Last updated: 22 Jun 2019

French Guiana


French Guiana is home to a colourful blend of different cultural backgrounds. A native land, a land of exploration and a land of enslavement, the extraordinary history of French Guiana has left its traces in every sector of today's society. Sea fishing is popular and can be undertaken from rocks, as well as from boats. Fishing for sharks and other big fish can be done in the open sea. Devil’s Island is popular with swimmers and fishermen alike. Freshwater fishing and fly fishing are also popular. Discover nature and wildlife at the Mouragues Nature Reserve, which stretches from Roura to Régina. Enjoy yourself at the carnival. 'King Carnival' starts after Epiphany and goes on until Ash Wednesday. Iles du Salut includes the infamous Devil’s Island where political prisoners were held. Do not miss the Iracoubo Church painted entirely by hand by the famous convict Huguet.
Official Name: Guyane
Capital:  Cayenne (CAY)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  French. Guianese Creole is widely spoken. English may also be spoken.  
Dialling code from SA:  + 594
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -3 (5 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2019: 

Jan 1; Mar 4-6; Apr  19, 22; May 1, 8, 30; Jun 10; Jul 14; Aug 15; Nov 1, 11; Dec 25

Best time to go:  August – December. For festivals, January – February is the best time. 
Best for:  Ecotourism, Cultural Exploration
Plugs:  220/127 volts AC, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink, however it is heavily chlorinated and bottled water may be preferred.  Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated and bottled water should be used.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities in the main cities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Dress should be conservative.
Travel Tips / Warnings:  French Guiana is one of the costliest countries to visit in South America, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Duty Free: If arriving from mainland France or another EU country, travellers may import goods to the value of €1,000 without incurring customs duty.
If arriving from outside the EU, travellers may import the following goods to French Guiana without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1L of spirits over 22% volume and 2L of alcoholic drinks less than 22% volume.
• 4L of wine.
• 16L of beer.
• Goods to the value of €430 if arriving by air or sea and €300 if arriving by other means (reduced to €150 for children under 15).

Visa Requirements

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Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk