DESTINATIONS

1/22

The Adventure

Summer Destinations

BENIN

 

Benin is located in West Africa bordered to the northwest by Burkina Faso, to the east by Nigeria, and to the west by Togo. Formerly known as Dahomey, (Dan-ho-me, “on the belly of Dan;” Dan was a rival king on whose grave Dahomey’s royal compound was built) until 1975 to 1990 it became Peoples Republic of Benin and currently the Republic of Benin. The Portuguese, French, and Dutch established their trading posts along the coast and traded in slaves and weapons. Benin's shore includes what used to be known as the Slave Coast, the departure point for slaves to be shipped across the Atlantic. Around the time when slave traded ended in 1848, the French had gained dominance over most of the kingdom through the treaties signed with King of Abomey.

 

The official capital is Porto-Novo, (which means New Port in Portuguese) but Cotonou is Benin’s largest city, its chief port, and its de facto administrative capital. Benin gained independence from France on August 1st. 1960. The country has one of most stable democracies since gaining independence. Mathieu Kérékou was President from 1972 to 1991 and again from 1996 to 2006. After seizing power in a military coup, he ruled the country for 19 years, for most of that time under an officially Marxist–Leninist ideology, before he was stripped of his powers by the National Conference in 1990. He was defeated in the 1991 presidential election, but returned to the presidency in the 1996 election and controversially re-elected in 2001.

Benin's economy is agriculture driven with cotton such as cotton, palm oil, cocoa, and coffee, making it the largest cotton producers on the continent. However, Gold contributes to more than 20% of the country's export.

There are over forty ethnic groups in the country, the largest one being the Fon, then the Aja Yoruba, Bariba and Fulani. French is the official language.

Interestingly, Benin's religious practices include Christianity, Islam and Voodoo which is said to have originated from the Aja ethnic group. Voodoo is a traditional belief, a culture, spiritual way of life in Benin. It is often a misunderstood religion and in fact has nothing do with sorcery or black magic as it is portrayed in the western culture. The country celebrates Voodoo Day, which is a public holiday and there is also a national Voodoo museum.

Notable landmarks and tourist sites include:

  • The Royal Palace (also known as King Toffa's Palace and more recently Musée Honmé, is a former royal residence and today museum in Porto-Novo, the capital.

  • Ethnographique Museum of Porto Novo (Porto-Novo).

  • Porte du non retour (Ouidah).

  • Ouidah Museum of History (Ouidah)

  • Musee de la Fondation Zinsou (Ouidah) Royal Palaces of Abomey (Abomey)

  • Palais des Congres (Cotonou)

  • Etoile Rouge (Cotonou)

  • Place des Martyrs (Cotonou)

  • Artisanal Center (Cotonou)

  • Marche Dantokpa (Cotonou)

  • Mono River

  • Parc National de la Pendjari.

Benin’s cuisine is one of the healthiest on the continent and they are quite delicious. Popular dishes includes:

Igname Pilé, Sokoura or Fufu (mashed yams formed into a paste).

Garri (a popular dish made from cassava tubers).

Moyo (a sauce usually served with fried fish, consisting of tomato sauce, onion and peppers).

Ñam Pilé (mashed yams with tambo chili, tomatoes, onion, chicken consome and peanuts with beef meat).

Atassi or Wakye (mixed rice and beans).

Yovo Dokoliterally (means “European Pastry").

Great sounds came from Benin and the country has played an important role in music scene on the continent. One of the biggest stars to come out from Benin is Angélique Kidjo. Noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos, she is also an activist, and a Grammy Award-winner. Time magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva." The BBC has included her in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures.

FIND SUGGESTED HOTELS, DAY TRIPS & ADVENTURE TIPS

Trailblazer Travels offers travel information on a wide range of destinations. Learn about your destination today and contact us for a quote.

Trailblazer Travelz offer 

travel information on a wide range of destinations. Learn about your destination today and contact us for a quote.

Need Help?

Booking a major trip is exciting,

but it can also be a bit overwhelming. 

We understand. That's why we have live Travel Experts here to take care of your every need, making your trip stress-free & amazing.

