Work and Travel in Guinea
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN GUINEA FOR TRAVELLERS
Guinea is a country in West Africa. It receives few visitors and the chances are you don’t know much about it. That’s reason alone to travel in Guinea. It’s an adventure. It’s a challenge. And it’s your chance to do something different. So if you want to work and travel in Guinea you’re in the right place.
Our travel guide to Guinea is the only guide (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/guinea) you need to find out everything you need to know about this little-known country.
1. Work in Construction in Guinea
Guinea is a highly impoverished nation, which is why you don’t see a lot of tourists making their way down there. One area which is severely lacking is infrastructure. That’s why travellers who want to work in Guinea could spend their time helping the locals to build.
Believe it or not, this type of project is not just confined to the rural areas. You could also help in the slums in some of the urbanised areas of the country.
Some basic DIY skills are all you need to find this type of work in Guinea.
2. Help Farmers in Guinea
Guinea’s rural population still use tools that could be up to fifty years old. They don’t have access to the modern tools that Western farmers have. Charities are working to provide the tools and the knowledge needed for Guinean farmers to be more efficient in their work and to be more sustainable.
You can work with these charities, where you’ll be working on farms with the locals and helping them to use their newfound knowledge.
You don’t need to have any farming experience to help the locals. You’ll either be given training by your project provider or you’ll learn on the job.
It’s also a great way to meet the locals and get to know the local culture.
3. Educate the Locals in Guinea
Like most countries that lack development, education levels are poor. There are many older people who never even learned to read or write. You can help change the lives of the young and old in Guinea.
English lessons are one of the big volunteering opportunities in Guinea for native English speakers. Guinea gained its independence from France, therefore the official language of the country is French. But many young people want to learn to speak English.
You could also teach young children how to read and write. Another option may be to help with mathematics as a teaching assistant in poorer schools across the country.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GUINEA
Guinea is like much of West Africa in that the visa requirements are strict. Unless you come from another country in West Africa or Cuba, expect to have to go to an embassy to pick up a visa (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Guinea.html).
Sadly, there is no e-visa system for Guinea just yet. Currently, there are also no plans to implement an e-visa system either. So you will need to visit a Guinean embassy to get your 90-day visa (https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/contactsdirectory/az.aspx?orgid=5168).
Take note that you don’t have to be in your home country to get the necessary visa. It’s possible to get your visa from a neighbouring country. However, we don’t recommend this as the vast majority of countries in the region also require you to have a visa and you don’t want to waste lots of time on your West African trip getting a visa (http://www.friendsofguinea.org/visas/).
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN GUINEA
Guinea happens to be one of the wettest countries in the whole of West Africa. However, spring is an ideal time to visit as it’s the second half of the dry season and the temperatures are tolerable due to the harmattan coming in from the northeast.
You should consider going to the rural areas at this time of year. Construction projects and working in rural schools are good options. Spring is also the ideal time to work on farms.
In short, spring is the optimal time of year to work and travel in Guinea.
From May onwards you should expect to have to deal with the monsoon season. June is when the bulk of the rains arrive, so you should take care to choose your volunteering opportunities in Guinea carefully. The summer season is good for little except working in the urbanised areas.
You may decide to work in orphanages or with elderly people in care homes. Outdoor projects are generally not recommended, nor is venturing into the rural areas.
Autumn is much the same as the summer. This is when the rains reach their highest intensity. Many rural villages can be cut off from the main urban areas. Most locals don’t travel far outside their villages at this time of year.
Refer back to the ‘Summer’ section for more information on some of the things you can do during the monsoon season.
The winter season is the beginning of the dry season. It’s the perfect time to choose a homestay option and work on a farm. You’ll be able to join in the harvest and locals will be grateful for the extra help.
Apart from that, you can refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on the projects available during the dry season.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN GUINEA
If you want to travel in Guinea you should be aware that safety levels aren’t as high as you would experience in Western countries. You should also be aware of the fact that there’s no established backpacking route here., so you need to be prepared to think on your feet and change your plans at short notice. After all, the bus you want might not be running that day for no apparent reason!
Furthermore, this is a poor country, so you should avoid volunteering opportunities in Guinea that may also be a paid job for a local. These people need the money and regular employment isn’t easy to come by.
But you shouldn’t feel apprehensive about visiting Guinea because it’s not a particularly violent country and there’s no civil strife to be concerned about.
Do you want to work and travel in Guinea?
- Edited on Dec 11 2018 by Marichka