Guinea Driving Guide

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

2021-08-03 · 9 mins

Officially called the Republic of Guinea, this Sub-Saharan country on the western coast of Africa has been considered one (1) of the world’s top least visited countries. And no, it is not because there aren't many tourist spots. In fact, Guinea has been called the “Hawaii of Africa” because of its expansive sandy beaches, palm trees, and awesome swells. If you are one of those people who have a penchant for exploring underrated places, this 245,857km2 nation will definitely give you plenty of those.

How Can This Guide Help You?

The best way to explore the different areas is to go self-driving in Guinea. This involves having your own valid International Driving Permit, renting a car, and going to different places without being time-bound. This guide will give you an idea of what to prepare before traveling to and driving in Guinea.

Specifically, this comprehensive guide includes up-to-date travel advice, how to secure an International Driving Permit for Guinea, the most important road rules, information on renting a car in the country, driving etiquette, road safety in Guinea, and driving directions towards the most recommended tourist destinations.

General Information

Before booking that well-deserved trip to West Africa, here is a short get-to-know-you section about Guinea’s culture and travel requirements.

Geographic Location

The Republic of Guinea is situated on the western coast of Africa, just a couple of miles south of the Sahel region. It is bordered by six (6) countries and one (1) body of water. Specifically, it is bordered in the northwest by Guinea-Bissau, in the north by Senegal, in the northeast by Mali, in the southwest by Cote d'Ivoire, in the south by Liberia, and in the southwest by Sierra Leone. Guinea’s western coast is chiseled by the gyres of the North Atlantic Ocean, so you can expect that a trip to the beach would give you more than just the fantastic sunset.

Languages Spoken

Guinea was under French Colonial Rule from 1891 to 1958. This is a major reason why you’ll see bits and pieces of French culture still being practiced today in the country. This period also influenced the official language of Guniea, which is French.

However, some parts of the country still practice their own dialects. Here is a rundown of the most frequently used dialects in Guinea:

  • Fula - spoken by almost 40% of the population, particularly the Fula people.
  • Malinke - spoken by the Mandinka Tribe (descendants of the Mali Empire) in the upper regions of Guinea
  • Susu - spoken by almost 20% of the population, particularly the Susu people. This language is also very common in the coastal region.

Land Area

Guinea covers an area of about 245,857km2. It has low-lying coastal plains, with gradually increasing slopes until it reaches the mountainous interiors. The highest point in the country is Mount Nimba, towering at 1,752 meters.

Due to its location and topography, Guinea is characterized by two (2) distinct seasons. These are the wet (June - November) and the dry (December - May) seasons. Guinea’s historical climate data shows that average maximum atmospheric temperatures occur during the month of April while the average lowest temperatures occur during August. Temperatures will start to rise starting February and start to fall immediately during May.

Regarding rainfall, Guinea is considered as one of the rainiest places on earth. The highest average amount of rainfall in a year occurs in August, while the lowest average rainfall in a year occurs in January. If you’re planning on driving in Guinea any time of the year, it is recommended that you pack in clothes for tropical climates (like light fabrics). Even during monsoon months, temperatures in Guinea can remain relatively hot. So to counter the rain, you don’t need to bring in winter jackets, just an umbrella or a raincoat.


Pre-colonial Guinea was characterized by various ancient civilizations. Each civilization dominated its own section of land, governed its own set of people, and practiced its own set of cultures. Fast forward to the age of colonization; Guinea became a French protectorate in 1849 before it became an official colony in 1898. Technically, Guinea was under French influence for over 100 years. After its independence in the mid-20th century, Guinea gradually went through a challenging transition for years before it became the democratic nation it is today.


The Republic of Guinea is governed by three(3) branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The president and prime minister hold the executive powers while the 38-member legislative branch is in charge of creating the laws.

The president is elected by absolute majority vote while the members of the legislative house are elected by plurality vote. Likewise, the prime minister and head of the judicial branch are appointed by the president.


The number of annual tourist arrivals in the country fluctuates. Some years showed a decreasing trend, while other years showed an increasing trend in arrivals. Between the years 2006 and 2018, the highest number of tourist arrivals recorded in the country was over 130,000 individuals. This was observed in 2011.

Guinea is seldom highlighted in the global tourism industry. However, the country is not without its specialty. Located along the border with Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia, Mount Nimba contains the biggest mineral mines for diamonds, iron, silver, gold, and aluminum. In fact, Guinea is also known as the “Aluminum Coast” for its overflowing aluminum reserves. With this, minerals make up the largest percentage of the country’s exports.


One (1) of the highly recommended things to be able to drive conveniently in Guinea is to secure an International Driving Permit. This will allow you to drive legally in Guinea without a local driving license. Find out more about the IDP below.

What is an International Driver’s Permit (IDP)?

An International Driving Permit is a valid translation of your native driving license, which you can use to drive legally in Guinea. This is to be carried at all times and presented together with your valid native driver’s license when requested by concerned authorities. One (1) International Driving Permit contains various translations of your native driving license, particularly 12 translations representing 12 of the world’s most spoken languages. In short, the IDP is basically a valid Guinea driving license for tourists, which you could also use in other countries.

