Guinea: Holidays, customs, climate
|January 1||New Years Day|
|February March||Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|April May||Mouloud (birthday of the prophet)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May||Ascension of Christ|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|August 27||Day of the women’s revolt|
|September 28||Referendum day|
|October 2||day of the Republic|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|November December||Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
|22nd of November||Invasion Day 1970|
Source: Countryaah – Guinea Holidays
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival day Eid al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr last 2-10 days depending on the region.
There are two different seasons in Guinea, the rainy season and the dry season.
The rainy season
The rainy season lasts from April to November. During this time there are often thunderstorms and hurricane-like storms. Daytime temperatures throughout Guinea are between 25-30 °C. At night they drop to 17-22 °C. Every year, around 3,800 to 4,000 mm of precipitation falls in Guinea, almost exclusively in the rainy season. The humidity can rise up to 98%.
The dry season
The dry season lasts from the beginning of October to the end of March. During this time the Harmattan, a dusty, sometimes stormy wind blows from the Sahara. Although the harmattan brings dry and hot air from the desert with it, the average humidity remains around 75%. The average temperatures are between 27-35 °C during the day and between 12-20 °C at night.
For guests in an Islamic country like Guinea, consideration for the local customs is required. Women in particular should pay attention to decent clothing. Beach clothing outside the bathing zone is taboo, and long pants are also recommended for men outside the hotel zones. In addition, tattoos are uncommon in Guinea and should be covered better. However, no foreign woman has to veil herself in Guinea.
Photographing locals without their permission must be avoided at all costs, as the image of people is traditionally a taboo in Islamic countries.
As in other West African countries, greeting is a polite tradition in Guinea. A simple “Ça va?” (Eng. How are you?) is completely sufficient. In longer or shorter conversations, it is polite normality to inquire about the state of the family, health, work or study.
Things like food, greetings or handing over money are only done with the right hand in Guinea, because the left hand is reserved for toilet matters and is considered unclean.
Women traveling in Guinea will hardly have any problems despite the conservative attitude in the country. Even milder forms of sexual harassment are extremely rare. Guinean men often play gentlemen and offer women their seats on public transport, for example. This should be understood as a sign of respect, not harassment. Yet men are higher than women in Guinean society. This can be seen in almost all areas of everyday interaction. Women should therefore not be surprised if men only talk to their male travel partner and hardly pay any attention to them. Women who come from western countries are generally ranked higher than the native ones. This also applies to black women from western countries.
Do not be surprised if Guinese invites you to dinner at home. This is considered a great honor and shouldn’t be turned down. Those who absolutely cannot or do not want to, kindly decline the invitation and refer to the next time (French: prochainement). In general one can say that the people of Guinea are very hospitable, warm, helpful and friendly. You should definitely try out their hospitality.
The 90% Muslims live with the Christian minority in harmony and respect. Tensions between these groups are extremely rare.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that GV stands for the nation of Guinea as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Nature reserve Nimba Mountains
The Nimbaberge lie in the border area of the three countries Liberia, Ivory Coast and Guinea.
The highest point of the mountains is the 1,752 m high Mont Richard-Molard, which lies exactly on the border of the Ivory Coast and Guinea.
The Cavalla River has its source in the Nimbabergen. The vegetation consists of rainforest, high grass areas and savannas.
The pygmy hippopotamus, various species of monkeys, buffalo and duiker (duiker are small, forest-dwelling antelopes) have their habitat here.
All three countries have declared parts of the Nimbaberge to be nature reserves.
The nature reserve has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981; protection was extended in 1982. It is a cross-border world heritage and is partly also located in Ivory Coast. However, it has been on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger since 1992.
Boké, the capital of Lower Guinea in the prefecture of the same name, is the center of the Baga country and the administrative center of the bauxite industry. According to Conakry, Boké can point to the fastest urban population growth in Guinea: In 1983 only 12,000 people lived in Boké, in 2008 it was more than 116,000. Boké is or was also important because of the French fort, which was built in 1878 and was the starting point for the conquest of Fouta Djallon.
Conakry (formerly Konakry)
Approximately 1,871,000 people currently live in Guinea’s capital Conakry, which makes the city, which initially only spread over the island of Tombo and has expanded beyond the borders of this over the years, to make it the largest city in the country. The city, which was called “Paris of Africa” or “Petit Marseille” because of its fine sandy beaches, wide boulevards and splendid promenades, is still the economic center of Guinea 100 years ago. An important part of Conakry is the important Atlantic port, which can record an ever increasing container turnover. In addition, Conakry is the seat of several universities and one of the most important cultural centers of Guinea.
With a population of 115,000, Kankan in eastern Guinea is the third largest city in the country. The city, founded by the Soninke in the 17th century, is now known for its university, one of the oldest mosques in West Africa and the many mango trees.
The town of Kindia, which spreads out at the foot of the Gangan Mountains, has been Guinea’s center of banana cultivation and an important trading center for agricultural products since colonial times.