 

Call Us Today 
1-877-497-0288​

UNESCO Heritage sites in Benin include:

Royal Palaces of Abomey

The city held the seat of twelve kings who ruled the Kingdom of Dahomey between 1625 and 1900. All but one king built their palace within the area. UNESCO had inscribed the palaces on the List of World Heritage Sites in Africa. Following this, the site had to be included under the List of World Heritage in Danger since Abomey was hit by a tornado on 15 March 1984, when the royal enclosure and museums, particularly the King Guezo Portico, the Assins Room, King's tomb and Jewel Room were damaged. However, with assistance from several international agencies the restoration and renovation work was completed.

2. Pendjari National Park

lies in north western Benin, adjoining the Arli National Park in Burkina Faso. Named for the Pendjari River, the national park is known for its wildlife and is home to some of the last populations of big game like elephants, West African lions, hippopotamuses, buffalo and various antelopes in West Africa. The park is also famous for its richness in birds.

BURKINA FASO

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in western Africa,  bounded by Mali to the north and west, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, and Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo to the south. The name Burkina  is a Moore (one of the ethnic groups in the country) word for "Honorary People, " and Faso, is a Dioula word which means "Fatherland" and together means, "land of honest men." The use of different ethnic languages to name places, landmarks, etc. indicates unification among ethnic groups in the country. The capital, Ouagadougou, is in the center of the country and lies about 500 miles (800 km) from the Atlantic Ocean. Ouagadougou, a Francophone spelling of the name; pronunciation: ​[waɡaduɡu], a name from the Ninsi tribe.

Formerly, called "Upper Volta," (named for its location on the upper courses of the Volta River-the Black, Red and White Volta) under the French Empire, the country gained its independence on August 5th 1960. Soon after, Maurice Yameogo became president and he was overthrown in 1966 by Sangoule Lamizana. In 1983 Thomas Sankara, also known as "Africa's Che Guevara," seized power  and attempted to introduce major reforms and acted on Marxist ideology. Sankara also renamed the country Burkina Faso on 4 August 1984, formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta (1958-1984). He was killed in a coup led by his successor Blaise Compaore. Marc Kabore won the November 2015 presidential election.

The country has significant reserves of gold,  mining of copper, iron, manganese, cassiterite (tin ore), and phosphates are present but  has yet to be tapped into. Since the country is affected by the Sahel drought and famine, there are domestic and external concerns over the state of its economy and human rights. However there is a potential for untapped natural resources. About 80% of the population lives on subsistence agriculture with Peanut, Millet, Sorghum, cotton and gold as exports.

 

There are four major ethnic groups, the Mossi, Mande (whose common language is Dioula), Fulani, Bobo and Lobi. The Voltaic Mossi makes up about one-half of the population. The Mossi claim descent from warriors who migrated from northern Ghana. Although French is the official language, three regional languages are spoken, Moore, Mandinka and Bambara.

Major landmarks and tourist sites include: 

  • Ouagadougou the capital

  • Sindou Peaks

  • Domes de Fabedougou

  • Sculptures de Laongo

  • The Grand Mosque of Bobo-Dioulasso

  • Ruins of Loropeni

  • National Museum of Music Burkina Faso

  • Arli National Park

  • Cascades de Karfiguela

  • Parc Bangr Weogo

  • Lake Tengrela (a small lake that is filled with hippopotamuses, which are sacred according to local legend)

  • Ouagadougou Cathedral.

Burkinabe cuisine is similar to many other West African countries and is based on staple foods such as sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, beans, yams and okra. Popular dishes includes:  Dolo or chapalo, (a home-made millet beer). Chips d’Igname (Yam Chips). Cuisses de Poulet a la Puree de Patates Douces (Chicken Thighs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes). Banfora (Fried Pastry with Pineapple). Tô (Saghbo) is a dough-based meal of cooked millet, sorghum or corn, served with a sauce of vegetables (tomatoes, peppers and carrots) and maybe a little mutton or goat.

Burkinabe music is popularized through the use of the kora, the stringed instrument of the djeli, Djembe drums, like balafons, are often manufactured in Bobo Dioulasso. Amadou Balaké was one of the foremost singers from the country during the 20th century. In his music, Balaké combined Mandé, Mossi, and Afro-Cuban traditions.

