Suriname

Suriname

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Suriname is located in the northern part of South America between Guyana and French Guiana, and bordering with Brazil and the North Atlantic Ocean. The population is approximately 500,000 people. Most of the population lives in the narrow areas along the northern coast since the lack of infrastructure leaves the interior of the country inaccessible. While the official language is Dutch, there are many recognized regional languages.

The government of Suriname is a constitutional democracy with a president as chief of state and head of government. Suriname was a colony of The Netherlands (Dutch Guiana) until gaining independence in 1975. Since independence, the country has dealt with coups and a civil war, and the country still faces difficult economic and political challenges.

The economy is dominated by mining and metal processing. The tourism sector has been growing with the number of hotels and tour operators greatly increasing in the last five to seven years. Visitors to Suriname are attracted by the biodiversity of the country, the wildlife and nature reserves, the capital of Paramaribo which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its colonial wooden buildings.

Currency SRD: Surinamese dollar
Language Dutch
Capital Paramaribo
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert March 27, 2017 - Countries reporting Zika microcephaly in the Americas

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Suriname. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a high risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Suriname through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Suriname.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Suriname, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Suriname, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Malaria

Malaria occurs throughout the year in the interior of the country beyond the coastal savannah area, with highest risk mainly along the eastern border. Malaria has occurred in the municipality of Tapanahony in Sipaliwini Province. Rare cases have been reported in Brokopondo Province, and Boven Saramacca municipality in Sipaliwini Province. Paramaribo city is free of malaria.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in Suriname, particularly in the forested interior of the country. It is usually more common in rural than urban areas, and the risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night, when sand flies typically feed.

Schistosomiasis

The parasite that causes schistosomiasis is found in Suriname. It is contracted through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. In Suriname, schistosomiasis mainly occurs in the coastal zone, particularly in the district of Saramacca. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of transmission of and exposure to yellow fever in Suriname. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission, including travellers transiting through Suriname from a country/territory with a risk of yellow fever transmission. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

Chagas Disease

American trypanosomiasis occurs in Suriname. This disease is more common in rural areas, however, the risk of travellers acquiring this disease is extremely low unless staying in very poor quality housing or camping.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Suriname.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to Hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with Hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of transmission of and exposure to yellow fever in Suriname. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission, including travellers transiting through Suriname from a country/territory with a risk of yellow fever transmission. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Suriname.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present, but some malaria strains (P. falciparum) may be resistant to mefloquine.

Safety and Security in Suriname

Emergency Numbers

115
113
110

Personal Safety

Travellers should always be aware of their surroundings and exercise a high degree of personal security in Suriname as the crime rate is relatively high. Pick-pocketing and other types of theft are common in Paramaribo and other cities. Avoid showing signs of wealth, such as expensive clothing, and ensure personal belongings and travel documents area safe and out of sight. Do not walk alone after dark.

Areas To Avoid

The following areas are dangerous due to the risk of bandits, criminal activities, and the lack of a police presence: the cities of Albina and Moengo, along the East-West Highway between Paramaribo and Albina, and the Palm Garden (or “Palmentiun”) in the Dutch area of Paramaribo. Police response may be rare outside of Paramaribo and at night.

Political Unrest

Avoid demonstrations and political gatherings that sometimes occur in the capital and throughout the country, as they are unpredictable and can become violent and dangerous with little warning.

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