Guinea

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Guinea advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Guinea, Africa.


  • Air quality: 3.9 / 5
  • Bus connections: 3.8 / 5
  • Train connections: 3.8/ 5
  • Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
  • National parks: 3.9 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3.8 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.9 / 5
  • Safety: 3.8 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$1300 - $1400
  • Budget per day: US$1100 - $1200

Responsible Travel

Eco-friendly travel guide to Guinea advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally-owned hotels, organic restaurants, and other businesses. Officially the Republic of Guinea is a coastal country in West Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Guinea shares a border with Guinea-Bissau to the north-west, Senegal to the north, Mali to the north-east, Ivory Coast to the east, Sierra Leone to the south-west, and Liberia to the south. It is named after the Guinea region. Guinea is a traditional name for the region of Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea. It stretches north through the forested tropical regions and ends at the Sahel. The country is known for the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, in the southeast. On the coast, the capital city, Conakry, is home to the modern Grand Mosque and the National Museum, with its regional artifacts. It is a predominantly Islamic country. The country’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and mineral production. It is the world's second-largest producer of bauxite and has rich deposits of diamonds and gold.

  • Play your role as a responsible tourist by preserving the historical and cultural sites that are remarked as the highlights of the country.
  • Always make sure to visit the green parks of the city, by doing so you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the fresh air will allow you to stay healthy as well.
  • You can stay in the green hotels instead of any other regular hotel, these hotels can help you to reduce the amount of waste generation.
  • Try to visit local markets for food and lodging to contribute positively to the economy of the country. You can also taste the street foods offered by the city.
  • Being a responsible tourist, make sure not to cause any destruction to the heritage and cultural monuments. Keep them well maintained and avoid any scribbling on the walls.
  • Make sure to explore the unknown places, as you might come across some amazing hidden gems that are not popularly known but are worth visiting.
  • There are some national parks which you can visit while exploring the country. You can enjoy the beauty of nature in a fresh environment.
  • Make sure not to misuse the resources available in the country. Rather, try to preserve it for the future use of the locals of the country.


Air Quality and Pollution

The air quality in Guinea is considered moderately unsafe. Outdoor air pollution is a mix of chemicals, particulate matter, and biological materials that react with each other to form tiny hazardous particles. The government is continuously trying to understand the concept and taking the necessary steps to control pollution. They have asked the public to emit high-fuel-based devices and public transports. The climate of Guinea is tropical with two alternating seasons. A dry season from November through March and a wet season from April through October. The arrival of the migratory inter-tropical convergence zone in June brings the heaviest rainfall of the wet season.


Respect the Culture

Music is at the heart of Guinean culture and can traditionally be divided into types based on the country’s geographical and ethnolinguistic regions. Although these local styles vary, they are all characterized by heavy use of percussion and string instruments. One of the best-known styles is Manding music, which is the traditional music of Mande-speaking peoples, the Susu. Its most important instrument is the kora, a harp-like instrument made from a dried and hollowed-out gourd. The professional National Guinean Ballet, which emerged after independence, has retained some of the dance and music of the distinct ethnic and regional groups. One of the best-known contemporary Guinean musicians is Mory Kante, who has combined traditional sounds with a Western beat. The official language of Guinea is French. Pulaar was spoken by 33.9% of the population as their first or native language. Followed by the Mandinka language, which was spoken by 29.4% of the population in 2018 as their first language. The third most spoken native language is the Susu language, which was spoken by 21.2% of the population as their first language. Other languages spoken in Guinea include Kissi, Kpelle, and other languages, which were spoken by 16% of the population altogether as their native languages.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Due to its diverse geography, Guinea presents some interesting tourist sites. It holds several sites of attractions and people love to visit the place. It is because there you will get some beautiful spots that have the most attractive views for your holiday trip. Read further to know about some of the interesting spots that are worth visiting, during your tour to the city.