UNESCO Heritage sites in Burkina Faso include:

1. Pendjari National Park

Lies in north western Benin, adjoining the Arli National Park in Burkina Faso. Named for the Pendjari River, the national park is known for its wildlife and is home to some of the last populations of big game like elephants, West African lions, hippopotamuses, buffalo and various antelopes in West Africa. The park is also famous for its richness in birds.

 

2. Ruins of Loropéni

These ruins are the country's first World Heritage site. The site, which spans 11,130 square metres (119,800 sq ft), includes an array of stone walls that comprised an ancient fortress, the best preserved of ten in the area.

CAPE VERDE

Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, is a former Portuguese colony comprises 10 islands and five islets, all but three of which are mountainous. Located in the West Coast of the Continent about 400 Nautical miles (nautical miles are usually longer than regular miles) from Senegal. The archipelago lies around 500 km off the west coast of Africa. Of the nine islands, only one is uninhabited. Praia, on Santiago Island, is the capital.

 

With limited natural resources, Cabo Verde islands have won a reputation for achieving political and economic stability. Since gaining independence from the Portuguese on July 5th 1975 it has maintained a democratic state. Cape Verde is listed among the most democratic nations in the world, ranking 23rd position in the continent, according to the 2016 Democracy Index. The constitution was adopted in 1980 and revised in 1992, 1995 and 1999, defines the basic principles of its government. The president is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The current President Jorge Carlos Almeida Fonseca was elected president in August 2011 and re-elected in October 2016.

Cape Verde has limited natural especially the limited water supply, which pose a grave liability to the country, and there are no domestic sources of energy except firewood, wind, and sunlight. The entire country relies on imported petroleum fuel. On the local level, most domestic energy needs are met by the use of firewood. Experimental approaches toward energy supply are under investigation, and the potential of Cabo Verde’s renewable energy resources has been recognized. Few natural resources, such as supplies of sand, limestone, puzzolane (a cement or plaster additive), and salt do exists. Historically, the country is prone to drought which lead to heavy emigration. There is about half a million Cape Verdians living in the United States which is approximately the size of its current population and few in Europe, Senegal and other parts of the world.

 

The country's ethnic make up is overwhelming a mix of  Europeans and African descent and is often referred to as Mestiço or Crioulo. One of the most beautiful people in the world with unique and striking features that are unique only to Cabo Verdians. The most dormant ethnic groups are Fulani, the Balante, and the Mandyako people. A small population of European origin includes those of Portuguese descent (especially from the Algarve, a historical province, and the Azores islands), as well as those of Italian, French, and English descent. There is also a substantial number that traces its roots to Sephardic Jews. The Official language is Portuguese, one of the Lusophone country's on the continent.

Despite its limited natural resources, the country has a lot to offer. Each island serves up a different set of attractions and reasons to visit and each island feels vastly different from the last. Major tourist sites include:  Fortaleza Real de San Felipe (Cidade Velha), Rue Banana (Cidade Velha), Pelourinho (Cidade Velha), Porto Novo-Ribeira Grande Road (Porto Novo), Konzentrationslager Colonia Penal de Tarrafal (Tarrafal), Fogo (Portuguese for "fire") is the most prominent island of the Sotavento group of Cape Verde.

Cape Verde offers healthy and exotic food and drink. Fish is a popular element of cuisine in Cape Verde, while meat and fresh vegetables also form a staple part of the national cuisine. Popular dishes include:

Cachupa is the archipelago’s national dish (mixed stew of corn and beans). Tchassina (salted goat meat, eaten with cachupa). Diable Dentro (pastry with “the devil” inside (tuna, onions, tomatoes, and pastry made from potatoes and flour), Stewed beans (with "feijão longo" (long beans). Goat stew (served at all popular feast).

Cape Verde has strong musical heritage with strong rhythms, mournful melodies and melancholic voices. The world knows about the music from Cape Verde mainly through the late Cesária Evora, who popularised the songs from her native island of São Vicente. Suzanna Lubrano is also a popular singer.