An International Driving Permit is very beneficial when your domestic driving license is not written in English, in French, or in Roman Alphabet in general. For example, if your driving license is written in Arabic or Chinese characters, this may be difficult for Guineans to understand, making your document invalid. In addition, you wouldn’t have to learn the local language just to explain your permit as your IDP will do this for you.

Is An IDP Necessary Before I Go Driving in Guinea?

An International Driving Permit is not officially required in Guinea, but it is highly recommended. Both citizens and travelers are required to carry original identification documents because law enforcers randomly conduct inspections. For tourists, an International Driving Permit can already serve as a valid identification document, along with the passport. You can apply for an IDP from International Driving Permit issuing entities like International Drivers Association.

International Driving Permits are valid for one (1) to three (3) years, depending on the type. However, its validity would also depend on the validity of your native driving license. Supposing your IDP is valid for one (1) year, but your driving license will already expire beforehand, your IDP will automatically expire also because you cannot present it without your valid native driving license.

Can I Use My Native Driving License in Guinea?

You can use your national driving license in Guinea. However, suppose your native driving license is not printed in French, English, or Roman Alphabet. In that case, you might have a difficult time explaining your native license to the authorities or concerned locals. Remember that your passport is not a way out of it, especially if you’re driving. You’ll still need a valid driving license that authorities can understand.

With this, your native license can serve as a valid Guinea driving license, but it should be presented together with a valid International Driving Permit. If you want to make sure whether you can use your native driving license alone, you can contact the Guinea Ministry of Transport.

What Are the Benefits of Having an International Driver’s Permit?

An International Driving Permit doesn’t only allow you to drive motorized vehicles in foreign countries, but it will also give you more advantages than what you actually pay for. These include:

  • Renting a car in Guinea
  • Having a digital IDP that is equally valid as the hardcopy
  • Qualifying for a third-party car insurance
  • Having a valid driving license in multiple countries for the price of one(1)
  • Having a valid, alternative form of identification that you can use outside the road

Do I Need to Take a Guinea Driving Test?

Tourists don’t need to take a Guinea driving test, but it may be unofficially incorporated if you take driving lessons (don’t worry, results will not mandate you to take more driving lessons if ever you don’t pass). Driving lessons are a great way to start a safe Guinea driving experience.

If you’re not used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, you might want to do a little bit of practice driving with a trainer. In addition, since a lot of roads in Guinea are not well maintained, driving lessons will help you prepare for what to expect in Guinea roads and how to drive through safely.

Renting a Car in Guinea

There is no better way to experience Guinea than doing it with the convenience of your own vehicle. But can you really get your money’s worth when renting a car in Guinea? Weigh in your answers from the information below.

Car Rental Companies

The majority of car rentals in Guinea are found in the capital city of Conakry. Before traveling to the country, it would be best if you can already contact some of these companies just to save time. It would be best to call more than one (1) just to compare their rates and try to bargain if you can. You can check out the following:

  • Vital Africa transports
  • MCD ET Frere
  • GuinCar - Location de Voitures
  • Guinee Trek Aventure

You can find more local car rentals once you arrive in Guinea. Just make sure that the company is legitimate/legal, their cars are in good condition, there is a guarantee/contract, they offer insurance, and they prioritize your safety. Also, make sure they provide legal car registration documents. There are a lot of false car registration documents produced, so be sure that you're provided with a legitimate one.

Documents Required

To rent a car in Guinea, you should be able to present your valid native driving license and your valid International Driving Permit. It will be better if you have a credit card along with you because some car rental companies will ask for a security deposit through your credit card. You might be able to find car rental companies that accept cash deposits. Nevertheless, you have to make sure that the company is legitimate before you make any transaction.

Vehicle Types

What car should you rent for the best Guinea driving experience? Considering that a lot of roads in Guinea are not paved and well maintained, it is recommended that you rent an All-Terrain-Vehicle (ATV). This is especially when your itinerary involves going out of the main town centers and driving long distances through forests and savannas. In addition, some road sections may become flooded and muddy, especially during the monsoon season. With this, only an ATV will get you through it safely.

Apart from the type of vehicle, well, you should rent a car that is in good condition. This includes having a functional lock system. Thefts are quite common in Guinea, so you wouldn’t want to be complacent when it comes to your car and all your valuables in it.

Car Rental Cost

You may be able to find car rentals as low as USD8.99/day. The rates will depend on what type of vehicle you’ll rent. The most economical ones are the compact sedans or mini vehicles, while the most expensive ones, of course, are the luxury cars and SUVs.

In addition, when renting a car in Guinea, you should remember that there may be other additional fees to pay for. Apart from the daily rental fee, you may be asked to pay for car maintenance, administrative fees, gas fees, insurance, and other special fees like the young driver’s fee.

Age Requirements

The minimum driving age to rent a car in Guinea is 21. However, like in many other countries, you will be required to pay the young driver’s fee if you are between 21-24. In addition, most people in this age will only be allowed to rent specific types of vehicles, mostly mini’s and compacts.

Moreover, if you are 75 years old and above, you might also be asked to pay an additional fee. This is because people at this age are assumed to be more at risk due to physical limitations.

Car Insurance Cost

Before driving on the roads of Guinea, you must first provide proof of vehicle insurance. The cost of car insurance in Guinea varies depending on your age, your insurance coverage, and your years of driving experience (or driving history). Car companies have their own partner insurance companies, and they should be the ones to file your rental car insurance policy for you. All you need to do is pay them.

