avoid unwanted confrontations with the locals and authorities. Here are some driving etiquette you need to know in Equatorial Guinea.

Car Breakdown

While car rental companies often check their vehicles for rent, breakdowns can still happen. If your car breaks down, try your best to move the vehicle away from the travel lane. You should also place a reflective warning triangle not less than 30 meters behind the vehicle and another warning triangle in front of the car to warn other drivers.

If your car breaks down at night time, turn on the hazard lights and beam deflectors. Doing this will help notify other drivers that there’s an obstruction ahead. Call the police or emergency responder for assistance. You can also contact a towing service company to get your vehicle off the road. Then wait for help at a safe place on the road to prevent being hit by oncoming vehicles.

Police Stops

If the police in Equatorial Guinea ordered you to stop, follow them. Slow down and stop your car at the rightmost side of the road to avoid delaying other drivers and motorists. Then calmly and respectfully answer all the questions the police may have for you. Do not speed away as it’s a serious violation, and the authorities might suspect you of being a threat to the country.

Asking Directions

Equatorial Guineans are known to be friendly and hospitable, especially to those coming from Spanish-speaking countries. If you are lost or unsure of your destination, you can ask the locals for driving directions. Do expect some misunderstandings if you use the English language because most individuals don’t know how to speak it. As a general rule, always remember to converse politely and use a friendly tone to avoid offending the person.

Checkpoints

Due to the strict government, police and military roadblocks are common when driving in Equatorial Guinea. Address the authorities respectfully and simply present any documents they may require from you to avoid delays on your trip.

Usually, Equatorial Guinean authorities just need to check your passport, driving license, IDP, and vehicle registration. However, in some cases, when driving to rural areas, they might also ask you for a detailed itinerary and your reason for traveling. It’s recommended to speak or write in the Spanish language because most authorities do not know how to converse in English.

Other Tips

Besides the driving road condition above, you must also prepare yourself for accidents when driving in Equatorial Guinea city and main towns. Although no one wishes for it to happen, you really can’t stop it from happening. It’s essential to know what to do in case a disaster on the road occurs. Below are some tips you must remember.

What to Do In Case of Accidents?

Road accidents can happen at any time. If you’re involved in a minor accident when driving in Equatorial Guinea, distance your vehicle from the main road (if possible) to prevent traffic and possible drivers bumping into you. In cases when you can’t move the car due to a major accident, call for emergency assistance (114 or 116). You can also report the incident to the police.

For further assistance, you can contact your car rental company. Car insurance from these companies will usually cover the payment for the damages done to your vehicle, depending on the clauses stated on the insurance. Nonetheless, the best way to prevent accidents and hassles is to drive carefully and defensively.

Driving Conditions in Equatorial Guinea

Besides the road rules and etiquette, foreigners driving in Equatorial Guinea must also learn about the country’s various road situations and conditions. Doing so would help you prepare for possible obstacles on the road while traveling to a foreign country.

Accident Statistics

Vehicle accidents caused by overspeeding and drunk driving are prevalent in Equatorial Guinea despite strict laws. Car accidents may also occur due to poorly maintained vehicles that do not meet U.S. safety standards. Furthermore, the roads in rural areas are mostly unpaved and underdeveloped, which are not designed for high-speed driving. When driving in Equatorial Guinea, distance yourself from other vehicles on the road and exercise extreme caution.

According to the 2018 WHO Global Road Safety Status, Equatorial Guinea ranked 70th globally in terms of the highest death rate of road accidents. Road traffic incidents were the 16th leading cause of death, with a 21.81 death rate per 100,000 of the population. Survivable accidents in developed countries such as the U.S. and U.K. may lead to serious injury or death in Equatorial Guinea because of the limited medical assistance available.

Common Vehicles

In 2011, the total number of registered vehicles in Equatorial Guinea was only around 8,000. Sedans, SUVs, and other 4-wheeled light vehicles comprise almost 7,000 of these cars, making them the most common vehicles used in the country. Occasionally, you can also see trucks and bush taxis, the primary mode of transportation in urban areas, traveling around the country.

