America

French Guyana Information

Name

The name French Guiana means “land of many waters ” and was derived from the original name of the Guyana region. French because it is an overseas department of France.

Location

French Guiana is an overseas department and is therefore a region of France and therefore bears this name. French Guiana is 4 ° north latitude and 53 ° west longitude, in the north of South America on the Atlantic coast. In the south and east lies Brazil and in the west Suriname.

Time zone

The time difference between French Guyana and Germany is -5 hours in winter as well as in summer. There is no change to winter or summer time in this time zone.

Geography

The department covers an area of ​​approximately 83,534 km². The area has a portion of the Guyanese mountain country, which extends over 1.5 million km² in the northeast of the South American continent. French Guiana has steep Table Mountain cliffs from which very large and powerful waterfalls cascade. The highest point is the Bellevue de l’Inini at 850 meters above sea level. The main rivers, from west to east, are the Maroni, which forms the border with Suriname, the Sinnamary, the Approuague and the Oyapock, at the same time the border with Brazil. French Guiana has the largest contiguous forest area in Europe. About 90% of the country is covered with tropical rainforests.

History

1498 discovered Christopher Columbus, the North Atlantic coast. But it wasn’t until about 100 years later that the first European emigrants settled. The Dutch, then the French and the English. In 1801, Guyana became the property of France.In 1946 the beautiful country became an overseas department and thus an integral part of France.

Flora and fauna

The Amazon rainforests are crossed by numerous rivers and take up a large part of the country. Thanks to the tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna are incredibly lush and diverse. More than 1,200 tree species have been identified by botanists. The native flora is home to species such as the chlorocardium and the platonia tree, as well as a variety of palm trees. There is also a species-rich faunawith different types of insects such as spiders and butterflies, numerous types of fish and different types of birds such as the blue and red macaws. French Guiana is also home to numerous reptiles such as caimans, leatherback turtles, sea turtles and snakes, as well as many mammals such as howler monkeys, armadillos and jaguars.

Economy

The European Space Agency operates the Center Spatial Guyanais in Kourou together with the French Space Agency. This spaceport forms the main pillar of the French Guiana economy. Due to the proximity to the equator, the rockets require less fuel when launched from here than from Europe. Agriculture

Near the coast, as well as forestry (tropical rainforest) are also important industries in the country. The most important trading partners are Trinidad and Tobago and Italy. The main exports are fish, rice and gold; the most important import products are machines and vehicles.

Memberships

French Guiana is a fully integrated part of the French state and therefore also part of the European Union and NATO.

Population

French Guiana has around 229,040 residents. French Guiana is the French department with the highest birth rate. In addition, the population is withan average of 28.6 years very young and growing through immigration. Most of the immigrants come from nearby states such as Guyana, Suriname, Brazil and Haiti. The majority of the population lives on the coast, where the largest cities (Cayenne, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Kourou and Matoury) are located. Religion The majority of the population is Roman Catholic, but the indigenous people also practice their traditional religions. Language The official languages are French and Creole

, which is mainly spoken by the Creole part of the population. The English language is not that widely spoken, but you can hear a lot of Portuguese.

Food and drink

French Guyanese cuisine is very exotic. Fish and meat from the jungle are the favorite dishes of the residents. Protected animal species (green turtles) are also offered in the restaurants, but these should not be ordered. Hygiene should also be observed to avoid abdominal pain. In the larger cities there are various restaurants with Brazilian and Asian cuisine.

Money / currency

The Eurois legal tender in French Guiana. The ATMs accept the same cards as in France itself. There are only ATMs in Cayenne and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. For the inland villages you should have cash with you in small bills.

Electricity

The alternating voltage is 220 volts. We recommend taking a plug adapter with you. Power outages can occur frequently.

Safety / Drugs

A trip on a river in Guyana or a hike in the Amazon rainforest cannot be improvised. It is advisable to contact professionals for inland expeditions.

Current travel advice can also be found at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/. The regulations for contact with drugs are strict and therefore one should avoid any contact with drugs.

Entry

To enter French Guiana, travelers only need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after arrival. No visa is required for stays of less than 90 days.

French Guyana