About 135,000 people currently live in Guinea’s second largest city. The capital of the region and prefecture of the same name extends near the borders with Liberia and the Ivory Coast. Due to the ongoing civil war in Liberia, thousands of refugees came to Nzérékoré between the 1990s and the early 2000s, so that it is estimated that up to 300,000 people are currently living in and around Nzérékoré.
Special buildings and museums
Camayenne in Conakry
The Camayenne mausoleum is located in Guinea’s capital Conakry. It contains the remains of numerous figures important to Guinea’s history, including names like Sékou Touré and Samory Touré.
Great Mosque in Conakry
The Grande Mosquée de Conakry, also known as Mosquée Fayçal, is an Islamic religious building in Guinea’s capital Conakry. Built in the 1970s under Ahmed Sékou Touré, the mosque is the largest in all of West Africa. Around 10,000 believers find space in it.
Cathedral in Conakry
The Christian cathedral of the capital Conkary is an architectural child of the year 1930.
National Museum in Conakry
The Musée National exhibits numerous impressive art objects that help to reflect the culture and history of Guinea. This includes masks and sculptures.
People’s Palace in Conakry
The Palais du Peuple in Conakry is the seat of Guinea’s parliament. In addition, the building is also used for cultural events such as congresses or exhibitions.
Universities and institutes
Pasteur Institute near Kindia
The Pasteur Institute, about seven kilometers from Kindia, operates a snake farm and produces important vaccines.
Université de Kankan
In addition to the University of Conakry, the state University in Kankan is one of the largest higher education institutions in the country.
Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry
The state Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, also known as the University of Conakry, has existed since 1963. It is located in the Guinean capital Conakry and is the largest university in the country. Until 1984 it was known as the Conakry Polytechnic Institute. The first higher education institution in Guinea was established with the support of the USSR in 1963.
Université Kofi Annan de Guinée in Conakry
In 1999 the Université Kofi Annan de Guinée was opened in Conakry. It is named after the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Guniea’s first private university.
Atoll Island near Conakry
The atoll island near Conakry can be visited by approaching it by boat. Boats are near the fish market behind the Novotel hotel.
At Bossou there is not just a last bit of real rainforest. Rather, wild chimpanzees also live there, which can be easily observed there. In any case, it is advisable to resort to the help of a tourist guide.
Forét Classée de Ziama
The Forét Classée de Ziama is a forest in the Guinée Forestiére region. It is especially popular because of the impressive forest elephants that live here.
Fouta Djalon plateau
For all hiking enthusiasts, the north of Guinea is a true paradise, as one of the most wonderful hiking areas in West Africa spreads out there, the mountainous region of Fouta Djalon. The mountainous country rising to a height of 1,537 meters, often referred to as the moated castle of West Africa because the three rivers Senegal, Gambia and Niger arise there, is characterized by hills, table mountains and farmland. Most tours in this nautical adventure start in Dalaba, where you can find a tourist information office. Even if you can independently experience the region, which is very poorly developed for tourism, you should organize an experienced guide, because he knows the area well and provides valuable additional information and easier access to many of the wild animals.
The Kinkon waterfalls are part of the Fouta Djalon plateau. With a height of more than 150 meters, they are the largest waterfalls in Guinea.
Los Islands near Conakry
The Îles de Los spread out near the Guinean capital Conakry and the Atlantic coast. What makes it so attractive for visitors are the wooded areas and the wonderful, palm-fringed sandy beaches, which are said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel Treasure Island. The Los Islands are mainly composed of the three main islands Tamara, Kassa and Roume. On Tamara, the largest island, the highest “mountain” of the islands rises at 152 meters. The three islets can be reached by ferry, which all depart from the capital, Conakry.
Mont Nimba (also Mont Richard-Molard and Mont Nouon)
Mont Nimba, over 1,750 meters high, is Guinea’s highest mountain. A diverse animal world has set up around it, as well as a park that is currently not open to the public, but can be admired from numerous vantage points. A guide for hiking on Mont Nimba is compulsory. You should plan four hours for a tour to the summit. The starting point for this is Gbakoré.
National Park This national park in northeastern Guinea covers an imposing area of around 6,000 square kilometers. It consists of wide savannahs and forests. Since the regions of Guinea, which are still free from any greater human influence, are rare, the Mafou forest in the park is one of the last, still largely untouched dry forests in West Africa. from the Niger and the Mafou River. It is populated by almost 100 species of monkeys.
Soumba waterfalls near Conakry
After all, you have to spend two hours driving to cover the distance between Conakry and the Soumba waterfalls. After enjoying a swim in the fresh water, you can relax in a restaurant with a view of the falls.
The Île Tombo is a small island about four kilometers from the Îles de Los is washed by the Atlantic. Nowadays the island is connected to the Kaloum peninsula. The island’s importance lies in the fact that it is home to the urban center of Conakry, the Guinean capital.