Toll Roads

Currently, there are no toll roads in Equatorial Guinea. However, the government has been discussing the construction of the first toll road in recent years. Plans for new and modern highways to link the cities and provinces are also in place. Eventually, these routes will reduce travel time to even the most remote villages in the country.

Road Situations

The road network in Equatorial Guinea is well-developed, with main thoroughfares and most secondary roads paved and in excellent condition. However, you can occasionally encounter road hazards such as pedestrians, livestock, and other animals, especially in rural areas. You should also watch out for trucks illegally parked on the roadside. When driving in Equatorial Guinea, address these hazards carefully by going slow and keeping your eyes focused on the road.

Driving Culture

In general, Equatorial Guineans are relatively safe drivers. They usually use turning signals and lights to communicate with other drivers on the road. They are also familiar with the streets and driving laws.

However, you may encounter a reckless driver every once in a while. If you do, always remember to keep your distance away from the vehicle and drive within the speed limit. In contrast, there are instances when you’ll come across a slow driver in Equatorial Guinea. Make sure to check your side and rearview mirrors first before attempting to overtake. Also, don’t forget to use the turning signals and honk once to notify the driver.

Other Tips

You must also know other driving conditions in the country, like the speed limit measurement and night driving. Below are essential information about other tips when driving in Equatorial Guinea to reach hotels and tourist attractions.

Are They Using KpH or Mph?

Like 81% of the countries worldwide, Equatorial Guinea uses kilometers per hour (KpH) to display speed limits. If you come from a country that uses the metric system of measurement, you can easily adjust to driving in Equatorial Guinea. You can usually see the KpH with a corresponding number to indicate the maximum speed limit on specific roads. When you only see the number displayed on road signs, you should safely assume the speed limit is in KpH.

However, the KpH measurement can be quite confusing for drivers arriving from countries that use the miles per hour (MpH) measurement. Always remember the measurement system in Equatorial Guinea to avoid getting fined by police for overspeeding and prevent accidents on the road.

Is It Safe Driving at Night?

While possible, it’s not recommended to drive at night in Equatorial Guinea. Some roads have poor lighting, which can impair your vision and prevent you from seeing obstacles, such as pedestrians and stray animals, ahead.

If you need to drive at night in Equatorial Guinea, turn on your headlights so you can see at least 100 meters ahead. Before hitting the road, you must check if the lights and brakes are properly working. You should then drive at a slower speed to have enough reaction time to stop the vehicle in case of obstructions ahead.

Things to Do in Equatorial Guinea

Driving in Equatorial Guinea to reach beach resorts and other attractions as a tourist can be fun. However, if you decided to drive for an extended period in Equatorial Guinea, you must learn essential things before settling down. Here are some facts about employment and residency as a driver in the country.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists are allowed to drive in Equatorial Guinea now. Just make sure that you always have your driver’s license and IDP with you and are at a legal age to drive. Driving without a license in Equatorial Guinea is not allowed. When caught driving without a license, you will pay for penalties, or worse, end up in jail.

Work as a Driver

It’s possible to apply and work as a driver in Equatorial Guinea. However, you must be aware of the work requirements needed. The most important documents you need to present are an employment visa, a work permit provided by your employer, and an international driver’s permit. Visit our Application page to start with your IDP application. To receive a physical IDP for driving in Equatorial Guinea, provide your complete address with zip code.

If you’re planning to live in Equatorial Guinea as a driver for more than 90 days, you must also secure a residency permit. Here’s a list of the basic requirements you need to present to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

  • Completed visa application
  • One passport-size photo
  • Passport with at least six months’ validity beyond completion of the trip
  • One blank visa page within the passport
  • A copy of proof of yellow fever vaccination
  • A copy of the flight itinerary
  • A formal letter addressed to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security

Work as a Travel Guide

If you’re confident that you can navigate Equatorial Guinea li a local, you can apply as a travel guide in the country. However, note that it will be challenging to find this job since the tourism industry is still growing. Most employers would also prefer locals to do the work. Nevertheless, you might find job openings as a travel guide in the capital city of Malabo or Bata in mainland Equatorial Guinea. Similar to applying for driving jobs in Equatorial Guinea, you also need to submit requirements and secure a work permit to be qualified to work as a travel guide.