UNESCO Heritage sites in Cape Verde include:

Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande

The town, south of the island of Santiago, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics, with remains dating back to the 16th century. Two churches, a royal fortress, and Pillary Square help comprise the tropical town's original street layout.

THE GAMBIA

Considered the smallest country in main-land Africa, The Gambia is well known as the "smiling coast of Africa," simply because of her friendly and hospitality towards people from all parts of the world and her beautiful beaches. The River Gambia is a major tourist attraction and a dominant feature running through the heart of the country. The Gambia coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean. The River Gambia has a beautiful presence home to hippos and subspecies of Nile crocodile, birds and dominantly rich with fish. The Gambia is almost engulfed by Senegal in all three sides. The country is known for the beaches along its small Atlantic coastline and for being home to Jufureh (Juffure), the reputed ancestral village of Kunta Kinte and the main character in Alex Haleys well-known novel Roots. The capital, Banjul formerly, Bathurst until 1973), is situated where the Gambia River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Arab traders populated the region throughout the 9th and 10th centuries followed by trans-Saharan traders during the medieval times. Around 1230BC, Sundiata Keita founded the Mali Empire, and over 400 years it grew into a wealthy ruling, extending throughout much of West Africa. The Soninke people assumed control after the collapse of the Mali Empire during the 16th century. Antonio, Prior of Crato and claimant to the Portuguese throne, sold exclusive trade rights to English merchants in 1588. Fort James Island, established by the British, soon had a rival fort at Albreda, built by the French. During the 17th and 18th centuries, these forts were the scenes of periodic battles between the countries striving for control of regional trade. For the this reason resulted into the peculiar shape and size of the country as a result of territorial compromises made during the 19th century by Great Britain, which controlled the lower Gambia River, and France, which ruled the neighboring colony of Senegal. 

 

Talks in the 20th century to unite The Gambia and Senegal to form Senegambia confederation (1982–89) was short-lived; as The Gambia’s growing concern over its autonomy, led to the dissolution of the confederation in 1989. The terms of the agreement required Senegal and The Gambia to take the following steps toward union: integrate their military and security forces; form an economic and monetary union; coordinate their foreign policies and communications; and establish confederal institutions. Both countries still maintain close ties. The Gambia gained independence on February 18th 1965. Sir Dawda Jawara became The Gambia's first president from independence in 1965 until he was ousted in 1994 by Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh in a bloodless coup. Mr. Jammeh ruled the country with an iron fist after seizing power in a 1994. His 22-year rule came to an end in 2016, when he was defeated in a shock election result by the main opposition candidate, Adama Barrow. Mr. Jammeh conceded to the results of the election and a week later question the validity of the results and refusal to change power; which lead to mass protest and a threat of armed intervention by ECOWAS. Mr. Jammeh chooses exile in Equatorial Guinea. Nevertheless, The Gambia is one of the most peaceful countries in the world and has enjoyed long spells of stability since independence. The country is gaining back momentum to be among the fastest growing economies in the continent.

The Gambia have very limited mineral resources. Peanuts/groundnut is the primary export including cotton, rice, and cattle. In addition, The Gambia River provides abundant supply of fish. There is a huge potential for commercial fishing offshore and in the river that has yet to be tapped into. The river also holds hydroelectric potential, but there are no dams on the river within the country’s borders to take advantage of such opportunity.

 

There are nine ethnic groups in the country. The largest group is the Malinke, comprising about one-third of the population. The Fulani, a dominating group in Guinea Conakry, The Wolof, dominant group in Senegal, also predominate in Banjul. The Soninke, an admixture of Malinke and Fulani, are also concentrated in the upriver areas. English is the official language. Mandinka and Wolof constitute the lingua Franca of the country.

 

Gambian cuisine is really special with African, Arabian, British, French and Portuguese influences. The result is a fusion of ingredients and spices prepared in a unique way to produce a complex range of flavors. Popular dishes include: Domoda/Mafe (Peanut stew - featured on the Drs. Show as a great source of lowering cancer). Jolof Rice (also known as Benachine a shared dish with Senegal). Afrah (grilled lamb or beef seasoned with spices), Supakanja (okra stew), Chere (couscous type millet), Chicken Yassa (fried chicken in onions), Chew i Kong (catfish stew), Chakery (is a pudding made from couscous bathed in a sweet mix preparation), Bissap or Wondo (hibiscus flower drink).

