Rich in oil deposits and political disputes, Equatorial Guinea is a small but powerful country located in Western Africa. This country is rich in beautiful beaches and wildlife that has unfortunately been damaged by most of the oil rigs and operations going on. There are also a diverse communities found in both coastal areas and rainforests. There are still small fishing towns where nesting turtles along their shores can be observed. The rain forests are lush and beautiful where endangered species of primates live. Citizens are still very hospitable and have Spanish cultural backgrounds, which gives the people a diverse culture and interesting memories of the past.
Important and Interesting Facts about Guinea
- Guinea, in West Africa on the Atlantic, is also bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
- Slightly smaller than Oregon, the country consists of a coastal plain, a mountainous region, a savanna interior, and a forest area in the Guinea Highlands. The highest peak is Mount Nimba at 5,748 ft (1,752 m).
- Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions that are further divided into thirty-three prefectures. The major cities in the country include Labe, Nzerekore, Kankan, Kindia, Mamou, Boke, and Gueckedou.
- The climate is predominantly humid and hot. The monsoonal rains are from June to November wet and dry season is from December to May when they experience north easterly harmattan winds.
- The natural resources include major mineral deposits, hydroelectric power resources and rich agricultural potential. Guinea is the world’s second-largest bauxite producing nation.
- The literacy rate of Guinea is very low.
- One of the most commonly used currency exchange agents are the black market dealers who are known to give good exchange rates and sometimes even accept traveler’s cheques.
- Grand Mosquée de Conakry (Conakry Grand Mosque) is Africa’s fourth largest mosque with space for 2,500 women on the upper level and 10,000 men on the lower level. There’s extra room for 12,500 more worshippers at the grand esplanade. While it lacks maintenance, it remains to be one of the top tourist attractions in Guinea because of its religious and cultural importance to the locals.
- Fouta Djallon combines rolling grasslands, high peaks, thick sandstone formations, canyons, and valleys. Its diverse landscape guarantees a myriad of activities for tourists. A simple hike up the mountain opens opportunities for sightseeing. In addition to aforementioned sceneries, you can see waterfalls and stunning cliffs by trekking Fouta.
- Cape Verga is a beach lover’s paradise. It’s just a few hours away from the city of Conakry. Cape Varga has some of the best beaches in Guinea with Bel Air and Sobane as two of the most popular. Bel Air Beach has ample tourist facilities but lacks the isolation and ruggedness that some travelers look forward to. Sobane Beach has accommodations that are cheaper and not as invasive. The most isolated beaches in Cape Varga are in between Sobane and Bel Air Beach. The only way to reach Cape Varga would be to hire a vehicle from Conakry.
- North of the Sobaney and Marara beaches Alkatraz Island is located. The island is a virgin breading reservation for thousands of colorful birds. From there you can also visit the islands Capken and Tristao with their wonderful beaches. Going up the Rio Pongo in the mangrove jungle, a stop in Farinya is very worthwhile to visit the remains of the first place of the slave trade, and especially the benchmarks of the palace of the famous Queen Nyara Beli.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Guinea
- Polygamy is prohibited by law in Guinea. UNICEF reports that 53.4% of Guinean women aged 15-49 are in polygamous marriages.
- In both urban and rural areas, men may use their wealth to take another wife.
- In 2014 there was an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea. In response, the health ministry banned the sale and consumption of bats, thought to be carriers of the disease.
- Doctors in Guinea have found the best way to help patients survive Ebola.The key to helping Ebola patients survive their infection they saw, was hydrating them with IV fluids, ensuring that their blood work remained stable and addressing any changes in their metabolites as quickly as possible. In the first month of Ebola cases, 37 patients tested positive for the virus, 28 were treated with IV fluids and 16 died. While the death rate remained high, it was lower than that typically seen in other parts of West Africa.
- The guinea is a coin of approximately one quarter ounce of gold that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1814.The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated
- Many people, especially men, speak more than one language.
- After its independence it came under autocratic rule and has since been added to the list of the poorest countries in the world.
- The nimba, a wooden headdress that represents fertility among the Bagas in the coastal region, has gained currency as a national symbol.
- Guinea has low life expectancy, a low doctor-patient ratio, and a high rate of infant mortality.
- Terms such as “cousin” and “sister” frequently are applied to people who are not blood relations. These terms convey respect and affection or indicate certain commonalties.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Guinea
- Guinea was part of the Mali empire, which covered a large part of western Africa between the 13th and 15th centuries. From the mid-1400s Portuguese and other European traders settled Guinea’s coastal region, and the country eventually became a French colony in 1891.
- In the seventeenth century, Muslim migrants came to the banks of the Milo River and formed the small city-state of Baté, with the town of Kankan as its capital. Baté emerged as an enclave of Islam and became a magnet for Muslim traders and scholars. Slaves supported agricultural and commercial activities.
- The slave trade came to the coastal region of Guinea with European adventurers in the 16th century. Slavery had always been part of everyday life but the scale increased as slaves were exported to work elsewhere in the triangular trade.
- The end of French West Africa began with Guinea. It was granted independence in 1958 under the leadership of Sekou Touré, who rejected a French offer of membership in a commonwealth and demanded total independence, declaring ‘We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery’. French reaction was swift: financial and technical aid was cut off, and there was a massive flight of capital.
- An array of taboos and customs affect food consumption. It is impolite to eat while walking. A visitor who arrives in a compound while a meal is in progress will be invited to join in the meal. Food often is served in large communal bowls and eaten with spoons. In large families, the men will eat from one bowl and the women from another.
- A thriving music industry supports a wide range of music. Some artists specialize in traditional music, accompanied by stringed instruments. Others combine the musical forms of their ethnic group or region with influences from Europe or the Middle East.
- Traditional literature, particularly among the Maninka, is preserved in a body of oral traditions that are remembered and passed down by bards. Radio broadcasts and recordings of epic tales and local histories told by leading griots have helped transport this literature into the twenty-first century. Authors and academics use the printed word to convey their message, such as Camara Laye, the author of Dark Child, a novel about a boy growing up in the colonial era.
- With very rare exceptions, Muslim women do not live in seclusion ( purdah ) or wear the full covering worn by women in other Islamic countries. Most Christians are either from the Forest Region or the Coastal Region, where Catholic missions were more successful. While few people adhere exclusively to animist beliefs, many traditional beliefs are widely practiced and combined with other forms of religious worship. It is not uncommon for a Muslim or a Catholic to wear an amulet or charm.
- It is not proper for young people to look straight into the eyes of a respected elder; they should instead cast their eyes downward. Under certain circumstances, elders must be approached through an intermediary. A son-in-law is always supposed to approach his mother-in-law with great respect and never treat her with familiarity. It is considered unlucky to compliment the beauty of an infant, and people may instead tell a mother that her child is ugly.
- There is a persistent bias in the social hierarchy toward males, and boys are more likely to be educated and as adults are more likely to have a range of economic and employment options. Household heads are almost always men and custom allows them to exercise absolute authority over their wives, sisters, and daughters. These patriarchal structures conceal the power that many women wield on a day-to-day level in family compounds and market stalls, in raising children, earning an income, and allocating household resources.