by Thomas Buechler - 2 years, 6 months ago
To organize an Equatorial Guinea visa might be notoriously difficult and time consuming, at least for non Americans. Some EG embassies have now relaxed a bit the visa requirements for tourists in the past months, so is their embassy in Berlin/Paris not asking anymore for an invitation of a EG citizen, and no more HIV test. Police clearance and hotel booking remain.
But once you are inside the country, things are pretty normal, as it could be in neighbouring African states .Except a few anomalies you would easily find elsewhere: there is no post office that sells stamps, there are no postcards, and if you want to make your onw photos, be aware: you need a photo permit issued by the Tourist office! The last time I procured such a strange document was 2008 in Bangui, the Central African Republic! Both countries have something in commun, they are not on the mainstream tourism track with less than 4,000 tourist a year!
Malabo has some pretty upscale restaurants-La Luna (managed by a lovely Swiss couple, the husband has also been appointed as Swiss Honorary Consul) has a prime location, overlooking the pier and the Presidential Palace and L'Atelier, run by a French businessman and his wife, on weekends there is live bands; such a charming place, I closed my eyes, and was thinking to be in New Orleans. There are no mega sighseeing spots in Malabo, just visit the area of the historical cathedral, next to the Presidential compound; careful however with picture taking. To move around town, taxis are plentiful and cheap, just under a dollar per ride. To discover the pristine beach of EG, spend a day on Luba beach, about 1 hour away, you can go by local bus or rent your own car. In case Bata on the mainland is on your itinerary, rents tend to be cheaper, the longer you book ahead; to book, there are some Indian travel agents in town. Hostels however are often in Chinese hands, in Malabo I stayed with the Internet hostal for about 25 USD aircon/hot shower and a good wifi connection, in the middle of downtown. In Bata, after driving around for about an hour by taxi, I finally found a Chinese complex, hotel, restaurant and casino under one roof, its called King Long that was 3xcheaper than the cheapest rates I could have booked online in Bata!