 

The Gambian musical scene within Africa has always been extremely vibrant with an intoxicating mix of the Kora (African Harp) with its twisting, winding melodies to the Balafon a kind of glockenspiel which often accompanies the Kora. Kora music is from the Mandinka tribe popularized by legendary music icons such as; Lalo Kebba Drammeh, Amadou Bansang Jobarteh, Momodou Suso, Jalibah Kuyateh and Sona Jobarteh. Sewruba is a popular traditional Mandinka dance which dates back to years. Sewruba is also a drum and refers to a particular Mandinka dance rhythm. The drums are classified into three; namely, Kutirr-nding (short), Mbeleng (long) and Junkunrang/Kuturoba. Mbalax - also known as Ndagga, meaning ‘rhythm’ in Wolof - derives its name from the accompanying rhythms used in sabar, a tradition that originated from the Serer popularized by Youssou N'dour. Nyamakala is a popular traditional Fula dance. One of their famous instruments is called riti. This Fula fiddle is played like a violin to produce hauntingly melodious sounds.

 

Landmarks and major tourist attraction sites include:

UNESCO Heritage sites in The Gambia includes:

 

1. FORT JAMES or Kunta Kinteh Island. The site is a testimony to the encounters between Africa and Europe from pre-colonial times to independence along the Gambia River.

 

2. Stone Circles of Senegambia, The groups of stone circles are among over 1,000 different monuments along the Gambia River. Used as burial grounds, they were erected between the 3rd century BCE and the 16th century CE.

GHANA

Ghana is located in western Africa, situated on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, bordered to the northwest and north by Burkina Faso, to the east by Togo, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by Côte d’Ivoire. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" and it derives from the ancient Ghana Empire. Africa for beginners who are traveling to the continent for the first time.

 

This land was in fact inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient Akan Kingdoms. The region would eventually become a British Crown colony called Gold Coast, and more than 30 forts and castles were constructed. For centuries the Gold Coast was known as 'The White Man's Grave' due to the amount of Europeans who perished from malaria and other tropical diseases. Modern-day Ghana, which gained its independence on March 6, 1957, consists primarily of the former Gold Coast. The colony’s drive for independence was led by nationalist and Pan-African leader Kwame Nkrumah, who viewed Ghana’s sovereignty as being important not only for the Ghanaian people but for all of Africa, saying “Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.” Indeed, more than 30 other African countries, spurred by Ghana’s example, followed suit and declared their own independence within the next decade.

 

A long series of coups led to the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and a ban on political parties. Many natives fled Ghana in the aftermath of the ban, migrating to other countries, and the economy significantly declined as a result. After a ten-year hiatus, political parties became legal again and many parties were formed. The major parties are the National Democratic Congress, the New Patriotic party and the Convention People's Party. In December 2012, John Dramani Mahama won the presidential election, and defeated Nana Akufo-Addo, despite a ruling of thousands of misreported votes. He was elected again in 2016. Ghana is considered one of the more stable countries in West Africa since its transition to multi-party democracy in 1992. Ghana has maintained its regional cultures and a peaceful cohabitation with various ethnic groups, stabilized her economy and runs a constitutional republic. Although there still exist regional kings who serve as cultural figures rather than governmental legislators.

Ghana has a wealth of both mineral and natural resources. During colonial times, Ghana was best known for its gold and it still is today. The country also exports diamonds, cocoa, timber, electricity, bauxite and manganese. Ghana is also the second largest Cocoa and Gold producer in Africa, hence the name Gold Coast. In 2007, an oil field was discovered offshore and oil exploration continues along with the production of oil. Ghana is the 13th and 47th largest oil producer in Africa and the world respectively. Ghana now produces 59,000 barrels daily from the Jubilee field, which has about 3 billion barrels oil reserves. Ghana is still one of the fastest growing countries on the continent.