Car Insurance Policy

The minimum car insurance coverage in most countries is third-party liability coverage. In case you cause an accident with another road user, this insurance will cover the damages of the other party. However, you can expect that car rentals will encourage or require you to get personal accident insurance when renting a car. This is to cover your medical expenses and damages in case you run into an accident.

Other Facts

If you are not yet sure if renting a car in Guinea is a good idea, brush more through the sections below to help you weigh in.

Is It Better to Rent a Car in Guinea?

To put it bluntly, there is less to no reliable public transportation service at all in Guinea. There are no buses and trains, just vans that practice overloading, and taxis that unfairly charge foreigners (some, not all). If you hire a taxi for one whole day, you may get a cheaper deal. However, to avoid all the potential hassle and distrust, you may be better off driving in Guinea by yourself.

Do Car Rentals Provide a Guinea Driving Kit?

When you research for car rental companies in Guinea, having a Guinea Driving Kit can be one (1) of your non-negotiables. This can include a Guinea driving manual. Considering that navigating Guinea can be tricky with all the traffic enforcers and unruly road users, you need all the tips and advice you can get.

Although if you take driving lessons, your driving school may be able to provide you with a Guinea driving manual. If not, you can always ask where to get one or write your own summary based on what you were taught.

The Road Rules in Guinea

Guinea’s traffic management system has more room for improvement inarguably. To support the desire for safer roads and Guinea traffic safety, all road users are extremely encouraged to practice responsible driving at all times.

Important Regulations

Despite not having a well-established road traffic regulation system, Guinea still follows and implements the basic road safety rules that are also recognized internationally. So if you have a full driving license, you should be able to know all of them.


Drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good idea. Although the penalties for drunk-driving aren’t really ironed out in Guinea, people are only allowed a maximum blood alcohol concentration of 0.8% or 80mg per 100ml of blood. A lot of roads in Guinea are also unlit and uncomfortable to drive in at night. You wouldn’t want to add to this discomfort by driving under the influence as well. If you'll be out drinking, it's better to let a chauffeur drive for you.

Parking Laws

If you are staying at a hotel in Guinea, you may be given a parking space. Nonetheless, if you are out and about, you will still be able to find private parking lots that charge a minimal fee. You should avoid parking on the side of the road for your own car’s safety and to avoid potential illegal parking violations. In addition, you should avoid parking in areas designated for emergency vehicles.

When parking your car, remember to observe the following:

  • Do not take up two parking spaces
  • Do not park too close to other vehicles if there Is enough space
  • Do not steal a parking spot if you see that there is already another vehicle preparing to park there
  • Do not park in junction corners

General Standards

If you are just going around the cities, automatic transmission cars are very convenient. However, if you plan on going to the rugged countryside, most car rentals will recommend that you use a manual transmission car. This is because a manual transmission car will give you more control over the car, especially when you drive through slopes and unpaved roads.

Speed Limits

How fast can you go driving in Guinea? Unfortunately, Guinea’s government still has a long way to go in terms of formulating and implementing strict road regulations and road safety measures. With regards to speed limits, Guinea doesn’t have any limit set at the national level. Even within built-up areas, you only see traffic police, but vehicles can still speed through because of the absence of speed regulations. Even so, some accounts say that you should maintain a speed limit of 60km/hr within urban areas.

With this, you must exercise defensive driving at all times. This means that you should remain alert and know how to respond to potential collisions caused by unruly drivers. Again, another good reason to tap a Guinean driving instructor, even for a brief period of time.

Driving Directions

When approaching junctions or intersections, you should already maneuver to the lane nearest your turning side. If you need to turn left, line up on the left lane; if you need to turn right, line up on the right lane. This is to avoid blocking traffic that is going in the opposite direction.

If you find yourself at roundabouts as well, make sure you know where your exit is. Before approaching that exit, make sure to drive gradually towards your exit lane and avoid switching lanes at the last minute.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic road signs in Guinea aren’t that many. Most road signs you’ll see are directional signs such as street names. However, all of the signs in the country still follow the standard rules for road signs. This means that directional signs are in rectangular shapes, warning signs are in triangular shapes, and regulatory signs are in circular shapes.

Directional signs are signs that help you identify your current location. These help you find your way and pinpoint you towards the different routes. Examples of directional signs include:

  • Street names
  • This way to
  • Arrows
  • Straight Ahead
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Bike lane
  • Wrong-Way

Warning signs are signs that inform you of potential dangers ahead. When you come across a warning sign, reduce your speed and be more alert. Examples of warning signs include:

  • Exclamation point signs
  • Road works ahead
  • Danger
  • Falling rocks
  • Slippery road
  • Caution signs
  • Merging traffic
  • Single lane ahead
  • Blind curve ahead

Regulatory signs are signs that you should follow unquestionably. Failure to comply with regulatory signs is a violation with corresponding penalties. Examples of regulatory signs include:

  • No stopping anytime
  • No parking
  • One-way only
  • Yield
  • Do not enter
  • Speed limit signs
  • No u-turn
  • Keep right

Right of Way

Emergency vehicles have the right of way at all times in Guinea. These vehicles include ambulances, hospital service vehicles, fire trucks, and police cars. However, this rule can only be recognized if the vehicle is being used officially to respond to emergencies. You’ll know that the vehicle is on official business because they have to sound their sirens. If you hear oncoming emergency vehicles, you should steer to the side of the road and allow them to pass.

