Guinea Bissau

Visited here March 2014

$1CAD = 465CFA

Getting out of Senegal (and into Guinea Bissau): Ziguinchor to Sao Domingo

  • 7 place — 1500 CFA (bag included)
My “room” (the tent) on the right!
Where to Stay
  • See here for my hilarous time at the “Pensao Branco” (which is not a real guesthouse, to be clear).
  • In town, about a 5-10 minute walk from the garage, there are two hotels side by side. I’m told one is 3000-5000 CFA and the other is about 10000.
Eating Out
  • Plenty of street food at the corner where these two hotels are. Sandwiches are really big for dinner for 100-300CFA, depending on how much stuff you get in them.
  • Portuguese Crystale beer is 400.

Sao Domingo to Bissau

  • many options here; apparently, city buses run on schedules, but the mini buses and cars at the garage run as normal – they go when they’re full.
  • City bus — 1000
  • mini bus — 1500 + 500
  • 7 place 2500 + 500

I attempted to go to the islands of Bubaque and Bolama. Read about those attempts here. Ticket for ferries to Bubaque — 3500 and Bolama — 2500.

I wasn’t able to get my phone to connect to the data cellular network, so I went to the MTN cafe next to the Pensao Branco. You can buy specific credit for wifi at a store nearby (250CFA/hr), or sometimes inside the cafe itself, and then bask in the air conditioned glory while you connect.

Where to Stay
Little piece of (expensive) heaven at the Pensao Creola
  • Pensao Centrale — Closed
  • Pensao Creola is now the cheapest option within central Bissau. I felt that it was really nice. Homey room, comfortable, secure. But, you pay for it. 15000/night.
  • I ended up meeting someone who I stayed with for the rest of the time in Bissau.
Eating Out
  • For a city centre, Bissau is dead at night! Some street food, but I ended up paying for a pricey Spaghetti Carbonara at the hotel/restaurant near to the Pensao Creola, which was a bit salty, but overall not disappointing.
  • Across from the entrance to the Mercado (market), there is a Senegalese place with a blue door – great for lunch, 500CFA.
Getting Around
  • Blue and yellow minibuses run on regular routes, and are marked as such, but I have no idea where many of them go (Aeroporto is pretty clear though)

Getting out of Guinea Bissau (and back into Senegal): Bissau to Kolda

  • I failed at this. I am sure that there is a better route to take, which crosses at a different spot, farther east. But this is how I went:
    • Blue & Yellow bus on Enterramento line to garage — 100 CFA
    • 7 place for Ziguinchor (arrived by 10 but it took 2 hrs to fill and 4 hrs to travel) — 4000 (no bag charge)
    • 7 place for Kolda — 4500 + 500 (took another 2 hours to fill and was another 4 hour journey. Would have totally preferred to stay in Zig another night).
    • mototaxi to auberge — 500

4 thoughts on “Guinea Bissau

  1. Nice blogging, great photos

    for stays in Bissau did you check Hotel Proquil in the old town? was open in march 2014 and though perhaps not as luxurious as Creola was a bit cheaper and closer to the port for the inevitable wait for a boat.

    booking advised, 00245 678 7117 (Krio/Portuguese/French spoken)


    1. I didn’t! I hadn’t heard of anything cheaper, but that’s great to know! I’m hoping that information like that can spread with blogs like this.
      Thanks so much!


  2. Hi, very useful and compact info. Congrats! I will probably be going to GB from Gambia with my friends in end of December… I would like to ask you about the ferry to the islands (hopfully they will fix the engine by that time). Does it leave everyday, or only on particular days… What are the cost of hiring a piroque (or sharing one as a passenger?) Thanks! Greetings from The Smiling Coast of Africa 🙂


    1. Hey, I’m so sorry! I thought I had responded to this ages ago.

      If I remember correctly, the ferries/pirogues leave on specific days, but it depends on which islands you’re going to! The costs above were for a seat on whichever boat was available, but I’m not sure the costs for private hires!

      The waters aren’t said to be terribly forgiving, so I have heard that while the bigger boats are typically slower, they’re often safer! So be careful when thinking about taking a small pirogue.



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