Apply for Residency

If you plan to work and relocate to Equatorial Guinea, you need to process a residency permit as an employee. A residency card is valid for one or two years. It gives you the right to remain, exit, and re-enter Equatorial Guinea without any visa. First-time applicants must submit the following requirements if they wish to obtain a residency permit in Equatorial Guinea.

  • An application letter addressed to the Director of National Security;
  • Accomplished residence card application form issued by the Centro Nacional de Documentación para Guinea Ecuatorial (CNDGE)
  • Three passport-size photos with a white background
  • Original passport or travel document
  • HIV/Aids test result
  • An affidavit of the activity that the applicant will be involved in while staying in Equatorial Guinea
  • Employment contract
  • Employer’s Tax Identification Number
  • Certificate of Registration from the City Hall
  • Applicant’s ID Card

Other Things to Do

There are other activities to do in Equatorial Guinea if you’re planning a long-term stay in the country. Although it’s small in land area, charming beaches and lush landscapes hidden within the country can entice you to live and work here.

How Can I Convert My License in Equatorial Guinea?

Foreigners who plan to stay in Equatorial Guinea for more than 90 days must secure an Equatorial Guinean driving license to continue driving in the country. You need to bring your native government-issued driving license and must be at least 18 years old.

Depending on the origin country of your local driver’s license, you may also be required to enroll in a driving school in Equatorial Guinea and pass the test. Driving school usually costs around 150,000 Central African CFA Franc (XAF).

Are There Other Work Opportunities in Equatorial Guinea?

If you aren’t lucky enough to secure a driving job, you can still find other work opportunities in Equatorial Guinea. Since the country is one of the largest oil producing countries in Africa, you can discover job openings in the oil & gas industry. There are also work opportunities in the forestry, fishing, and farming industry sectors.

Depending on the nature of your job in Equatorial Guinea, you need to obtain a working visa and permit. Below are the different types of work permits your employer can apply on your behalf under the country’s new immigration requirements.

  • BI: This is the initial work permit given to most employees, and it is valid for a year.
  • BR: The BR work permit is the renewal of the BI permit, which is valid for two years.
  • C: C work permit is the renewal of the BI permit, which has a validity of up to three years.
  • A: This is a temporary work permit, only valid for six months with the option for renewal, issued to temporary employees.
  • I: The informal work permit is issued to employed or self-employed individuals in the informal sector who are not permitted to be contract workers. The permit is only effective for one year until you need to renew it.
  • PCP: It is a work permit for self-employed individuals running a business in Equatorial Guinea. This is valid for up to three years, and open to contract workers.
  • PTA: It is an agriculture work permit for employed or self-employed individuals in the farming industry. It’s valid for three years with the option to renew.
  • PP: It is a permanent work permit given to foreigners and tourists who meet certain conditions in the country.

Top Destinations in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea boasts vast national parks and forest reserves, earning its name as the land of primates. However, unlike its African neighbors, Equatorial Guinea is also known for its idyllic black-and-white beaches, secluded hiking trails, and breathtaking crater lakes. On top of these natural wonders, the country has stunning Spanish colonial architecture and open plazas for a lively urban setting. Here are several top destinations you shouldn’t miss in Equatorial Guinea!

Catedrál de Santa Isabel

Also known as St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, it is a Roman Catholic church located in Equatorial Guinea’s capital and oldest city, Malabo. The cathedral is named after St. Elizabeth of Hungary, with the official inauguration dating back to 1916. It is famous for its neo gothic architectural style and two 40-meter-high (130 ft) spires towering over the city. St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral is also considered the largest Christian church in the country.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Malabo airport, head northeast.
  2. Turn right at Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  4. At another roundabout, take the 2nd exit and continue following Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  5. Continue driving straight ahead for approximately 6.2 kilometers (3.9 miles).
  6. Turn left at Av. de la Independencia.
  7. Turn right onto Plaza de la Independencia until you’ve reached St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral. It takes around 14 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

Visiting the Catedrál de Santa Isabel offers meaningful insights for tourists. Here’s a list of things you can do in the church.