In addition, if you are entering major roads, vehicles on the major road have the right of way. You’ll have to wait until a vehicle allows you to enter the road before making your turn. Lastly, with regards to roundabouts, cars that are already inside the roundabout have the right of way. This means that you should also wait for the cars to allow you entry into the roundabout.

In order to drive legally in Guinea, you must be at least 18 years old. This is commonly thought to be the age when people are already responsible enough to drive. There are, however, countries that implement lower minimum driving ages like 16 or 17. If you come from a country that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to hold a full driving license, you may still not be recognized in Guinea. You have to be 18 years old to drive.

This shouldn’t be that confusing as well because you can only apply for an International Driving Permit if you have reached the age of 18. So if you don’t have an IDP, the more it will be risky for you to drive in Guinea.

Laws on Overtaking

There are plenty of roads in Guinea that have no road markings and lane separators. With this, vehicles that will overtake should practice more caution. If you plan on overtaking, you should do so on the right.

Before overtaking, make sure that the road ahead is clear of any obstruction, and make sure that there are no vehicles behind you that are also trying to overtake. Once you’re out of your lane, quickly drive past the vehicle you want to overtake. Don’t forget to signal before maneuvering back to the left lane.

Driving Side

What is the Guinea driving side? The Guinea driving side is on the right-hand side of the road. This can be really tricky for those who haven’t tried driving on the road’s right-hand side, especially when the roads are not properly marked and delineated. Turning and crossing intersections are also common difficulties. If you are used to driving on the left-hand side of the road, it is advised that you practice driving first outside built-up areas or practicing driving in the city with an instructor.

Other Road Rules

Even when you’re driving outside urban centers where there is little to no traffic, you should still adhere to the road rules. Apart from the risk of other road users, the road conditions may still affect your safety.

What Are Other Guinea Driving Rules to Remember?

To further safety on the road, you must remember to practice all the other common road rules you learned when you applied for your driver’s license. You should practice it wherever you go in Guinea, even in geographically isolated areas of Guinea. These common road rules include:

  • Cross roundabouts with care
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times
  • Avoid changing lanes when unnecessary
  • Do not use your mobile phone while driving
  • Do not drive without a license
  • Give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles

The Driving Etiquette in Guinea

Like some other countries within Africa, Guinea is also not too ecstatic about tourists taking photographs without permission. This applies to locals, military establishments, and government establishments. This is just an example of the many etiquettes that you should observe while in Guinea. But you don’t have to worry about it. As long as you remember to respect and maintain courtesy wherever you go, you’ll be alright.

Car Breakdown

Road emergencies can range from being out of gas to be in a collision with another road user. In any case, you should remember to keep calm at all times. If the emergency just involves your car breaking down, try to maneuver your vehicle to the side of the road. This is to avoid causing further traffic.

On the other hand, if you got into a collision, be alert of any hazard that may have developed during the collision. Check if nobody got hurt, both inside the car and outside. If it’s possible, stay away from the car as much as you can and call for immediate assistance. If there are no other people around, you can contact the following hotlines:

  • Police: 122
  • Ambulance: 442-020
  • Fire: 1717

Police Stops

If you will be hailed-over by patrolling traffic police, do not speed away and gently drive your car towards the side of the road. Once at a full stop, roll down your window and respectfully greet the officer. You can say:

  • Hello/Good Morning - “Bonjour”
  • Good Afternoon – “
  • bonne après-midi”
  • Good Evening- “Bonsoir”

The officer will most likely request to see your driving license, so have both your native driving license and your IDP ready. If you were hailed-over because of a traffic violation, make sure to comply with the fines/penalties.

Asking Directions

Guineans can understand a bit of the English language, especially those who live and work in the urban centers. In the countryside, it will help you more if you can converse even slightly in French. In case you find yourself lost while driving around the country, you can use the following sentences to ask locals around:

  • Excuse me – “Pardon”
  • Can you help me? – “Pouvez-vous m’aider?”
  • Can you tell me where this is? – “Pouvez-vous me dire o c’est?”
  • Where should I pass through? – “Par ou dois-je passer?
  • Thank you very much – “Merci beaucoup


Police roadblocks in Guinea are very common. You can see them within urban centers and in the countryside, most especially between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. This is why you should never forget to carry with you all your personal identification documents when driving in Guinea at all times (including your International Driving Permit).

Expect that security checks will be comprehensive. This is to ensure the safety of everyone. If you come across a checkpoint, just be flexible and cooperate with the authorities.

Other Tips

Some people may be surprised by how unique the culture in Guinea is, even when you’re just driving on the road. To maintain your respect for their culture, here are other driving manners that you can follow.

What Should I Do Before Heading Out to Drive?

Poor maintenance of vehicles is a recipe for danger. Therefore, you should always check your car regularly before heading out, especially when your itinerary involves long-distance driving. Apart from having enough fuel, water, battery, and oil, here are some car parts that you need to make sure are in good condition:

  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers
  • Taillights
  • Headlights
  • Side mirrors
  • Rear-view mirror
  • Steering wheel
  • Clutch
  • Break
  • Seatbelts
  • Door locks
  • Air Conditioning

You should also bring a spare tire and some basic car repair tools. You can request these from your car rental company. Lastly, do not forget to bring your native driving license, International Driving Permit, and passport.