  • National Park of Upper Niger – This national park in Guinea protects important tracts of forest and savannah and is considered a conservation priority for West Africa as a whole. The park covers several ecological zones, the dominant is that of savannah, consisting of woodland and bushland. A smaller area of the park consists of riparian forests along the Niger and Mafou Rivers. Around five percent of the park is agricultural, along the edges of the park.
  • Fouta Djallon – This is a highland region in the center of Guinea, roughly corresponding with Middle Guinea, in West Africa. It consists mainly of rolling grasslands. The highest point, Mount Loura, is part of this highland. The plateau consists of thick sandstone formations that overlie granitic basement rock. Erosion by rain and rivers has carved deep jungle canyons and valleys into the sandstone. It is, thus, sometimes called the water-tower of West Africa. Some authors also refer to Fouta Jallon as the Switzerland of West Africa.
  • Mount Richard-Molard – Also known as Mount Nimba, this is a mountain along the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea in West Africa. The mountain is named after the French geographer Jacques Richard-Molard, who died in an accident at the mountain site. Before that, it was called Mount Nouon. The nearest major settlements are the town Yekepa in Liberia and the towns of Bossou and N’Zoo in Guinea.
  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve – Located in both Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire, this is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reserve covers significant portions of the Nimba Range, which is a geographically unique area with unusually rich flora and fauna, including exceptional numbers of single-site endemic species, such as viviparous toads, and horseshoe bats. Its highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard is the highest peak of both countries.
  • Massif du Ziama – This is a forested mountain range in the Nzerekore Region of south-eastern Guinea. It is part of the Guinean montane forests ecoregion and harbors a distinct flora and fauna from the surrounding lowlands. The Ziama Forest was designated a nature reserve and approved as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is considered by conservationists as a relic of the diminishing Upper Guinean forest formation. The Ziama Massif Biosphere Reserve is home to more than 1,300 species of plants and more than 500 species of animals.
  • Alcatraz Island Guinea – Located in San Francisco Bay, this is a small island that was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison. Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Alcatraz became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark. The island is a breeding ground for one of the largest seabird colonies in West Africa. From the island, one is able to visit Capken Tristao and enjoy the beautiful beaches and mangrove jungle.
  • Conakry – This is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Being the port city, it serves as the economic, financial, and cultural center of Guinea. It is Guinea's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. Conakry is a special city with a single region and prefecture government. There are also Christian churches and temples, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Conakry’s Cathedrale Sainte-Marie, the Eglise Protestante Evangelique de Guinee (Alliance World Fellowship), and the Assemblies of God.
  • Conakry Grand Mosque – This mosque in Conakry, Guinea, is located east of the Conakry Botanical Garden and beside the Donka Hospital. It is the fourth largest mosque in Africa and the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The gardens of the mosque contain the Camayanne Mausoleum, including the tombs of the national hero Samori Ture, Sekou Toure, and Alfa Yaya.
  • Iles de Los – These are an island group lying off Conakry in Guinea, on the west coast of Africa. The islands are best known for their beaches and forested interiors and are popular with tourists. There are three main islands namely, Tamara, Kassa, and Roume. Coral Island, Cabri Island, White Island, Bottle Island, Poulet Island, and Cabris Island are smaller islands and islets located in the southern half. Ferries sail to the Los from Conakry.
  • Takonko Beach – Located on the western coast of the Conakry peninsula, in the Guinee Maritime region of Guinea, this beach is both colorful and thatched umbrellas catch your eye once you reach this small stretch of soft white sand, a popular yet uncrowded beach. This beach is popular for its food and nightlife and enjoying a meal as you admire the coastal view is a must. An active atmosphere turns this place into a great spot to spend a fun beach day with family or friends here.


Explore

Above are the mentioned top ten tourist attractions, which you can opt to pay a visit while traveling to Guinea. In addition, there are some other places in the city like parks and museums that you can consider checking out during your tour in the city. Here is a list of such places that you can explore.


City Parks

  • Conakry Botanical Garden – This botanical garden in Conakry, Guinea is located in the Camayenne part of the city, with the Ambroise Pare Hospital to the south and Conakry Grand Mosque to the north. It is noted for its kapok trees and contains several impressive tropical trees, and typical Guinean flora and fauna. The Botanical Garden is administered by the National Direction of Forests and Fauna, located in the heart of the garden.


National Parks

  • Badiar Transboundary National Park – This national park on the border with Senegal and contiguous with Senegal’s much larger Niokolo-Koba National Park. The park consists of two separate areas includes the Mafou sector and the Kouya sector. The park is an important ecosystem, with a large variety of vertebrate species and vascular plants. The eastern part of the park contains scrub woodland, while the western part is characterized by wooded savannah and open forest. Endangered plant species include Ceiba pentandra, Cassia sieberiana, and Combretum, and micranthum. Endangered animal species found within the park include the African rock python, the Western red colobus, the white stork, the ball python, and the common chimpanzee. Other resident species include the kob, the African elephant, the baboon, the roan antelope, the spotted hyena, and the leopard.


