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Guinea: Guinea Tourism Profile


guinea or guinea conakry

Inbound tourism flows is steadily growing

In 2011, arrivals to Guinea completed increase in number of trips due to the arrival of tourists from Europe and from the nations neighbouring Guinea. Political instability at the end of 2010 and at the beginning of 2011 in Ivory Coast prompted a lot of people to make trips to remain as tourists with their relatives in neighbouring nations such as Guinea. As well, a slight development in the economies of various European nations enabled tourists from Europe, for example France, Germany and Belgium, to visit Guinea in 2011.

Infrastructure is crucial for the development of tourism in Guinea

Transportation completed strong current retail price increase in 2011; however, the development of this category remained limited due to problems
regarding the management of road construction and improvements in infrastructure. A lot of projects to improve the quality of roads in Guinea and to improve road links between Guinea and other nations, for example Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, were in evolution in 2011. However the rate of evolution in Guinea remained slower in 2011 than in other nations participating in the same projects despite the fact that the funds for these projects have been transferred to Guinea and that there are controls regarding the use of the funds. This has had a negative impact on the development of tourism in Guinea, as it has limited the level of access to various potential tourist destinations.
Political climate in the region around Guinea hampers the image of the country
Next the democratic election of a new president of Guinea in November 2010, the political situation in the country was fairly stable. However, conflict in neighbouring nations such as Ivory Coast had a negative impact on the situation in Guinea too. In autumn 2011 representatives of the political opposition in Guinea were provoking the use of force in Conakry, the capital city. This instability damaged the image of Guinea as a safe tourist destination.

Travel accommodation demonstrates good performance

Travel accommodation in Guinea needs reconstruction and the construction of new buildings. The government supports projects in this category, which attract international investors to Guinea. In 2011, there were only two international chained operators present in travel accommodation, in hotels, namely Accor (Novotel hotel) and Starwood (Le Meridien Mariador Palace). However, with the increase of arrivals, the category is expected to benefit from increased request. A lack of appropriate offerings in hotels has prompted a lot of tourists to look for additional affordable travel accommodation solutions, for example renting an apartment. Therefore, international mid-priced brands such as Ibis are expected to emerge in hotels over the estimate period.
Guinea is a remarkable country with very warm, genuine people but little infrastructure. While they have tremendous natural resources available to them (which includes around one half of the world's reserves of bauxite, and a lot of major gold, jewel, and metal industries), they rate very poorly in the UN's quality of life index. Guinea is roughly the size of the United Kingdom
There are no buses. Traffic in Conakry can be very heavy. The local transport vans in Conakry seem to be the majority congested in all of West Africa. Taxis are very inexpensive, even if you want to rent one for a half or whole day. Expect to have to stop for gas almost instantly next you get in the car. The Government and business center of the city is unfortunately located at the tip of a long and narrow peninsula which is only connected to the rest of Conakry, which sprawls onto the mainland, by two roads.
This can be particularly frustrating at rush hour. Line ups at gas stations in Conakry can be completely long and disorganized at certain times. Much of the infrastructure around the airport is being rebuilt, so trips to downtown or to la miniere may take unusual detours.

Bush Taxis ("504", for the common Peugeot 504 model) are used for transport from city to city. Travel next dark is extremely dangerous due to road conditions, unreliable vehicles, and bandits. If traveling by taxi remember that departure times are at no time set for local transport. In the early morning you may be told that a taxi will be leaving "toute suite" (right away) but will not get out of Conakry until well next dark. Intercity travel in Guinea requires a great transaction of patience and a loose schedule. Air travel in the country is not available.

MotorTaxi/TaxiBike a much faster, and additional comfortable way of travel is by motorcycle, which often serve as taxis. Keep in mind though that this is as well one of the majority dangerous ways to travel.

Positive increase in tourism flows inbound

Despite the recent political unrest in Guinea, the number of tourist arrivals into the country was up in 2009. France retained its traditional status as Guinea’s major tourist market and contributed 15% of total visitor arrivals during 2009. Favourable increase can be attributed to Guinea’s abundant wealth of tourism resources, which makes it a highly attractive tourist destination. Guinea’s vast tourism potential is based on its reputation as a country which has shaped African history while conserving its uniquely distinct image. It is often dubbed the ‘Switzerland of Africa’ and offers visitors a lot of opportunities to capture the spirit and flavour of the country, its people, culture, history, colourful costumes, lifestyles and breathtaking scenery. Guinea is part of UNESCO’s designated historic ‘slave route’ and was the initial African country to benefit from the programme of rebuilding several historic sites along the slave route. As well full of sights and sounds for curious and adventurous tourists is the bustling port city of Conakry, the capital of Guinea, which lies on the Atlantic coast.