How Should I Drive Within Intersections?

If you try to watch Guinea driving videos, you will notice that Guinea’s roads aren’t properly marked. No lines to separate lanes, no arrows to direct the flow, no markings at roundabouts, and some junctions don’t even have traffic lights. With this, it is up to you, the driver, to maintain peace within Guinean roads by maintaining proper etiquette when arriving at road junctions or intersections.

  • Turn left/right with care
  • Make sure that there is no oncoming vehicle when you turn, even if the right of way is yours
  • If you see that driving forward will block the perpendicular traffic, wait for the traffic in front of you to move substantially before moving forward
  • When turning at a junction, do not drive near another vehicle (avoid blind spots)

Is There A Proper Guinea Driving Uniform to Follow?

Guinea is predominantly a Muslim country. But does this mean that people also need to wear standard driving wear like specific Guinea driving shoes? Luckily no. Do remember, however, that people in Guinea can be quite conservative. As such, you should also wear appropriate clothing anywhere you go in the country. By appropriate, we mean bottom-wears that cover the thighs (i.e., long pants and midriffs) and upper-wears that spell formal (i.e., long sleeves, button-down shirts).

To combat the heat, though, wear the loose type of clothing, and wear a hat. Lastly, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes that won’t hinder your feet from responding quickly when necessary with regard to Guinea driving by uniform.

Driving Conditions in Guinea

There are many Guinea driving videos online that give you a peek into the country’s actual road conditions. But how does it add up with the social and traffic management situation in the country?

Accident Statistics

The World Health Organization recognized road traffic accidents as the 12th leading cause of death in the country. In 2011, road mortalities involved 15 per 100,000 individuals. There's a significant increase in road accidents in the country. The highest death rates, furthermore, involved individuals aged 35-49, followed by those aged 25-49. Most accidents occur in the Upper Guinea region, followed by Forest Guinea, then finally, Middle Guinea.

Common Vehicles

Personal or private vehicles only comprise a minute percentage of the volume of vehicles in Guinea. This is because only the privileged sector can afford to own personal vehicles. Likewise, the majority of vehicles in the country are comprised of trucks and delivery vans and public transport, especially within the 35km radius from the coast/port area. The inability of such vehicles to cover longer distances is recognized to be one of the major causes of traffic in Conakry.

Toll Roads

The paved road network in Guinea has been identified to carry almost 80% of the country’s passenger and freight transport load. Annually, it is estimated that there are about 1.3 billion passenger-kilometers and 1 billion ton-kilometers of passenger and freight transport load, respectively. This considerably heavy load cause the early destruction of paved roads.

In order to maintain and rehabilitate these roads, the government is looking to put up weight-toll stations in certain national roads. Although, as of this writing, this project hasn’t taken effect yet. Perhaps, by the time you travel to the country, you’ll already be experiencing Guinea roads in better condition.

Road Situations

How are the roads within major Guinea driving zones? National roads in Guinea only comprise less than 20% of Guinea's road network. A majority comprises tertiary/community roads, and the rest comprises the secondary or prefecture roads in the Guinea driving zone. Even with the launching of the 2011 Decade of Action for Road Safety, Guinea still has a lot to pick-up years after. Less than 20% of paved roads within national roads are in good condition, while less than 10% of unpaved roads within national roads are in good condition.

You might encounter roads in poor condition such as having lots of potholes that can be quite challenging, especially during the rainy season. However, the government continues to implement projects that will improve the road conditions in the entire country. This includes constructing more national roads and urban roads, constructing two-lane roads and rehabilitating national, prefecture, and community roads.

Driving Culture

Local drivers in Guinea have been, unfortunately, tagged as poorly trained and irresponsible on the road. However, this can be due to the lack of an efficient traffic management system in the country. More than the drivers, some pedestrians also do not pay attention to passing vehicles. But then again, if there are ample pedestrian lanes and crossings, this can be avoided.

It is therefore imperative that you exercise caution at all times and be alert whenever you are driving. This way, you can avoid taking part in potential road accidents.

Other Tips

The driving conditions in Guinea are inarguably not the best in Africa; however, it is also not the most dangerous. Once you get the hang of the road conditions and the driving culture, you’ll want to go out more and explore the country. Here are some other tips for you when driving around:

What Is It Like to Go Driving in Guinea Jurisdictions?

Guinea is subdivided into 33 prefectures, not including Conakry. Wherever you go driving in Guinea under their jurisdictions, expect the roads to be bumpy and traffic to be heavy. Even within paved roads, potholes are still common. Minimal to no road signs at all, even in junctions, so expect traffic to scale up in these sections.

Again, there are also not many demarcation lines for pedestrian crossings, so you need to watch out for pedestrians just “popping out of nowhere”. Regardless, as you drive to Guinea’s quieter areas (away from the urban centers), the fresh, natural scenery will already make up for the bad road conditions.

Is It Safe to Go Driving in Guinea Hills?

Hill trails or mountain trails in Guinea are not designed for city cars. Visitors are often advised to ride a motorcycle instead because that would make it easier to go through the rugged surfaces. Nevertheless, ATVs are your second best option.

