Guinea is an African country that is located on the western coast of the continent. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the South while in the North it is bordered by Senegal. The country which was a former French colony under the French West Africa unit before gaining her independence in the year 1958 under president Sekou Toure.
Sekou Toure ruled the country from 1958 to 1984 until he was overthrown by a military coup that was led by Lasana Conte and the country was ruled by the military until his death and this was when the new system was brought up where the people got to vote for their president.
The country is also a home to the different refugees who come into the country due to the unrest in their countries especially Sierra Leone and Liberia. The country is also divided into four regions that is the Lower Guinea, the Fouta Djallon, the Guinea highlands and the upper Guinea. All these regions have their uniqueness with different tourist attractions that are worth visiting.
Unlike other African countries that are big on game drives, Guinea is a little bit different and although it has some National parks that you can explore, you will not find the big five since many of the animals have become extinct due to the poaching that was done during and after the French colonial times.
Things to do in Guinea
Guinea is a place where you can carry out a lot of activities in the different tourist destinations that are found in the country and some of the things that you can carry out while here include:
Go shopping in Guinea
Guinea has quite a number of markets and shops that sell almost everything that you need that is food, clothes, jewelry, customized guinea souvenirs and so much more. Grab a bag and get out to Conakry to do some shopping for souvenirs that you will take home for your family and friends.
Go hiking in Guinea
Guinea has a lot of hiking destinations that are found in the different parts of the country. While in the country, you can go hiking in the game reserves or up on the different Mountain ranges that are located within the country. The hike routes are clearly marked and you do not have to worry about getting lost but you will need a tour guide.
Have fun at the beaches
Guinea’s location next to the Atlantic Ocean has made it a top spot for all those that would love to go to the beaches as it has some great beaches that you go to relax and have fun. You can enjoy a picnic while at any of the beaches found in the country and also engage in water sports like fishing, snorkeling or diving.
Go for village tours
These are normally arranged at your request and they help you understand the locals more and also get to experience their unique and strong culture. There are homes where you can stay to get all this experience but if you are not so good at French, it is advisable that you go with someone who will be able to interpret for you in order to ease on the communication.
Explore the Kakimbon caves
The Kakimbon caves are can be found right in the capital city of Guinea that is Conakry and it is associated with a lot of legends that have been told to the people of guinea especially the young ones to keep in line when it comes to cultural and religious values. A guided tour can be arranged and while you enjoy the tour around the caves, you will also be told about these legendary stories.
Tourist attractions in Guinea
Some of the top tourist attractions in Guinea include:
The Grand Mosque
The Grand mosque is located in the capital city of Guinea and it is the fourth largest mosque on the African continent. The mosque has two levels that is the lower level which is used by men that can amount to 10,000 men and the upper level which houses over 2500 women and when you get to the outside part of the mosque, there is still space for more people that can amount to about 12500. A guided tour to the mosque can be arranged but you will need to first dress appropriately and follow the mosque rules before you are allowed to enter.
The National museum
The National museum of Guinea is located in the capital city of the country Conakry and is filled with ancient artefacts that showcase the ancient part of the country. The museum is filled with old musical instruments that were locally made, statues and ancient masks that were used way before the colonialists came into the country. A visit to the National museum will be like a walk back to the ancient times.
Carafir is a dam site that is extremely famous for having unique flora and fauna surrounding it. It has quite a good view and one of the places that you should go to for a fishing excursion while in Guinea and not forgetting that it also supplies electricity to the lower and medium Guinea regions.
The Mountain Nimba
The Mountain Nimba is located just a few kilometers away from Conakry and rises to about 5700 feet making it the highest Mountain in Guinea. Take a hike up the Mountain and you will get the best view of the dense vegetation when you get to the top of the Mountain but you will need a tour guide to take you around the hike routes on the Mountain.
With Conakry being the capital city of Guinea, it should be the first place that you check out when you get to the country. It is located on the Tumbo Island and has a lot of tourist attractions you can check out especially the cathedral that was constructed in the year 1930 and you can also go shopping in the different shops in the city.