  1. Marvel at the architecture
    Tourists visiting Equatorial Guinea would be impressed by the Catedrál de Santa Isabel. This apricot-hued building is the perfect example of the Spanish influence in the country. It features a Gothic Revival architectural style with two spires and three naves. You’ll surely marvel at how beautiful and well-constructed the building is.
  2. Attend the mass
    Whether you’re the religious type of traveler or not, attending a mass at Catedrál de Santa Isabel would definitely be an enlightening activity. It’s one of the best ways to experience the rich culture of the country. There is a religious service every Sunday.
  3. Tour the capital
    Outside this famous cathedral, you should also try driving in Equatorial Guinea capital city to discover other tourist attractions. Here, you can see the Malabo’s charming natural park, Spanish-inspired homes, elegant villas, and modern government buildings. Tourists driving in Equatorial Guinea should also visit the marinas and ports located on the west of Malabo. You can even shop at the malls and eat at posh restaurants.

Pico Basilé

With an altitude of 9,878 ft (3,011 m), Pico Basilé is the tallest mountain in Equatorial Guinea. It is easily visible from the city of Malabo. Access to the mountain peak is also simple because the roads are in excellent condition. If you want to hike, you can find guided paths and tracks that make it easier to reach the top. The view at the summit will leave you in awe.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Malabo airport, head northeast.
  2. Turn right at Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  4. At another roundabout, take the 1st exit.
  5. At the next roundabout, take the 4th exit.
  6. Continue straight ahead until you reach the 3rd roundabout. At the 3rd roundabout, take the 1st exit.
  7. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and turn right.
  8. Continue driving straight ahead for approximately 23.4 kilometers (14.5 miles) until you reach Pico Basilé. It takes around an hour to arrive at your destination. Do note that the road is winding, so drive slowly and strictly follow lanes.

Things to Do

Pico Basilé offers a lot of activities that you should definitely try. Here are the things to do to get the best out of your exploration in Pico Basilé.

  1. Climb Pico Basilé
    Climbing Pico Basilé is among the most exciting activities you can partake in Equatorial Guinea. While the mountain is relatively easy to hike, it’s required to hire a travel guide. At the summit of Pico Basilé, you can see the rest of Equatorial Guinea and Mount Cameroon to the northeast across the Bight of Bonny. You can even come across a statue of Mary the Virgin carrying baby Jesus on her back at the mountain peak.
  2. Watch the wildlife
    Wildlife watching is another popular activity to enjoy in Pico Basilé since the area has dense forests, a perfect habitat for animals. While trekking the mountain, you can encounter various wildlife in their natural habitat. Animal and nature lovers would surely enjoy hiking in Pico Basilé.

Bioko Island

Bioko Island has two top destinations that you should never miss out. Moca, also known as Moka, is a small town located in the southeast of Bioko Island. It is the home of the Bubi tribe, one of the most common ethnic groups in Equatorial Guinea. Besides the hospitable locals, Moca is known for its amazing valleys, mountain peaks, and crater lakes.

Arena Blanca, also referred to as Playa de Alena, is an undeveloped golden sand beach in Equatorial Guinea. It is situated near Luba, the second-largest town on the island of Bioko. The beach can be reached via the main thoroughfare linking to the country’s capital city, Malabo. It is considered one of the best beaches in Equatorial Guinea, so take advantage of its beauty.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Malabo airport, head northeast.
  2. Turn right at Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  4. At another roundabout, take the 1st exit.
  5. Continue straight ahead for approximately 1.1 kilometers (0.6 miles).
  6. Turn right and continue driving straight for approximately 37.9 kilometers (23.5 miles).
  7. Turn left and drive straight for 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) until you reach the town of Moca. It takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Driving directions to Arena Blanca:

Driving Directions:

  1. From Malabo airport, head northeast.
  2. Turn right at Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Carretera del Aeropuerto.
  4. At another roundabout, take the 1st exit.
  5. Continue straight ahead for approximately 1.1 kilometers (0.6 miles).
  6. Turn right and continue driving for approximately 32.7 kilometers (20.3 miles) until you reach Arena Blanca. It takes around 40 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

The beautiful beach of Arena Blanca and Moca are packed with different activities for every kind of traveler. If you want to fully enjoy this small town, here’s a list of the most enjoyable activities to do in Moca and Arena Blanca.