Beaches

  • Bel-Air Beach – Located in Bel-Air, in the Guinee Maritime region of Guinea, this is a 7 km stretch of silver. It is a small beach, with its soft sand lined with palm trees, and its calm turquoise waters offer some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Guinea. The water is calm, with little to no waves making it safe for swimming. You can even enjoy water sports like surfing and paragliding. There are a number of restaurants and cafes located close to the beach where you can get a taste of the local food. You can enjoy your time lying under the sun and chatting with your friends and family.


Landmarks

  • Sante Marie Cathedral – This is an important place of Christian worship in Conakry, Guinea. The yellow and red building is of considerable architectural interest. It was built in the 1930s, and has impressive architecture, with Orthodox design elements. The Palais Presidentiel is behind the cathedral. The cathedral is the primary place of worship for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Conakry, as the Apostolic Prefecture of French Guinea.


Museums

  • Sandervalia National Museum – This is the national museum of Guinea, situated in the capital, Conakry. It contains a limited display of traditional objects from different regions of Guinea, as well as objects and statues from the colonial era. The museum has a collection of antique objects from around the country that represent different cultures and ethnicities, as well as objects from the colonial era. The collection included masks and a sacred forest. There is a model at the end of the permanent exhibition representing the houses of different regions of the country. Besides, there is an artisan gallery where various items were exhibited for sales such as fabrics, traditional costumes, wooden statues, and embossed Tuareg leather.


Eat

Guinean cuisine varies by region with rice as the most common staple. Corn is also a staple with preparations and ingredients varying by region. Cassava is also widely consumed. As part of West African cuisine, the foods of Guinea include jollof rice, maafe, and tapalapa bread. In rural areas, food is eaten from a large serving dish and eaten by hand outside of homes. Guinean cuisine includes the traditional dishes of fou fou, boiled mango, and pumpkin pie. Patates is a traditional African dish originating from Guinea. It is made with a combination of sweet potatoes, oil, and salt. The sweet potatoes are cut into wedges, seasoned with salt, and then fried in hot oil until crisp and deep orange in color. They are often served with an oily sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and fish sauce. There is also a southern Guinean variation on patates called loco, in which plantain chunks are fried in palm oil. In Guinea, fried sweet plantains are more popular than potatoes. Originated from Guinea, Yetisse is a traditional African stew prepared with numerous ingredients like various types of fish and vegetables along with tomatoes, tomato paste, stock cubes, hot peppers, okra, rice, and others. It can also be prepared with beef or chicken. Kansiye is a traditional African stew served in the country. It is made with a combination of beef or lamb, along with some spices, onions, peanut butter, and tomato sauce. Further, this Guinean stew is traditionally served over white rice. Konkoe is another traditional African dish widely served in the country. It is made with a combination of smoked catfish and vegetables along with stock cubes and palm oil. It is traditionally eaten for lunch and is served with cooked white rice on the side. The dish can be made spicy by adding a few hot chili peppers into the pot. Footi is a specialty of Guinea, which consists of eggplants, onions, kidney beans, water, tomato sauce, and a bouillon cube. It is served with rice or meat dishes.


Drink

The traditional Guinean beverages include a ginger drink and hibiscus drink (jus de bissap). The traditional ginger beer is sweetened and carbonated and is usually a non-alcoholic beverage. It is produced by the natural fermentation of prepared ginger spice, yeast, and sugar. Non-alcoholic ginger beer is a type of carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. Stoney is one such type of beer, which is a product of the Coca-Cola Company and is widely sold in southern and eastern Africa. The ginger beer soft drink may be mixed with beer to make one type of shandy, or with dark rum to make a drink, originally from Bermuda, called a Dark 'N' Stormy. It is the main ingredient in the Moscow Mule cocktail. Palm wine is another traditional beverage of Guinea. It is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm trees such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms. Canned European beer is also available in the country as well as a local Skol lager beer. Coffee and cocoa are among Guinea’s biggest economy boosters. Equatorial Guineans mostly drink African tea or a local sugar cane alcohol known as malamba.


Tap-water

The tap water of Guinea is unsafe for drinking. You can consider drinking the tap water after boiling it. Besides, you are recommended to drink bottled water that is easily available across the country at a reasonable price.


