Guinea-Bissau, a tropical Atlantic coast country in Africa is known for its faded Portuguese era architecture, rich culture and national parks teeming with wildlife. The diverse terrain of this tiny nation includes wetlands, mangroves, vast savannah, rainforests, pristine beaches and tropical islands and it also features multiple indigenous cultures.
The laid-back capital, Bissau, does not offer much for visitors except for Bissau Velho, its old town which houses several Portuguese era buildings. The Bissagos Islands contain the main islands of the country – Ilha de Bubaque, Ilha de Orango, Ilha de Rubane and Ilha de Bolama. Out of these, Ilha de Bubaque is the most popular and home to the archipelago’s largest town, Bubaque. However, apart from a small museum, local markets and a few basic shops, there is not much to see on the island.
Ilha de Orango is home to the Parque Nacional das Ilhas de Orango – a protected area comprising several islands, but mainly located in Orango. The wetlands and mangroves of the park are great places for birdwatching and the Anôr Lagoon is where you can spot rare saltwater hippos. The island is also known for its lovely white sand beaches and tribal villages.
Ilha de Rubane is covered with lush forests and rock formations and walking through its untouched nature is a great experience on its own. Located close to the mainland, Ilha de Bolama is known for its Portuguese era relics.
Parque Natural das Lagoas de Cufada is a large wetland reserve flanked by the Buba and Corubal Rivers. Kayaking along the rivers and birdwatching are popular activities. There are over 250 species of birds here and mammals like African buffalos, white hippos and hyenas.
Guinea-Bissau has a diverse topography that accommodates a large collection of wildlife. This makes the small nation an ideal destination for those who wish to explore unspoiled nature.
You can spot rare saltwater hippos in Ilha de Orango.