  1. Visit the lakes
    Moca features several natural attractions and lakes, including Lake Loreta, Lake Biao, and the Cascades of Moca. Each one is unique with crystal clear waters that show the beauty of nature. At the Cascades of Moca, you can even encounter different species of monkeys. These lakes are definitely a must-visit on your trip to the town of Moca.
  2. Socialize with the locals
    Moca is named after the King Mookata of the Bubi. You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to meet this African ethnic group when you visit the town. Feel free to socialize with the natives and observe their way of living. You may even get lucky and see the tribe’s unique tattooing practice up close.
  3. Take pictures of the landscapes
    When driving through the roads of Moca, you’ll encounter lush grasslands, breathtaking valleys, and towering mountain peaks. Don’t forget to take pictures of these amazing views and sceneries for an unforgettable road trip experience in the country.
  4. Swim in Arena Blanca
    One of the most enjoyable activities you can do in Arena Blanca is take a dip at the beach. You’ll definitely enjoy swimming in the unspoiled, crystalline waters. Sunbathing in the golden sand is also fun, thanks to the relatively good weather year-round on the beach.
  5. Marvel at the butterflies
    Besides the golden sand and crystal-clear waters, Arena Blanca is also home to a swarm of butterflies. Try visiting during the dry season to see hundreds of beautiful butterflies fluttering in the sky. The sight is truly wonderful, and one you shouldn’t miss when visiting the area.

Torre de la Libertad

Once you’ve explored and drove around the island of Bioko, you must check out the mainland territory of Rio Muni and head over to Bata, the largest city in Equatorial Guinea. Located in the heart of Bata is Torre de la Libertad, a monument and restaurant in one. It’s one of the most remarkable sights in the city as it symbolizes Equatorial Guinea's independence.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Bata International Airport, head southwest.
  2. Turn left.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Paseo Maritimo.
  4. Continue straight ahead onto Paseo Maritimo and pass through 4 roundabouts.
  5. Turn right and continue driving until you reach Torre de la Libertad. The trip approximately takes 11 minutes.

Things to Do

Torre de la Libertad offers unique activities if you want something other than outdoor adventures. Foreigners who prefer city tours will surely enjoy their visit to this landmark. Here are the activities you can do in Torre de la Libertad.

  1. Admire the monument
    At night, Torre de la Libertad gives life to the city with the help of the modern lighting system. Feel free to admire the LED light effects from afar and take pictures of the structure if you like. It is made of granite and aluminum construction materials, which stand out from the rest of the city.
  2. Eat delicious cuisine
    If you’re craving for excellent food, head over to the top floor of Torre de la Libertad. There’s a restaurant that serves delicious local and international cuisine. While eating the excellent food, you can also enjoy a sweeping view of Bata.
  3. Visit the nightclub
    Cap off your meal with refreshing drinks! Visit the nightclub at the bottom of the tower and order some beverages. It’s one of the best ways to experience the nightlife scene of the city. But if you decide to drink the night away, do not drive in Equatorial Guinea. Remember that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and punishable by law.
  4. Tour Bata
    After eating delicious food and tasting refreshing drinks, it’s time to explore the area near Torre de la Libertad. The city of Bata comes alive at night, with most bars and markets open to tourists. Other must-visit attractions include the Bata Cathedral, the La Libertad Stadium, and the Spanish Cultural Centre of Bata.

