Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 2, 2017

Enjoying Guinea-Bissau


Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on the Atlantic coast in West Africa. It’s known for national parks and wildlife.

guinea archipelago

The forested, sparsely populated Bijagos archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve.

Bissau Capital of Guinea-Bissau

guinea bissau port 2 

Bissau is located neat the point where the Geba River joins with the Atlantic Ocean. This is a quiet capital but has a sort of charm that is worth taking a look at.

guinea Presidential_palace_guinea_bissau_old12

A civil war ravaged Guinea-Bissau from June 1995 until May 1999 and the capital city still has a lot of recovering to do. The Presidential Palace was once an elegant Neo-classical building and today it is but a shell of its former self but visitors can walk through the grounds. It is best not to view the interior as it is now home to bats.

guinea bissau velho

Once this country was a Portuguese colony and the colonial influence can be seen in Bissau Velho, the old center of the city. As you walk through the dusty streets you can get an interesting look into Bissau’s history and heritage.

guinea Fortalezad---Amura1

Just past this quarter you’ll come to the Fortaleza d’Amura. Today this fortress stands guard over the colorful neighborhood that is dotted with Mediterranean-style buildings. Even though the Guinean military still uses the fort occasionally guards will let visitors take a quick peek inside the stone walls.

guinea bissau port

The most lively and vibrant part of Bissau is Porto Pidjiguiti. Here you can see fisherman bringing in the daily catch and watch pelicans soar over the sandy coast.

guinea bissau port monument

In 1959 striking dockworkers were killed by police which started the resistance movement again the Portuguese. You can see a monument that has been designed like a huge black fist to commemorate the massacre.

guinea Mercado-de-Bandim

The main market, the Mercado de Bandim is well worth taking a look at. There are thatched-roof huts that offer a variety of goods. You can get a feel of the local culture and purchase souvenirs.

Visit the National Ethnographic Museum where you can see on display a small collection of wooden masks, baskets and statues.

guinea bissau restaurant

The capital city also has many great restaurants which offer anything from traditional meals to Belgian waffles and even pizza. Many of them have courtyards or terraces. For a taste of culture visit the French or Portuguese cultural centers which offer free concerts, movies and lectures in the evenings.

Getting to Know Guinea-Bissau

guinea Orango-Island-1024x683

Orango Island will have you delighting at the hippos that drift in and out of the lagoons of Orango Grande. There is a distinct national park which visitors enjoy were you can see rare salt-water creatures in their natural habitat. There are local guides who can take you on wetland safaris on the waterways and mangroves. There are also sparkling white beaches, a single, community-run hotel and some local tribes with long-held traditions.

guinea curabal

Dulombi-Boe National Park is the largest of Guinea-Bissau’s national parks. It offers winding river channels and pockets of riparian woodland. There are large stretches of grassy savannah. The Corubal flows from the inland hills heading toward the Atlantic Ocean. There is a lot of wildlife with chimpanzees being one of the rarest. You can also expect to spot African cats and many grazing herds in the fields.

guinea island turtles 2

Joao Vieira Island is where endangered Atlantic sea turtles come to lay their eggs on sandbanks. This whole area is now encompassed by a national marine reserve. Visitors can hop aboard a carved piragua (traditional Guinea-Bissau canoe) and take a ride through the inlets and wetlands. The sandy stretches and palm lined dunes are home to rare marine creatures.

guinea bafata 2

Bafata is the birthplace of the celebrated independence revolutionary Abel Djassi. This little riverside town has its own kind of charm. There are green areas, palm trees and is located at the spot where the Geba joins the Colufe. It is surrounded by jungles that are home to crocs, interesting West African mammals, rare monkeys and many more.

 guinea lagoas

Lagoas Cufada Natural Park is a playground for hippos and huge waterbucks. Joining in on the fun are galloping herds of African buffalo, laughing hyenas and stalking leopards. This is the most bio-diverse region in all of Guinea-Bissau.

guinea lagoas 2

The park is sandwiched between the Rio Grande de Buba to the south and the wide Corubal to the north. The reserve gets its name from the many lagoons and wetland habitats.

There are palm oil groves and perhaps you can spot some chimps swinging from the branches of trees.

guinea chacheu

Cacheu is considered to be one of the earliest European settlements in West Africa. It is located on the edge of a great waterway that leads up into the continental highlands and the turns of the Canjambari River.

guinea chacheu fortress

From the 1600s it was a slaving center and today you can see many relics that show this dark history. There is even an old fort that was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. You can see a local craft market and explore mangrove swamps.

guinea varela

Varela explore this beautiful area which is also a national park. There is lovely coastline. You’ll see muddy mangrove rivers, populations of sea turtles and dusty dunes with sea grasses.

guinea varela croc

In the savannah grasses and dense forests live Nile crocodiles and hippos.

guinea varela tribal

There are Dijola tribal villages to see and much more.

guinea rubane

Rubane Island can be reached by ferry. It greets visitors with backcountry forests and ivory-white sands. There are tall palm trees along the shore with some cliffs.

guinea rubane ponta 2

The only place to stay here is the Ponta Anchaca resort. There are small fishing hamlets and deserted coves.

guinea Saltinho-Waterfalls-Guinea-Bissau

Of particular interest here is the Saltinho Waterfall gushing over stepping stones and escarpments.

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