Activities

You can consider spending a relaxing time at Benares Beach, which offers an extensive, white sandy beach backdropped by verdant trees adding to the stunning view. Further, its quiet and serene atmosphere makes it a great spot for meditation and sunbathing. There are a few restaurants and beach bars in the area, where you can enjoy the delicious eateries of the country. You can also consider going for a day tour to the chutes de Kambadaga. The waterfalls here crash over three separate falls and are surrounded by jungle where monkeys and a wealth of colorful birds are common. You can also opt for hiking to the waterfalls from the village of Hakkunde Miti. The Ditinn Falls is one of Guinea’s tallest and most beautiful falls in the country. You can consider visiting this place to enjoy a scenic view. Further, you can opt to tour the Jardins Auguste Chevalier, which offers an enjoyable place to unwind in the shade of huge century-old oaks and forests of bamboo. If you love music, then Faga Faga Fougou Espace Culturel will be a great visit for you. It is one of the most exciting live-music venues in Conakry. The ocean-side stage hosts a diverse array of local and West African groups performing anything from rap to world music to Afro-funk.


Accommodation

As there are a number of tourists who visit Guinea every year, the accommodation facility here is highly maintained all across the country. Whether you choose to live in rural or urban areas, you will find many options here, from expensive to cheap ones. Lodging options like green hotels, apartments, hostels, and guest houses are available for your comfort to stay in different regions of the country. You will find a free internet connection and parking in almost every hotel, motel, or apartment. So, you can choose the type of accommodation according to your budget, staying duration, and others.


Green Hotels

If you are planning to stay in the country for a short time, then green hotels are the best option to stay. From water to light sources, the green hotels use as many green natural sources as possible. All the different types of benefits are available, keeping in mind the health of the visitors. It not only maintain the cleanliness of the country but also assures the safety of your health. They use eco-friendly methods and recyclable items to keep the country clean from waste. Don’t forget to play your part while staying in these hotels to keep them clean and pollution-free.


Hostels and Guest Houses

These lodging systems are highly suitable for the ones, who are planning to stay in the city for two or three weeks. They provide many advantages and benefits for tourists to stay comfortable during the tour. In comparison to hotels, the number of rooms in most of the guesthouses and hostels is very low. Options such as sharing rooms are also available to divide the room charges with others. Therefore, many cheap to expensive apartments available in different ranges which provides some premium features to the tourists. Before staying in these places, it is best to book the rooms online to assure your stay. Many hostels and guest houses are very popular and get filled very quickly.


Apartments

These lodging options are considered the best if you’re lodging duration is of more than a month. It helps to save a lot of money and at the same time provides a comfortable rest for the customers. There are many cheap to expensive apartments available in different ranges which provides some premium features to the tourists. The facilities of these lodging are available in the city ranges from expensive to low-budget ones. In most of the apartments, you will be surrounded by local people who will help you to know and observe their lifestyle more closely. From learning the local languages to acquiring knowledge about their lifestyle, you will be able to get ideas about their living.


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is the best way for tourists to save money and explore the culture more closely in the travel location. It is a temporary stay in which a group of tourists provides service by helping other tourists by offering them shelter and food while visiting their home town or country. You will be able to gain a lot of knowledge about the country and other information by choosing it. However, if you are thinking of Couchsurfing, then make sure to look for it from a very early time to get all the things prepared before starting the journey.


Camping

Camping is one of the best ways to admire the open sky and enjoy the mesmerizing views of different mountains, forests, and lakes. Hence, many tourists are likely to enjoy a more adventurous journey besides opting for the chance to feel the freshness of nature. Also, as the country has several islands, you will get some of the best camping spots on those islands. Most of the camping spots have all the basic facilities like toilets, food arrangements, and others. While staying in the camps, you will also be able to take part in many outdoor activities like bonfires, walking on the hills, trekking, hiking, rock climbing, and others based on the location.


Regions

Cities

Getting There and Moving Around

Guinea is well-connected with roadways and has highly-maintained transportation services that are widely available in the city. Airways is the most suitable and fastest way to get in the city as compared to others. Furthermore, if you are traveling from nearby cities, then you can prefer train or car. The options of bush taxis and motor taxis are available to cover the distance inside the city. Visa inquiries must be made at Guinea embassies, and are not available at the borders or airport. Also, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is needed to enter.


