Equatorial Guinea Overview
A tiny little country on West Africa divided up between the mainland and several islands, Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony bordering Cameroon and Gabon, and in recent years is known primarily for the oil which has been making the country exceptionally rich with US dollars. Absolutely not a place for the uninitiated traveler, Equatorial Guinea nevertheless boasts some of the most spectacular sights and sounds, from the remote island of Corisco with its pristinely-untouched white-sand beaches that look like they are straight out of the movie “The Beach”, to the frontier village of Cogo, to the Monte Alen National Park, to the dank confines of the corrupt city of Bata.
Visitors from all countries require a visa, obtained in advance, before they can step foot in Equatorial Guinea. Americans do not, but be prepared to show a bank statement upon arrival proving you have at least $2000 in your bank account, as well as proof of smallpox, yellow fever, and cholera vaccinations, and two passport photos along with two visa applications. Visitors can fly in by plane, and will likely arrive in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, located on the island of Bioko.
Equatorial Guinea is undiscovered country. Everything here costs an arm and a leg, so be prepared. In addition, bribery is a common practice and you will more than likely be stopped periodically by military or police officials who will come up with some random “rule” that you broke and thus need to pay your way out of. A minor annoyance to the veteran traveler, this can be a completely off-putting experience for the uninitiated.
The islands and mainland provide access to rain forests, volcanic mountain-sides, miles of pristine beaches, and colonial back-water villages full of traditional cultures and ways of life. Well worth the visit, but only if you have are a die-hard adventurer who doesn’t mind dealing with a primitive system of government and way of life.