 

There are over 75 ethnic groups in Ghana, although the people may be said to belong to one broad group within the African family, however, there is a large variety of subgroups. Many of these are very small, and only 10 of them are numerically significant. The largest of these groups are the Akan (which includes the Anyi, Asante [Ashanti], Baule, Fante, and Guang), Mole-Dagbani (Dagomba), Ewe, Ga-Adangme and Gurma. English as the official language.

 

 

Since Ghana has managed to hold on to its cultures for centuries, making it one of the most culturally rich places in the world as a result, this rich culture is reflected the most on Ghana’s local cuisine. Popular dishes include: Okrah soup, Banku (is made from fermented corn, which is served as orange size balls along with fried fish or meat), Kenkey & fried fish (fermented corn dough, wrapped in corn or plantain leaves and cooked into a consistent solid balls), Yam/Fufu (pounded cassava and plantain or pounded yam and plantain, or pounded cocoyam/taro), Chichinga (kebabs made from beef or sausages), Red Red (Cooked into a fine bean curry with a mix of prawns or fish), Waakye (spicy fried fish, egg, spaghetti or fried chicken).

Traditional chiefs continue to retain power over many small claims and domestic issues in rural areas, and Ghana's cultural heritage still reflects its grounding in the greater history of West African civilization. As a result, music remains as integral to the everyday lives of Ghanaians as it has been for centuries. Intensely rhythmic and suffused with meaning, Ghana's many traditions of song, dance, and drumming remain intimately attached to the survival of its communities. Music marks the cycles of life, animates religious rituals, and communicates social values. Among the Ewe, vocal ensembles, sometimes accompanied by simple percussion instruments, sing gogodzi to reflect the melancholy atmosphere of the occasion. Other occasions have women gather after the day's work to sing gbolo or "marriage songs" that speak about their relationships with men and deride immoral relationships in the community. These songs maintain the cultural and moral standards of the group in their very performance. The Ashanti perform songs in the adowa style, among others, that focus on themes of loss and the chaos caused by death. In addition, a modern genre call Highlife is one of the most popular among youths.

 

Landmarks and major tourist sites include:

  • Cape Coast Castle the door of no return (a history of the brutal life for the millions of Africans sold into slavery)

  • The Elmina Castle (the first fortified European trade post in sub-saharan Africa)

  • Kwame Nkrumah Masoleum

  • Kakoum Canopy Walk

  • Tengzug Shrine

  • Kejetia Market (one of the largest markets in Africa)

  • The Ghana Space, Science and Technology Center.

  • Lake Volta (the largest man-made lake and reservoir contained near the Akosombo Dam that supply electricity for the entire country).

  • The Mole National Park (The Northern region is home to open savana and the largest nature reserve with animals like elephants, hippos, baboons, crocodiles and the national animal the Golden Eagle).

  • Paga Crocodile Pond

  • Nzulezu, Kumasi

  • Busua Beach, Wli & Kintampo Waterfalls Boabeng Monkey Santuary, Umbrella Rock.

UNESCO Heritage sites in Ghana include:

 

1. Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, Asante Traditional Buildings, The site, north-east of Kumasi, hosts the final intact remains of the Ashanti Empire, which peaked in the 18th century. The dwellings, which are made of earth, wood, and straw, are susceptible to the damages caused by the "onslaught of time and weather.

2. Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions. Is the collective designation by UNESCO of European-style fortifications and outposts (mostly Portuguese, Dutch and British) along the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) during the colonial period. (They include;

 
GUINEA (CONAKRY)

 

Guinea, the Aluminum Coast is bordered by Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the northeast, Côte d’Ivoire to the southeast, and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west. The three major rivers, the Gambia, the Niger, and the Sénégal all rise in Guinea. Sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry in order to distinguish it from Guinea-Bissau, Papua New Guinea and Equatorial Guinea. Conakry is the capital of Guinea, and the city experiences one of the heaviest rainfall between May and September.

