Guinea is a West African nation that is known for its rich mineral resources and diverse habitats and wildlife. Its towns are rich in cultural treasures, carefully preserved through time. Unknown by many travellers, Guinea is home to a variety of things to do that may enthral you. Here are some interesting facts about this country!
Guinea is also known as Guinea-Conakry so that people don’t confuse it with the neighbouring nations of Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, which all contain the word “Guinea” in their name.
1. The Niger River, the Gambia River, and the Senegal River are among the 22 West African rivers that have their origins in Guinea. Guinea is a rich source of rivers due to its forested mountainous regions.
2. Guinea has a 320 km long coastline and iconic beaches. The country also features beautiful beaches such as those at Cape Verga and Les de Los.
3. Despite its natural wealth, Guinea is one of the ten poorest countries in the world.
4. Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, but its people are among the poorest in West Africa. Like most resource-rich countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Guinea’s mineral wealth is not for its citizen’s welfare but of a few corrupt political elites and their foreign collaborators. The vast majority of people live below poverty line.
5. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a serious issue in Guinea. Most religions, cultures, and ethnic groups in Guinea support FCM. The 2005 Demographic and Health Survey reported that 96% of women have gone through the operation.
6. Homosexuality is illegal in Guinea. Same sex relations are considered a strong taboo, and the prime minister declared in 2010 that he doesn’t consider sexual orientation a legitimate human right.
7. The literacy rate of Guinea is one of the lowest in the world. In 2010, it was estimated that only 41% of adults were literate. Primary education is compulsory for only 6 years, but most children don’t even attend for that long.
8. In Conakry, electricity is only a few hours a day – early morning and evening. In other cities, electricity can be lost and for half a year – before the rainy season starts, when the hydropower plan begins to operate.
How to reach?
A number of carriers from many countries have direct routes into Guinea. These include France, Holland, Russia, Ghana, South Africa and UK. Most of the West African capitals have direct flights to Guinea. There are few connecting flights from India as well. All the international flights land in Conakry.
Guinea is also accessible by road from Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone. All these routes have private buses and bush taxis that run directly to the capital Conakry.
Captain Nero’s recommendations in Guinea:
Cape Verga: Just few hours away from the capital city, Conakry, Cape Verga is a perfect spot for all the beach lovers. It has some of the country’s best beaches where you can relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset. When you visit Cape Verga, you will be spoilt for choices since there so many picturesque beaches there. Some of the most isolated beaches are Sobane and Bel Air Beach.
Mount Nimba: In the south of the country, the forested Guinea Highlands contain Guinea’s highest peak, Mount Nimba. The peak stands at an impressive 5748 feet and is a part of the mountain range that also finds itself in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. Reaching the top is not an easy task and you’ll be needing a guide for the same.
Fouta Djallon: Occupying the heart of Guinea, this verdant landscape of forest-filled valleys and gushing waterfalls make the Fouta Djallon region one of West Africa’s most enchanting corners. It is also one of the best places for hiking as experienced local guides can take you exploring along beautiful forested trails snaking between interesting villages and impressive natural sites.