Fragmented travel accommodation dominated by hotels

In terms of volume and price, hotels make up the major share of travel accommodation in Guinea. The category is highly fragmented with a lot of small domestic players and just a single international hotel brand. The majority of hotels are located in the capital city of Conakry which is the initial stop for most international tourists visiting the country. The leader in travel accommodation is the French company Accor Group, which operates the Novotel Ghi Conakry 3-star hotel. The leading domestic hotels are Hotel Camyenne and the Les Hôtels Mariador. The sluggish category of travel accommodation in Guinea has so far failed to attract any further multinational hotel operators. The lack of private foreign investment in this market has been as a result of political instability in the country inclunding a lack of government involvement in boosting hotel development.

There are 4 distinct areas designated by

  • relief,
  • climate,
  • flora
  • fauna, which are reflected in Guinea's history and traditions.

Low Guinea: Stretching along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, and the mountains of Fouta Djalon, plus lush vegetation with mangrove swamps and coconut palms.

Offshore Islands: Idyllic scenery with miles of pristine, silver sand beaches and rivers with broad estuaries.

Central Guinea: Large mountains and high plateaus, plus a temperate climate has earned the area the title "Switzerland of Africa". The highest peaks are Mount Loura in Mali (1515 m) and Mount Tinka in Dalaba (1425m). They call it the Water Tower of Western Africa because a lot of rivers take their origin (River Gambie, Senegal, Niger, etc.) from it. These rivers and churning rapids, hurtling down the mountains create beautiful waterfalls.

High Guinea: Plateaus with vegetation and wooded Savannah with a dry climate. The River Niger and its a lot of tributaries enrich the soil, making the area is particularly appealing.

Forestry of Guinea

The subequatorial zone is the domain of dense forests with giant trees and lush groves.

Mount Nimba (1752m) doesn't attract visitors for its rich copper ore alone, there is abundant wildlife and rare flora. That's why it is ranked as a Unesco World Heritage Tourism Landmark.

Loos Islands. Located near Conakry is an archipelago, the key islands being Kassa, Room and Fotoba. There is as well Tortoise Island (where giant tortoises are protected), Snake and Kid Islands. With easy access by boat, these islands offer beautiful white sand beaches for relaxation and nautical sports.

The Dog that Smokes (Bondabom): Only 42 km from Conakry, on the crest of Mount Kakoulima, is a phenomenal image on the rock face; an enormous silhouette of a dog's chief. A sculptor's hands could not do better, and it's even additional striking at the same time as there's a thick fog, and a wispy smoke seems approaching from the animal's mouth.

Beach at Bel Air. 225 km from Conakry in the Boffa area, Bel Air beach provides 7 km of white and silver sand. Gentle sea breezes and luxuriant vegetation make it a paradise.

Slave Road . Located along the coast (Conakry, Forecariah, Dubreka, Boffa and Boke) it's a grim reminder of the Slave Trade. A joint project of UNESCO and OMT, access is half by asphalt road, local trails or by the river road.

Bride Veil. A marvel of nature, 146 km from Conakry and 13 km from Kindia on the Mamou road are two waterfalls that create a veil of exceptional beauty and whiteness. The name "Bride Veil" attests to its natural charm. There's a stage for cultural dancing, 10 bungalows, a restaurant and bar.

Dalaba Mountain Resort. A key tourism site since the Colonial period, Dalaba is nestled in the Foutana highlands, part lush vegetation. It's a charming community, with freshly scented air and an average temperature of 10 degrees c. The structure built by Colonial authorities and businessmen is still standing.

The Lady of Mali. On Mount Loura at 1500 m, a woman of remarkable beauty defies the ages. Shaped into the rock by the wind erosion with all her anatomy visible, "the lady of Mali" is nature's masterpiece. Mali town is 588 km from Conakry, and easy to access.

Source of the Niger: Located 562 km from Conakry at Rubiko in Faranah is the source of one of Africa's great rivers. While it's mystery has attracted a lot of historical expeditions, it is easy to reach by a mostly asphalt road.

Seredou Post. This area has its own micro-climate, and a commanding view. Located at 1200 m altitude, 40 km from Macenta by asphalt road.

Nimba Road: A UNESCO World Heritage site, located 1040 km from Conakry and 17 km from Kola, with access from N'Zerekore. At 1752 altitude is a forested area with rare wildlife (buffalo frogs and chimpanzee families) at Bossou.

Carafir: Site of a hydroelectric dam (75 mw), supplying electrical energy to the Low and Medium Guinea. Access is by the National Road #1 and a quality asphalt road. The dam site is famous for its wildlife and flora. The lake view is particularly beautiful, and its waters provide an opportunity for great freshwater fishing.

Badiar National Park. A natural extension of Niokolokoba on the Senegalese border, the (38.200 ha) park is located in Koundara Prefecture, and wildlife is abundant in this area.