Guinea-Bissau

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Flag of Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
Information
Language: Portuguese
Capital: Bissau
Population: 1,650,000
Currency: CFA Franc
Hitchability: <rating country='gw' />
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<map lat='12' lng='-15' zoom='7' view='0' />


Bissau city
Guinea-Bissau is a country in Western Africa. The official language is Portuguese, but most people speak Criolu, a mix of Portuguese, indigenous languages and some French. It is a small, poor country wedged between Senegal to the north, Guinea to the south and the Atlantic to the west. The capital is Bissau, by the mouth of the river Gêba. A small city with a lively fisherman's market by the water. European bank cards rarely work (and if so, only Visa) so make sure you make a withdrawal with what you need in Senegal before crossing the border to Guinea-Bissau. People in Guinea-Bissau are poor, but very friendly and welcoming of strangers.

For finding rides in Bissau, Pensão Creol is the best place. Many European drivers with cars to sell stop there before heading further south or towards the eastern part of the country. Outside of the capital, some roads are easily hitcheable and some are not at all. The main roads between the capital and Ziguinchor in Senegal, Buba in the South and Gabú in the East are great to hitch on as there is lots of NGO jeeps with aircon which will willingly pick you up - just get out of town to find the traffic that is actually going somewhere. Other roads like between Enxude (across the Rio Gêba from the Bissau) and Buba or east from Gabú towards the Guinean border are pretty much impossible to hitch for the lack of traffic that is not public transportation. On the border road, there is quite a lot of Guinean trucks; if you have enough time, the thing to do is to get to the preliminary customs check point about 7km after Gabú. Trucks have to stop there and you have a chance to talk to the drivers. Try to make friends with the customs officers who might persuade (read force) drivers to pick you up. Zenit was promised by the officer to be put on the next truck, but after about 15 hours without truck he decided to go back to Gabú and take public transportation (which in turn took another 6 hours to arrive and leave).