Guinea-Bissau is a small, swampy country in West Africa, with a low-lying interior. The coastal plain, with a deeply indented estuarine coastline, rises to savanna in the interior, to the East. Guinea-Bissau has numerous off-shore islands including the Arquipelago Dos Bijagos, consisting of 18 main islands and many small islets. The highest point is an unnamed elevation in the eastern part of the country, at 300 meters.
The climate in Guinea-Bissau is tropical, generally hot and humid, with monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November), and dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds. Natural hazards include brush fires, and reduced visibility in the dry season due to the hot, dry, and dusty harmattan haze. Environmental issues include deforestation (due to the rampant felling of trees for timber and agriculture), soil erosion, overgrazing, and overfishing.
There are 36 protected areas listed for Guinea-Bissau, including 2 natural parks, 6 national parks, 1 marine national park, 6 natural monuments, 4 hunting reserves, 1 protected area, 1 marine community protected area, 2 “not reported”, 2 faunal reserves, 5 forest reserves, 1 biosphere reserve, and 1 wetland of international importance. Prominent civil society organizations include the “institute of biodiversity and protected areas” (Instituto da Biodiversidade e das Areas Protegidas), Tiniguena (Creole for “this land is ours”), and “action for development” (Acção para o Desenvolvimento), all standing members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Boloma-Bijagós, 1996
- Boe National Park
- Cacheu River Mangroves Natural Park
- Cantanhez Forests National Park
- Dulombi National Park
- João Vieira and Poilão Marine National Park
- Lagoas Cufada Natural Park
- Orango Islands National Park
About one-fifth of the population of Guinea-Bissau lives in the capital city, called Bissau, on the Atlantic coast. Since Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal in 1974, it has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. For example, the president (João Bernardo Vieira) was hacked to death with machetes in 2009.
The ministry of tourism of Guinea-Bissau (Ministério do Turismo da Guiné-Bissau) maintains an active social media presence, on Facebook. Kassmay Tours is a prominent tour operator and travel agent based in the capital city, Bissau.
Tentative World Heritage:
- Tourism as a tool of community development: an ecotourism project in Cantanhez, Guinea-Bissau – F Oliveira, F Silva – 2013