 

Guinea belonged to a series of empires until France colonized it in the 1890s, and subsequently made it part of French West Africa. Upon gaining independence from France on October 2nd 1958, Sékou Touré, became the country’s first president and voted against membership in the French Community. As a result Mr. Touré, contracted loans, economic and trade agreements with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. However, the economic partnership with the Soviets failed. During Touré's leadership, the Portuguese-backed invasion of Conakry by Guinean dissidents. The failed conspiracy lead to trials, imprisonment and execution of dissidents and power was restored back to Touré. After the death of Touré a series of despotic and military regimes lead to political unrest. The current president Alpha Conde became president in 2010 after a lifelong battle against despotic and military regimes which sent him into exile and prison. It was Guinea's first democratic election since gaining independence in 1958.

The deadly Ebola outbreak did began in Guinea in December 2013 and quickly spread beyond the country’s borders to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia. Although, The World Health Organization has concluded the concern status, terminated as of 2016 as most cases have been contained and trial vaccines are still undergoing.

 

Guinea has a wealth of resources that are remarkably untapped. According to BBC Guinea's mineral wealth makes it potentially one of the richest countries in the continent. The country is bountiful with natural resources and about one-third to one-half of the world’s known reserves of bauxite (the principal ore of aluminum), plus significant reserves of high-grade iron ore at Mount Nimba and the Simandou Mountains, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. In addition, because of the high rainfall and deep gorges of the Fouta Djallon, Guinea possesses a strong hydroelectric potential. A dam and hydroelectric power station on the Konkouré River produce nearly one-third of the country’s electricity. Also, Guinea possesses a significant amount of iron, gold, and diamonds. Guinea has 25% of the world's known bauxite reserves, as well as diamonds and gold. bauxite constituted 75 percent of the country's exports.

 

There are over twenty-four ethnic groups in the country, the largest being the Fulani known to be business savvy and are mostly found in the Futa Djallon region. , the Mandinka, also known as Mandingo or Malinké are descendants from the Mali Empire, and the Susu. The official language  is French. Notable and highly respected figure, Camara Laye was one of the first writers from the continent to achieve an international reputation. His autobiographical novel L’Enfant noir (1953; The Dark Child) recreates nostalgically his childhood days in Guinea in a flowing, poetic prose, by far one of his best work.

​​

Cuisine in Guinea is similar to most countries in West Africa. Local cuisine is made of staples such as cassava, yam and maize. Popular dishes include: Hot maize soup (is one of the local specialties and are served from calabashes), Jollof rice, Maafe (peanut soup), Stuffed chicken with groundnuts, Leaf Sauce, Sweet Potato (Maffi Hakko Bantura),  Tapalapa bread.

Like other West African countries, Guinea has a rich musical tradition. The group Bembeya Jazz became popular in the 1960s after Guinean independence. A musical instrument such as Kora is an instrument of the Mandinka’s and Balafong is an instrument of the Fulani.

 

Landmarks and major tourist attraction sites include:

  • Fouta Djallon

  • Mount Nimba

  • Cape Verga, National Museum (Musee National) Iles de Los

  • Grand Mosquée de Conakry

  • Faisal Mosque

  • Shine Spa for Sheraton Conakry

  • CanalOlympia Kaloum

  • Rachette Metamorphose

  • Mount Nimba

  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

  • Badiar Transboundary National Park

  • Cape Verga

  • Alcatraz Island Guinea

  • Belle Air, Bride Veil

  • Carafir (is the site of a hydroelectric dam).

UNESCO Heritage site in Guinea-Bissau:

1. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve.

Located in both Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. The reserve covers significant portions of the Nimba Range, 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.

Research & Reference: BBC.com (Africa); Ghana Embassy; Gambian Embassy; Senegal Embassy; CIA World Fact book; Library of Congress; United Nations; World Bank; whc.unesco.org; UNESCO  World Heritage; BBC Africa country profile; World Almanac; Encyclopedia Britannica; Embassy Abroad; un.org; IMF; World Bank; Library of Congress; countrystudies.us; CIA World Fact Book; Human Development Index; wikipedia.com

 IMAGE CREDIT: BCC Africa Country Profile; Getty Images; 

BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW

Email:info@trailblazertravelz.com

Fax: (718) 766-9553

Phone: 646-895-6070

Photo Credit: To All Our Partners

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

© 2018 Trailblazer Travelz LLC

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean
  • Pinterest Clean