Despite relatively short distances as the crow flies, with eight major rivers, numerous lagoons and an archipelago of offshore islands, getting around Guinea-Bissau often entails detours and waterway crossings that can be frustratingly slow.
The regular ferry linking Bissau to Ilha de Bubaque was not operating at the time of research. A replacement was supposedly on its way. Otherwise, for a fee speedboats from various resorts in the islands are open to nonguests joining if there is a space. Canoas (motor canoes) also make the trip; however, these are unreliable, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Canoas also operate between individual islands.
Sept Place & Transporte Misto
Sept places are Peugeot 504 seven-seaters that link the main towns. More common and far less comfortable are large minibuses called transportes misto (literally 'mixed transport') or toca-toca; most fares are a dirt-cheap CFA100. Before 8am is the best time to get transport.
The main roads between Bissau and Bafatá, Gabú, São Domingos and Buba are all sealed and generally good. Stretches between Buba and Jemberém and São Domingos and Varela are unpaved and in bad condition.
Cycling is an excellent way to get around Guinea-Bissau, as roads are quiet and a few major roadways are generally flat. A sturdy mountain bike will give you the most flexibility in setting your route. Away from tourist areas, it's almost always possible to find locals willing to rent their bicycles for the day.
There are no formal bus companies or bus stations.
The only service is from Bissau to the airstrip on Bubaque, using one of two private air-taxi companies.
Car & Motorcycle
While a few major roadways are paved and in relatively good condition, a 4WD is recommended for most trips. There are few signposts, and animals, chickens, cows, pigs and goats are always a hazard. Your best bet to rent a vehicle in the country is to ask at the Ledger Plaza Bissau, the Azalaï 24 de Setembro or a travel agency in Bissau.
There is no train service in Guinea-Bissau.