8 Best Things to Do in Guinea-Bissau


Guinea-Bis­sau is a stun­ning coun­try in West Africa, attract­ing tourists with beau­ti­ful arch­i­pel­a­gos and wildlife islands. Gor­geous beach­es, man­grove forests, nation­al parks and his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments — this small repub­lic has every­thing that can inter­est idle trav­el­ers.


Who and why goes to Guinea-Bissau

Every year in Feb­ru­ary — ear­ly March, a car­ni­val is held in Guinea-Bis­sau with street dances and pro­ces­sions. This is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to see the eth­nic diver­si­ty of the coun­try, when groups of dancers and musi­cians in nation­al cos­tumes pass through the streets.

For lovers of extreme or seclud­ed recre­ation in the coun­try there is the Biha­gos arch­i­pel­ago, con­sist­ing of sparse­ly inhab­it­ed islands. If you agree with the locals, you can eas­i­ly orga­nize boat trips and camp­ing on a pic­turesque desert­ed beach.

Fans of archi­tec­ture and art will find enter­tain­ment to their lik­ing in the cap­i­tal of the state — the city of Bis­sau. Build­ings of colo­nial times with bizarre dec­o­ra­tions are a reminder of the Por­tuguese, from whom Guinea-Bis­sau gained inde­pen­dence only in the 70s.

Gourmets and con­nois­seurs of nation­al tra­di­tions will try local rice, fish and seafood dish­es in Guinea-Bis­sau. The meat of wild antelopes, deer and oth­er exot­ic ani­mals for us is pop­u­lar in the coun­try. Fruit, Var­ga green tea and palm wine com­plete the meal.

natural attractions

Ilhas de Orango National Park

nac park orange

The unique park of Africa belongs to both land and ocean. The main island of Ilhas is Oran­go along with the city of Etiko­ga locat­ed on it. It is this place that is con­sid­ered the “gate­way” to the reserve.

Tourists are attract­ed not only by local pic­turesque views, but also by sandy beach­es. Most­ly man­grove trees grow on the ter­ri­to­ry of the park, there are rare loci of savan­nah, trop­ics, plains and chan­nels.

Among the ani­mals on the ter­ri­to­ry of the object, some species of hip­pos are com­mon, which live only in salt waters, as well as tur­tles, mon­keys, flamin­gos and oth­er birds.

Lagoas Koufada Natural Park

park lagos

The Lagoas Koufa­da Nat­ur­al Park is one of the most bio­di­verse regions in all of Guinea-Bis­sau. This is the habi­tat for hip­pos and huge water goats, as well as African buf­fa­lo and hye­nas, sin­is­ter croc­o­diles and spot­ted leop­ards. Some­times tourists man­age to see chim­panzees sway­ing peace­ful­ly on vines.

Sit­u­at­ed between the Rio Grande de Buba to the south and Corubal to the north, the reserve takes its name from the count­less lagoons and marsh­land that stretch­es along its out­skirts.

Historical landmarks and architecture

Cacheu Fortress

krepost kasheo

The fortress is locat­ed in the city of the same name in Guinea-Bis­sau, not far from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Before this place was cho­sen by the Por­tuguese colo­nial­ists, set­tle­ments already exist­ed here.

Kasheu, trans­lat­ed from the local dialect, means “where we rest.” In fact, in order to be able to rest, a for­ti­fi­ca­tion was built.

The city devel­oped rapid­ly, attract­ing the atten­tion of slave traders who arrived from Europe and Amer­i­ca, and the locals were forced to defend them­selves against them. Now, near the fortress of Cacheu, there is the resort area of ​​​​Varela, where tourists come from Novem­ber to Feb­ru­ary.

San José da Amura

san hose de amura

The fortress, locat­ed in the cap­i­tal of Guinea, Bis­sau, was also built to pro­tect the city from ene­my invaders. But the citadel pro­vid­ed shel­ter for mis­sion­ar­ies and slave traders. The ini­tia­tive to build the for­ti­fi­ca­tion belonged to Cap­tain José Pineiro.

At the end of the 17th cen­tu­ry, with the sup­port of the Por­tuguese mil­i­tary and builders, he began the con­struc­tion of the fort. But a few years lat­er, ruins formed on this site.

Today the fortress has been restored. The new build­ing is a quadri­lat­er­al with gun­nery holes in the walls for can­nons. Inside — there are sol­diers’ bar­racks and stor­age rooms.

Fortaleza d’Amura


This fort, bear­ing such a roman­tic name, was built in the 18th cen­tu­ry. It was once sur­round­ed by impos­ing stone walls and was the head­quar­ters of the Guinean mil­i­tary. Today, the build­ing is half destroyed and closed to tourists, as it is under state pro­tec­tion. How­ev­er, it can be explored from the out­side.

Presidential palace

presidentski palace

The for­mer pres­i­den­tial palace is one of the finest exam­ples of old archi­tec­ture in the city. Its roof was shelled sev­er­al times, but the local author­i­ties did not begin to restore it. But the facade, made in the neo­clas­si­cal style, has been pre­served.

Today’s build­ing is not only a rel­ic of the colo­nial era, but also a sad reminder of the dev­as­tat­ing civ­il war that recent­ly end­ed.

Cultural attractions

House Museum of Amilcar Cabral

dom museum

The mau­soleum, which stores the remains and house­hold items of a famous rev­o­lu­tion­ary and politi­cian in Bis­sau, is locat­ed on the ter­ri­to­ry of the fortress of San José da Amu­ra. His asso­ciates, who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the ral­lies, also found their last shel­ter with­in these walls.

On the days of mem­o­ry and on hol­i­days, solemn events are held in the mau­soleum, at which there is a guard of hon­or.

Offi­cials lay flow­ers at the pedestal of Amil­car Cabral. A par­tic­u­lar­ly valu­able exhib­it of the house-muse­um of the rev­o­lu­tion­ary is the Volk­swa­gen, which he drove in the last years of his life.

On the ter­ri­to­ry in front of the house-muse­um is the Pidzhi­gu­i­ti Mon­u­ment. This is a reminder of the 1959 Piji­gu­it Mas­sacre, when strik­ing dock work­ers were killed by the colo­nial police.

Bissau Cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady of Candelaria)

cathedral cathedral

Chris­t­ian church, which is the cen­ter of Catholi­cism in Africa. It was built on the site of the for­mer tem­ple, which cor­re­sponds to the medieval style. Por­tuguese archi­tects worked on the project. The cathe­dral is locat­ed near the main street of Bis­sau and is an exam­ple of neo-roman­tic mod­ernism.

The pecu­liar­i­ty of the build­ing is that it also per­forms the func­tions of a light­house. The light source is locat­ed in the north tow­er and is in work­ing con­di­tion all the time. The main task of the light­house is to facil­i­tate the entry of ships into the port of the city.


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