Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Currency:Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)
Area:36,125 sq km
Population:1,976,187 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Portuguese-based Creole, Portuguese (official; largely used as a second or third language), Pular (a Fula language), Mandingo
Religion:Muslim 45.1%, Christian 22.1%, animist 14.9%, none 2%, unspecified 15.9% (2008 est.)
Things to Do
1. Explore the Bijagos Archipelago
Embark on a journey to the remote and pristine islands of the Bijagos Archipelago. Discover untouched beaches, witness unique wildlife, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.
2. Visit the Cufada Lagoons Natural Park
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Cufada Lagoons Natural Park. Explore the diverse ecosystem of wetlands, spot a wide variety of bird species, and enjoy peaceful boat rides along the lagoons.
3. Discover the Ruins of Bolama
Step back in time and explore the ruins of Bolama, the former capital of Portuguese Guinea. Marvel at the colonial architecture, wander through the streets lined with decaying buildings, and learn about the island's intriguing history.
4. Go on a Wildlife Safari in Cantanhez Forest
Embark on an exciting wildlife safari in Cantanhez Forest. Encounter rare and endangered species such as chimpanzees, elephants, and pygmy hippos in their natural habitat.
5. Explore the Cashew Nut Plantations
Delve into the fascinating world of cashew nuts by visiting the cashew nut plantations in Guinea-Bissau. Learn about the cultivation and processing of cashews, and enjoy tasting the delicious nuts.
6. Relax on the Beaches of Bissau
Indulge in a relaxing beach getaway on the shores of Bissau. Soak up the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and savor fresh seafood at beachside restaurants.
7. Visit the Fortaleza de Cacheu
Explore the historic Fortaleza de Cacheu, a 17th-century fort that played a significant role in the colonial history of Guinea-Bissau. Admire its well-preserved architecture and learn about its military past.
8. Take a Boat Trip along the Geba River
Embark on a scenic boat trip along the Geba River, the longest river in Guinea-Bissau. Enjoy the picturesque views of the surrounding mangroves, spot local wildlife, and visit fishing villages along the way.
9. Explore the Old Town of Bubaque
Discover the charm of the old town of Bubaque, located on the island of the same name in the Bijagos Archipelago. Wander through narrow alleyways, observe traditional fishing practices, and interact with friendly locals.
10. Attend the Bissau Carnival
Experience the vibrant Bissau Carnival, a colorful celebration featuring lively parades, traditional music and dance performances, and elaborate costumes. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and join in the festivities.
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Guinea-Bissau has a tropical climate, with hot and humid temperatures throughout the year. There are two main seasons in the country: the dry season, which runs from November to May, and the rainy season, which runs from June to October. The rainy season is characterized by heavy rainfall, particularly in the coastal areas.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Guinea-Bissau is during the dry season, from November to May, when temperatures are warm and dry. This is the peak tourist season, and is a great time to explore the country's beaches, forests, and wildlife. The rainy season can make travel more challenging, with heavy rainfall and flooding in some areas, so it is best to avoid visiting during this time.
Guinea-Bissau offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels. Here are some of the most popular options:
Hotels and Resorts
Visitors to Guinea-Bissau can choose from a range of hotels and resorts, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury properties. Many of these are located in the capital city of Bissau, as well as in other popular tourist destinations, such as the Bijagos Archipelago.
Guesthouses and Hostels
For budget-conscious travelers, there are a number of guesthouses and hostels available in the country, offering basic accommodation at an affordable price. These options are often located in the cities and towns, and provide a convenient base for exploring the area.
For those looking for a more adventurous experience, there are a number of campsites available in Guinea-Bissau, offering the opportunity to sleep under the stars in some of the country's most stunning natural areas. These options are often located in national parks and other protected areas, and provide a unique way to explore the country's wilderness.
For a truly authentic experience, visitors can opt to stay in traditional accommodation in Guinea-Bissau, such as a local homestay or a traditional Bijagos hut. These options offer a unique glimpse into the country's local culture and way of life, and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local community.
Guinea-Bissau offers a variety of transportation options for visitors, ranging from taxis and buses to boats and planes. Here are some of the most popular options:
Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Guinea-Bissau, and are a convenient option for getting around the cities and towns. They are usually metered, but it is a good idea to agree on the fare before setting off.
Buses are a popular mode of transportation in the country, and are a cost-effective way to get around. They operate between the cities and towns, and also provide connections to neighboring countries such as Senegal and Guinea-Conakry.
Boats are a key mode of transportation in Guinea-Bissau, particularly in the coastal areas and the Bijagos Archipelago. Visitors can take local boats to explore the islands, or opt for a guided tour to discover the area's unique ecosystems and wildlife.
For longer distances, visitors can take a flight to their destination. Guinea-Bissau has a small but functional airport in Bissau, which has connections to other cities in West Africa, including Dakar, Banjul, and Conakry.
- The currency in Guinea-Bissau is the West African CFA franc (XOF).
Cash And Cards
- It is advisable to carry cash in small denominations as larger notes may be difficult to change.
- Credit cards are not widely accepted, so it is recommended to have cash on hand.
- ATMs can be found in major cities like Bissau.
- However, they may not always be reliable or accept international cards.
- It is recommended to withdraw enough cash before traveling to remote areas.
- Tipping is not very common in Guinea-Bissau.
- However, it is appreciated to leave a small tip for exceptional service at restaurants or hotels.
Cost Of Living
- Guinea-Bissau has a relatively low cost of living compared to Western countries.
- However, prices for imported goods can be expensive.
- It is advisable to budget accordingly and be prepared for fluctuating prices.
- Be cautious of individuals offering to exchange currency on the street, as they may give counterfeit money.
- Always use reputable exchange services or banks.
- Be vigilant of pickpockets and keep your belongings secure.