The Fouta Djalon
The Fouta Djalon is one mountain that is located just a few kilometers away from Conakry and one of the top destinations for tourists in the country.one of the most participated activities around the Mountain is hiking and this can be done all throughout the year although but the best time is during the dry season when the hike routes are not slippery.
The Mountain Resort
The Mountain resort is found in the Fouta Djalon Dalaba region and is the one place to go to for all those that want to relax. Surrounded by locals who are good at the tie and dye business with their famously blue colored patterned damask clothes, the resort has some of the best hiking routes and a luxurious gardens from where you can get to relax after a long day hiking.
Mountain Nimba strict Nature reserve
The Mount Nimba strict Nature reserve was declared a UNESCO heritage site and it is found at the border of Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. The reserve is known for having some of the best sights in the country and has a number of animals especially the chimpanzees that use stones as tools and plant species that you should check out while in Guinea.
The Ile de Loos
The lle de Loos is French for the three islands that are located in the southern part of the country known as the Loos islands in English. The three Loos islands are the Cabris Island, the Kassa bracket Roume Island and he Tamara Island. These are located just 7 kilometers away from the capital city Conakry and it is one place where you can go and have a quiet time at the pristine beaches that are found on the different islands and you can also participate in the different water sports.
The Faisal Mosque
The Faisal mosque which is located in Conakry was constructed by the first president of Guinea and it is the largest mosque in the country. Something you should look out for while here is besides the tomb where most of the heroes are buried and also check out the architecture of the mosque.
Best time to visit Guinea
The best time to visit Guinea normally depends on the climate that is experienced in the country. Guinea experiences two seasons that is the dry and rainy season and these are high determinants as to when one should visit the country.
The dry season in the country starts in November and ends in March and this is considered the best time for one to visit the country. The rainy season starts in April through October and although it is also a good time for tourists to visit the country, some places are cut off due to the constant rains that keep on coming in heavy especially in November.
Accommodation facilities in Guinea
Most of the accommodation facilities in Guinea are found within the capital city and as you move away from the city you will find that there are few accommodation facilities along the way. Some of the most commonly used facilities for tourists have been listed below so that you can get to make your choice and bookings earlier.
Accommodation facilities in Guinea fall into two main categories that are mainly used in Guinea are hotels and the Bed and breakfast accommodation facilities. The bed and breakfast accommodation facilities are mainly located in the towns that are far away from the capital city and you will find not only one but several in each town.
The Millennium suites
The millennium suites are located next to the Taouya market in Conakry and one of the top tourist hotels in the country. The hotel works 24/7, has a parking lot, restaurant where you can get your daily meals both local and international, has a fitness Centre and offers pick-ups from the airport if you inform them in time. The rooms are all self-contained, have WI-FI and offer privacy to their guests and not forgetting the different sports you can engage in like tennis.
The Noom hotel
This is also located in Conakry and it is just 22 minutes away from the airport. They have free WI-FI, a fitness room, self-contained rooms, a restaurant, 24/7 service provision, a swimming pool and they also offer dry cleaning services to their guests.
What is the official language in Guinea?
The official language in Guinea is French although there are some other languages that are spoken and some of these include Susu, Malinke and Fulu among others.
When can I visit Guinea?
Guinea is an all year round destination although the best time to visit is from April to October during the dry season.
Do I need a tour guide while in Guinea?
Yes you will need a tour guide while in Guinea if you do not want to get lost and for easy communication with the locals who majorly speak French and not English.
Is Guinea safe for me and my family?
Guinea like any other country in West Africa has been facing minimal crimes like scams, pick pockets and sometimes taking the late night taxis are not safe. So if you are planning on travelling to Guinea, make sure you first look at the travel insurance in order to be on the safe side.
How do I get around while in Guinea?
The most used transportation within the country is road transport. You can self-drive yourself or get a taxi to drive you around the country but remember the roads are in poor condition and you need to be extra careful since animals also use the same roads. For those that are self-driving, in Guiney u drive on the right side of the road.
What is the religion in Guinea?
The largest population in Guinea are Muslims but there are also Christians and other religious sects in the country as well.