Driving at night in the countryside is not advisable because it can pitch black even with the headlights of the car. In addition, the trails are narrow, and fitting two vehicles from opposing directions would require precise maneuvering. The foliage within some parts of the hills is also very dense, so be careful if you need to drive slightly to the side (some vegetation may cover sharply-sloping terrains).

Is it Safe to Go Driving in the Guinea Islands?

Guinea has a small group of islands off the coast of Conakry — Iles de Los (“Island of the Idols”). You need to take a 30-minute boat ride from Conakry onboard a small boat.

You cannot bring your car with you to the islands, but you can find motorcycle rentals if you ask the locals once you arrive. It is generally safe to go driving on the islands as there aren’t many people around (not much competition on the trails). Driving in Iles de Los is an experience you definitely would want to have. Apart from its expansive, powdery white sand, the island has plenty of other spots and restaurants to check out.

Things To Do in Guinea

Guinea is a place that’s not difficult to fall in love with. Even if Guinea is a third-world country,

the people are just warm, friendly and they make you the best tasting sauces and natural juices you could have. In case you want to extend your stay in Guinea, here are some ideas that might interest you.

Drive As a Tourist

Forget about joining tour packages in Guinea and rent your own car when you visit. There is no real adventure like exploring on your own and figuring things out on your own. Remember that you don’t need to apply for a tourist driving license to drive in Guinea. All you need is your valid native driving license and your International Driving Permit.

You can even create a video about your trip and share it with the world. There aren’t many driving videos for Guinea out there. We’re absolutely sure that other tourists who are planning to travel to Guinea in the future will appreciate it.

Work As a Driver

Would you want to get Guinea driving jobs? According to Salary Explorer, a delivery driver in Guinea earns about 1,880,000 GNF per month on average. This is around 183.39USD as of this writing. Depending on the amount of work, delivery drivers can earn up to 2,890,000GNF a month or about 281.91USD. That’s a fair amount if you just maintain a simple lifestyle in Guinea.

For tourists to legally accept a driving job in Guinea, you can apply for a temporary long-term visa. This will allow you to stay in the country for up to 12 months. Two (2) of the major requirements for a temporary long-term visa is for you to present a repatriation guarantee and proof of funds. You can refer to the visa section at the beginning of this article to know more about the 12-month visa. You also need a Guinean license. Guinean licenses are issued from the transport office.

Work As a Travel Guide

If you like to extend your stay in the country and love socializing with people, you may want to consider working as a travel guide. To work as a travel guide, you’ll need to obtain a valid work permit. The requirements to get a work permit in Guinea include:

  • Valid passport that does not expire in the next six (6) months
  • A passport-size photograph with a white background
  • Employment contract from a Guinean employer
  • Proof of vaccination for yellow fever (upon entry to the country)

You can apply for an electronic work visa online at the website of the Guinean government. Once your application is approved, you should receive an entry visa letter or an e-visa receipt.

Apply For Residency

All foreign nationals who wish to travel to Guinea are required to obtain an e-visa from There are countries, however, who are exempt from the e-visa, and you can check for this at the same website. There are eight (8) types of e-visas. If you want to stay in the country for more than 90 days to five (5) years, you can apply for a Long Term Visa (VLS) or a Multiple Entry Visa (VESRM). The requirements for both types are:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid return ticket
  • Repatriation guarantee (only for Long Term Visa applicants)
  • Yellow Fever Certificate (upon entry)

The repatriation guarantee can be any of the following:

  • Employment contract from a Guinean employer
  • Authorization to practice a liberal profession or to promote an artistic, industrial, or commercial activity
  • Certificate of registration (for students)
  • Internship agreement (for interns)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate of children

If you further wish to apply for a permanent residency visa, you’ll have to visit the Guinean Embassy nearest you. They will walk through the entire process and requirements of obtaining a permanent resident visa.

Other Things to Do

There is more to Guinea than just traveling and working for money. If you want to make a difference while traveling, you can take part in many non-government initiatives that help improve the social, environmental, and health situation in the country.

Where Can I Volunteer in Guinea?

Guinea was the origin of the Ebola outbreak in the continent. It was with the incessant help of medical volunteers that contributed to the end of the outbreak in the country, making Guinea Ebola-free in mid-2016. This is just an example of the many issues that Guinea has been facing over the years. Threats to the environment, culture, health, and the most vulnerable members of society (children, elderly, PWDs, and pregnant women) continue to hamper the development of the nation.

To help provide a respite, people worldwide are very much welcome to serve the Guineans in need. The list below is just among the few organizations that you work with. You are encouraged to do more research online in order to find what advocacy you’d want to pursue.

  • United Nations
  • Winrock International
  • Red Cross
  • Peace Corps
  • Mercy Ships
  • CECI
  • Project Primates
  • Medecins San Frontieres
  • Friends of Guinea

The Top Destinations in Guinea

Now that you’re familiar with the most important things to remember while on the road in Guinea, it’s time to take that knowledge to the test and travel to the best road trip destinations in the country!

Fouta Djallon Highlands

The Fouta Djallon Highlands marks its significance as the main source of water for a great portion of West Africa. Water from Senegal, Niger, Gambia, Rio Corubal, and the Great Scarcies Rivers all come from the Fouta Djallon Highlands. This is why projects to conserve the entire highland ecosystem continues to storm the country. The best time to visit Fouta Djallon would be between November to March, when the monsoon season has eased down and temperatures haven’t started to rise.

