Safety situation in the country is fairly calm but controversial. Street crime and physical violence are quite common in Georgetown, so foreigners in the city should take extra precautions. It is advisable to observe the rules of basic safety – do not carry large sums of money and jewelry, do not show expensive photo and video equipment, do not leave things on curbs or benches and so on. There are many vagrants on the streets, especially young people, many of whom are not averse to offering very dubious services or goods; currency and smuggling scams are common. In most urban areas it is quite safe to walk around during the day or to take a cab at night. Nevertheless, one should be especially careful in the crowds, where pickpockets are always plentiful, and it is not advisable to enter poor neighborhoods. Most tourists, however, do not have the slightest problem with safety, especially when traveling to the provincial areas of the country, where order is often maintained by the locals themselves.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers over one year of age arriving from countries where the disease is spreading. Transit passengers who do not leave the airport in areas where the disease is prevalent are exempt from vaccination.
The risk of contracting malaria (P. falciparum – about 47% of the country, P. vivax – 53%) is present when visiting almost all of Guyana. Prophylaxis in the form of mfloquine (if no contraindications) or chloroquine is recommended, as well as regular use of proguanil and mandatory use of protective nets, repellents and tight clothing. Prevention of tuberculosis, typhoid, hepatitis B and D, rabies, filariasis, onchocerciasis, leishmaniasis and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is recommended.
Sanitation and Hygiene
All tap water is usually chlorinated and relatively safe to drink, but should be considered potentially contaminated, especially outside of major cities. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth, or making ice should be pre-boiled. Milk is most often not pasteurized and should be subjected to mandatory heat treatment. The same goes for meat and seafood. Pork, lettuce and sauces can be a high risk source. Vegetables should be thoroughly washed, and fruits and vegetables should be pre-washed and, preferably, peeled.
The usual safety rules apply
- Do not walk alone at night in secluded areas of the city, including the waterfront.
- Do not flash your cameras, expensive clothes, money and jewelry.
- To get around town, ask the hotel front desk to call a cab for you. They are cheap and reliable. It is also said that public vans are often involved in car accidents.
Drug trafficking is a serious thing in Guyana, and drugs are something you must avoid at all costs. If caught with drugs you risk at least 3 years in jail, so don’t do drugs in Guyana. Or at all, anywhere, anytime, which is even better!
Homosexuality is technically illegal in Guyana, but the laws are not actually enforced. there is no record of violence or harassment against members of the LGBTIQ community, still be very cautious, of course, depending on the situation.