Air

Conakry International Airport is the largest airport in the country, with flights to other cities in Africa as well as to Europe. Domestic air services are intermittent. Royal Air Maroc (RAM) flies from numerous European cities to Conakry via Casablanca. RAM supplies the only direct flight from Montreal to Africa (Casablanca, with a stopover in New York) and many connections from Casablanca to Conakry, and elsewhere. Air France from Paris, France, and SN Brussels from Brussels, Belgium. Air Ivoire flies to Conakry regularly from Abidjan en route to Dakar, as does Belvue.


Bus

You will come across various bus services in Guinea that will take you to your desired location. Bus services are quite affordable and are well connected to other parts of the country.


Train

Although cargo trains still run the old line between Conakry and Kankan, there are no passenger trains still operational in Guinea. The old station in downtown Conakry is worth a visit.


Hitchhiking

As Guinea is well connected with roads to other countries and its cities, you will easily be able to hitchhike your way through the country. Although it takes time to reach the country, it provides a good adventurous journey with a view to the destination. It is one of the best ways to travel to any destination without spending much money.


Others

There is some river traffic on the Niger and Milo rivers. Bush Taxis are used for transport from city to city. MotorTaxi or TaxiBike a much faster, and more comfortable way of travel is by motorcycle, which often serve as taxis. Horses and donkeys pull carts are also available, which are primarily to transport construction materials.


Sustainable Shopping

Purchasing items from the small shops will support them a lot, as most of them are dependent on tourism. From clothes to accessories, you will find various types of items while exploring the markets of the city. Instead of casual shopping, people around the world are now opting for sustainable shopping that helps to shop lovely things at low costs. You will be able to see some of the popular markets in the country that offer antique and vintage items.


Recycling

Recycling plays a very important role in the way of living. It is considered as a source of living for thousands of people, especially those who are from villages and mountain regions. Therefore, the government of the country has taken various measures in the last few years to recycle as much they can and make the country free from wastes. Today more than 65 percent of municipal waste is used for recycling and plays a positive role to keep the environment clean. Further, the government is planning to increase the recycling product percentage to bring change to the country. They are working to take the necessary steps to recycle a lot later to help the urban living style better. Somehow, they had made a lot of progress in a short time. As a responsible tourist, make sure that you are playing your part while staying in this country during your trip, to keep the country free from wastes.


Waste

A waste collection system exists in the country, which is accessible for collecting waste from around the lanes and streets of the cities and regions of the country. Additionally, the preliminary waste collection is undertaken by SMEs via motorized tricycles or on foot. This system is fully financed by the users of the system, which helps the SMEs to earn. At the waste consolidation sites, the National Agency for Public Sanitation and Hygiene is responsible for transferring the waste to the landfill. Further, various government programs, as well as projects from funding bodies, have taken place and others are currently underway in order to improve the existing system and reduce the negative impacts.


Work and Study Abroad

There are many universities available in the country which offer benefits like exchange students that help the students to study in the country at a low cost. Therefore, during your tour of the country, you will be able to see a lot of students from different countries who are staying in the country to complete their education. Besides, plenty of jobs are available in the country that helps workers from different countries to earn a lot. Hence, you will come across many migrants as well workers who are working and earning their living pretty well.


Exchange Student

The facility of an exchange student is getting popular around the world, and most of the universities in different parts of the world have partnerships to offer this facility to their students. It is one of the most effective benefits that help the students to study in other universities at a low price. Many students are living in the country to complete their education successfully with the help of the exchange student. The best thing about this facility is that students can study at foreign universities only with the college fee. Therefore, you can check which colleges or universities in Guinea have partnerships with your college using online services.


Au Pair

Au Pair is a helpful facility and job sector for foreign students and workers. In this job, the person has to take care of the house, children, or an elderly person of the host’s family. In exchange for all these, he/she will be granted the benefits of the convenience to be able to get shelter, food, and even some pocket money. It is a helpful facility and job sector for foreign students and workers, which is available in most of the cities of Guinea. Most of the people take the help of this facility in the early stage of their settling down in the country. Further, you need to make sure that you contact the host earlier, as the procedure takes some time.


Volunteering

As an eco-friendly tourist, you can volunteer for different jobs in the country. It is one of the best ways to give your contribution to the country and make it a safer and cleaner place for tourists. Besides, it will also help you to gain a lot of knowledge about the local people, their culture, their traditions, and many such other things. The volunteering idea starts from keeping the famous attractions of the country clean to teaching English or any other languages to the local people. Hence, you will come across many foreigners who are participating in the volunteering work conducted in the country.


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