Driving Directions

To start your Fouta Djallon adventure, you need to drive to the City of Labe, Fouta Djallon’s capital. The city is a bustling area full of markets, mosques, even hotels! You can hire a tour guide in Labe, and it is highly recommended to hire a guide because Fouta Djallon is just quite a vast region to explore by yourself (not to mention a lot of untouched trails too!).

The City of Labe is about 390km northeast of Conakry. It will take you about seven (7) hours to reach the city via N21.

  1. Exit Conakry by driving towards N3.
  2. Continue to drive along N3 for about 14km.
  3. After driving over Konkoure River, turn right towards N21.
  4. Continue to drive along N32 until you reach Birowell.
  5. Then turn right onto N24.
  6. At the second corner to the left, turn left towards N22.
  7. After about 56km, turn left to exit N22.
  8. Follow the road towardsTimbi-Madina. You should be able to pass by Ninguelande and Tourou.
  9. Once in Timbi-Madina, navigate towards N22 again.
  10. Drive for about 18.2km, then turn left onto N5.
  11. Stay along N5 for about 18.9km, then take the 2nd exit at the roundabout.
  12. The exit will take you to the center of Labe.

Things To Do

The highlands are mainly characterized by a series of plateaus that cover Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone. Seeing the plateaus from a distance alone is already an experience like no other. Other activities that you can do in the Fouta Djallon Highlands include:

1. Hike to the Petteh Djiga Lookout

Visitors often travel to Fouta Djallon to climb to the Petteh Djiga Lookout. The lookout gives you the most magnificent views of the surrounding highlands, complete with its dense canopies and the enchanting sounds of wildlife. If you visit the lookout, make sure to bring your binoculars and see what wildlife you can spot in the areas around.

2. Rest Bythe Senegal and Gambia Rivers

The Senegal and Gambia Rivers are two major rivers that run through different African countries. It also passes through Fouta Djallon and its water is a lifeline for the survival, growth, and reproduction of all flora and fauna species in the region.

3. Learn About the Farming Way of Life of the Mande People

The Manda group is found throughout Western Africa. Some of its subtribes have founded some of the largest West African empires during ancient times. They are known to be descendants of the central Saharan people and popularized strip-weaving in the region.

The Mande people are also an agricultural tribe. You can learn more about their culture, music, and other beliefs when you visit Fouta Djallon.

4. Scale gorges and gigantic rocks using only vines and tree roots

Explore the lush jungle and experience climbing through century-old vines to scale the cliffs. If you are in for this kind of adventure, make sure to pack light during your trip. But of course, do not forget the essentials like water and trail food.

5. Swim at the Kambadaga Waterfalls

The Chutes de Kambadaga is the widest and most breathtaking waterfalls in Fouta Djallon. It consists of three (3) largest waterfalls that stack on top and very near each other. After swimming (or before), you can ask your guide to bring you to the lookout, where you’ll see the entirety of the three (3) waterfalls and their surrounding landscape. Definitely one for the books!


The City of Labe was named after its first chief during the 1720s. It became the center of trade and government for the Fulani People until the 19th century. This is why you’ll find a busy city center even if it is about seven (7) hours away from the capital of Guinea. Labe is also a major distribution point for citrus fruits, which are then delivered to a processing plant. So if ever you are looking for some really fresh oranges, Labe is your place to shop.

Driving Directions

The fastest route to the City of Labe will take you about seven (7) hours. So if you’re going to the city, a same-day round trip isn’t really advisable. From Conakry:

  1. Exit Conakry by driving towards N3.
  2. Continue to drive along N3 for about 14km.
  3. After driving over Konkoure River, turn right towards N21.
  4. Continue to drive along N32 until you reach Birowell.
  5. Then turn right onto N24.
  6. At the second corner to the left, turn left towards N22.
  7. After about 56km, turn left to exit N22.
  8. Follow the road towardsTimbi-Madina. You should be able to pass by Ninguelande and Tourou.
  9. Once in Timbi-Madina, navigate towards N22 again.
  10. Drive for about 18.2km, then turn left onto N5.
  11. Stay along N5 for about 18.9km, then take the 2nd exit at the roundabout.
  12. The exit will take you to the center of Labe.

Things To Do

Apart from serving as the jump-off point to the Fouta Djallon Highlands, the City of Labe presents many other exciting things to do. These include:

1. Visit the Petit Musee du Fouta Djallon

Also known as the Small Museum of Fouta, this quaint museum was opened in 2001 to share, talk about, and preserve the culture of the Fulani people. The Fulanis were originally pastoral people and gradually transitioned to farming to support their day-to-day lives. Petit Musee du Fouta Djallon houses plenty of the everyday stuff that characterize the Fulanis. Visiting it would be an interesting thing to do while you are in the city.

2. Shop at the Maison des Artisans

Before leaving the city, make sure to stop Maison des Artisans. The area isn’t only a place to buy native handicrafts (like the indigo cloth and leather sandals), but it is also where you can learn about the importance of the different handicrafts in the region.

