Transafrica 2018 STOP 16

May 23, 2018

Freetown – Conakry

Flight distance: 77 nm
Hours in the air: 0.24

Land of rivers

With only 24 minutes duration, our hop today was probably the shortest of all. One might think it’s not worth it, think Africa again, it would have taken over 6 hours by car! And that did not take into account getting across the border through immigration, it took us over half an hour even though the airport was empty.

The street life to the hotel is not promising, it looks even more basic and it apparently gets worse tomorrow.

We are back in former French territory and now also Muslim majority population, yet Ramadan is not really noticed. There are some special things about this country. For example motorists drive on the other side of the road into the city in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.

You have to be a millionaire to afford lunch for four, the tip sets you back at least 100’000, Guinea Francs, that is. Other than that it’s a laid back place extending over a huge area looking the same everywhere.

The main mosque seems to be the great attraction in the afternoon with pic-nic and grill parties outside. The building itself has seen better days and one particular man was not too amused over the fact that I was taking pictures, luckily I got some help form other locals who were in the majority.

After all the evening was very splendid with finally agreeable temperatures throughout the day.

Facts & figures

A developing country in the tropical southwestern part of West Africa at the Atlantic Ocean. Bordered in north by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali, and by Côte d’Ivoire to the east and southeast, by Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south.

Until independence in 1958 the country was known as French Guinea, a French colony and part of French West Africa. The French language is a legacy of that time.

Guinea’s climate is hot and humid and its landscape offers four main geographic regions: the Basse Coté, the coastal lowlands of Maritime Guinea, the hilly Fouta Djallon, a highland region of Central-Guinea, the headwaters of the Niger, the Gambia River, the Pongo and the Senegal River.

Highest elevation in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire is Mount Nimba (or Mount Richard-Molard) at 1,752 m, a mountain range in the Guinea Highlands. To the northeast of the country is the dry Sahelian Haute-Guinea, and in the southeast the Guinée forestière (Forested Guinea) with its tropical rain forests.

Guinea covers an area of 245,857 km², this is about the size of the United Kingdom.  The country has a population of 10.6 million people (in 2015). Located at the coast is Conakry, the capital, largest city and chief port (pop. 2 million), spoken languages are French (official), and eight national languages.

More than twenty different ethnic groups live in the country. Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, about 90% of Guinea’s population are (Sunni) Muslims. The land that is now Guinea belonged to a series of African empires until France colonized it in the 1890s, and made it part of French West Africa. Guinea declared its independence from France on 2 October 1958. From independence until the presidential election of 2010, Guinea was governed by a number of autocratic rulers.

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