Mbini

Approximately 44 kilometers south of Bata is the small coastal town of Mbini. It lies at the mouth of the Benito River, the longest river in the country. Before reaching this quiet town, driving in Equatorial Guinea’s 800-meter suspension bridge over the river is a must. This is a sight to see and one of the reasons to visit Mbini.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Bata International Airport, head southwest.
  2. Turn left.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Paseo Maritimo.
  4. Turn left.
  5. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and continue straight ahead for approximately 11.5 kilometers (7.1 miles).
  6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and continue ahead for approximately 37.4 kilometers (23.2 miles). Pass through two roundabouts.
  7. Continue onto Puente sobre el río Benito, the 800-meter suspension bridge over Benito River.
  8. Turn right.
  9. Turn right again and continue straight for approximately 1.7 kilometers (1 mile).
  10. Turn left until you reach Mbini. The trip takes around an hour.

Things to Do

The town of Mbini offers fun activities for every kind of traveler. Check out below to learn about the things to do when visiting this area.

  1. Admire the bridge
    It’s a must to appreciate the views of the country’s longest river when driving in Equatorial Guinea’s Mbini bridge. Built by the Chinese, the bridge is a sight to behold, especially in the late afternoon when the sun is setting. The view at night is also remarkable because it is often illuminated by colorful lights.
  2. Swim at the beaches
    Mbini is home to relatively untouched sandy beaches. Therefore, you can find plenty of areas where you can take a refreshing dip at the waters. You’ll definitely enjoy swimming in the aquamarine waters and sunbathe in the golden sand.
  3. Taste the excellent seafood
    Due to its proximity to the sea and river, Mbini offers delicious seafood. Don’t leave the town without trying the local’s specialty cuisine! It’s one of the best ways to maximize your visit to the town.
  4. Check-in at resorts
    Feel free to stay and relax in the town as you can easily encounter hotels and resorts when driving in Equatorial Guinea’s Mbini. These establishments can accommodate solo travelers as well as families. You’ll definitely have the time to unwind in town, thanks to its peaceful setting.

Rio Muni

Rio Muni has a lot of destinations you can visit. Do you want to experience nature but are not fond of animals? You can opt to visit the Monte Temelón Natural Reserve instead! It’s often an overlooked destination in Equatorial Guinea due to its location near the border with Cameroon. Nevertheless, it’s a must-visit national park sprawling 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of forests.

You can also visit the Monte Alen National Park. Regarded as one of Central Africa’s best-kept secrets, the Monte Alén National Park is a protected forest that spans over 1,400 square kilometers (540 square miles). For animal and nature lovers, the park is one of the best places to visit when driving in Equatorial Guinea. But even if you’re not fond of nature, the park is reason enough to travel to this small African nation.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Bata International Airport, head southwest.
  2. Turn left.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Paseo Maritimo.
  4. Turn left and continue straight while passing through 3 roundabouts.
  5. Turn left and continue ahead for approximately 58.2 kilometers (36.1 miles).
  6. Turn right and continue ahead until you reach the Monte Alén National Park. It takes around an hour and 10 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

To fully enjoy the entire area, here’s a list of the most enjoyable activities to do in Rio Muni region.

  1. Watch the wildlife at Monte Alen National Park.
    The Monte Alén National Park is home to a variety of rare wildlife. Here, you’ll get to see crocodiles, elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, leopards, several bird species, and other animals in their natural habitat. If you’re fond of wildlife, you should definitely visit this national park.
  2. Swim at the lakes and waterfalls
    Besides the rare animals, you can also discover clear lakes and towering waterfalls in Monte Alén National Park. Just follow the park’s trekking trails to reach these amazing sights. You may also swim at the lakes for an unforgettable nature experience.
  3. Be one with nature
    Expect to see a variety of flora when you drive to this natural reserve. From trees and shrubs to flowers, the Monte Temelón Natural Reserve has different kinds of plants endemic to Equatorial Guinea. It’s among the best places to discover the natural beauty of the country and become one with nature itself.
  4. See crocodiles
    Aside from the greenery, you can also discover crocodiles lurking on the riverbanks within the Monte Temelón Natural Reserve. You’ll be amazed at how large these creatures are in real life. Feel free to observe them for as long as you want.
  5. Discover pangolins
    If you’re lucky, you might even come across the rare giant pangolins when visiting Monte Temelón Natural Reserve. These creatures are endemic in the area, which makes it a more remarkable experience if you encounter one.

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