3. Le Petit Dakar

This corner restaurant is known for its burgers and other fried meals. It also serves other kinds of dishes. On top of the delicious food, the atmosphere is very warm, friendly, and relaxing, which makes it’s a popular go-to place in the city. You can also find other branches in other countries like Paris!

4. Shop at Marche Central

Marche Central is an outdoor market where you can buy fresh meat, vegetables, and spices. If you have a liking for traditional medicine and spiritual potions, you’ll find plenty of them at this busy market.

5. Cap the night off with some relaxing drinks at the Salaa Plus Nightclub

The city of Labe is also famous for its nightclubs. Give yourself a break from all the outdoor adventures and end the night with some feel-good music and drinks to calm the nerves. In particular, Saala Plus Nightclub hosts live performances that you surely would want to see.


Kindia is one (1) of the major centers of development for agriculture in Guinea. This is where you’ll find numerous research centers and academic institutions that focus on agriculture and other fields and vocational courses. Kindia was also once a railway pick-up station for goods delivered onto various areas in Guinea, specifically Conakry.

Driving Directions

Kindia is approximately 112km from the capital city of Conakry. If you drive through Cor1, it will take you about three (3) and a half hours to reach Kindia. From Conakry:

  1. Make your way towards N1.
  2. Drive along N1 for about 106km.
  3. Turn right onto Cor1.
  4. Turn left after 3.8km.

Things To Do

You can visit one of the research centers and learn about what the scientists are working on; or, if you are not so into science, you can do these other activities:

1. Try the Fou Fou Bread

Fou Fou is a traditional African bread. It isn’t made up of the usual flour, but it is made either with plantains, yam, cassava, or malanga. There are already different versions of the Fou Fou Bread around the world after it was introduced to the Caribbean, but nothing still beats the original versions of it. It is best served with a stew.

2. Experience the morning mists that come down from Mount Gangan during the dry season

You can hike up to Mount Gangan with a guide. It will take you two (2) to climb; however, expect that it will be a steep ascent towards the 1,116m summit. If you prefer a more relaxed hike, stopping at the plateau will already give you breathtaking views. In addition, if you are staying at the foothills, or nearby villages, you can experience the cool morning mists from the mountain.

3. Experience simple country living in low-rise, thatched-roofed houses/hotels

If you travel to Guinea, we encourage you to try spending at least one night in these traditional structures. Big hotels are available in the country; however, this is where you’ll get to experience the original warm hospitality of the local people. Plus, if you travel to the countryside (or the farther you go away from the capital), some of the thatched-roof houses in the villages become the “hotels”.


Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea. It has also been the capital of French Guinea before its independence. Due to its deep nearshore bathymetry, Conakry serves as the country’s main port. Thus, you would expect that commerce and trade never sleeps in this part of Guinea. Apart from its business assets, Conakry also features a lot of cultural hotspots where you can experience true Guinean talent.

Driving Directions

Major roads in Conakry are well-paved. You can, however, still find streets within the city that are not paved. With this, you are advised to practice utmost caution when driving around Conakry. Make sure that your car is in very good condition, which includes functional seatbelts. Also, do not forget to bring your International Driving Permit with you, especially in Conakry, where traffic enforcers station a lot of roadblocks randomly.

Things To Do

As the capital of Guinea, Conakry does not disappoint. It is the melting pot of all things traditional and contemporary in West African culture. It would be hard not to spend one (1) more day in the city because of the many sports and activities that you can experience. Here are some recommended things to do while you are in Conakry:

1. Learn About the History of Guinea at the National Museum

Guinea has a long, interesting history of culture, colonialism, and patriotism. When you visit a new country, we always encourage you to have the national museum as your first stop to get a bird’s eye view of the nation. For Guinea, it is the Sandervalia National Museum.

The national museum holds plenty of ancient artifacts that tell the story of ancient Guinea; and how farming and fishing changed over the years. It also features numerous sculptures, art pieces, and musical instruments.

2. Visit and Shop at the Marche Madina

Textiles, homewares, decoratives books — these are just some of the items that you can find and shop for at Marche Madina. Marche Madina is one of the biggest public markets in the region, and it covers multiple colonial buildings with vendors that have stalls both inside and outside along the streets. Apart from shopping, Marche Madina holds a rich history because it was the site of the 1977 Guinean Market Women’s Revolt (which at present has become a national holiday).

3. Watch the Contortionists and Other Performers at the Centre d’Art Acrobatique Keita Fodeba

This center for performing arts was established following the success of the Circus Baobab (a Guinean circus troupe). This is where young African acrobats train before they head out to the world stage. Visitors are welcome to watch the performers train, or better yet, watch out for their full shows in Conakry.

4. Drop by Faga Faga Fougou Espace Culturel

Listen to the diverse sub-genres of African music by the ocean and under the stars at this diverse cultural space. If you think African music is all traditional, wait until you hear their pop and rap music. Exciting and world-class!

5. Visit the Iles de Los Islands

Iles de los Islands is a group of islands off the coast of the capital. This is a go-to place for beach enthusiasts and those who just want a quiet day off. Most of the islands have wide, sandy beaches, while a few others have rocky shores. To reach the Lles de los Islands, you’ll have to take a 30-minute boat ride from Conakry.


Get your International Driving Permit in 8 minutes

Instant approval

Valid for 1-3 years

Worldwide express shipping

Back to Top