Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country in West Africa. It is a prime destination for beach lovers. This former Spanish colony consists of both the mainland and the islands. It shares a  border with both Cameroon and Gabon. The country is notorious for corrupt practices in government, bribery, and botched coups, which attracts both crime writers and mercenaries alike.

There are three official languages in the country: Spanish, Portuguese and French. However, most African ethnic groups speak the Bantu languages. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism.

The official currency is CFA Franc. The approximate exchange rate is XOF656 for US$1. The currency exchange is available at banks, of which there are few. You should always keep the exchange receipt. The country has a strictly cash-only economy. Credit cards are not acceptable. ATMs are not available as well. 

Bush taxis connect Malabo with the island’s two other main towns, Luba and Riaba, and also run from Bata to Mongomo and Ebebiyin. You can hire a taxi daily or hourly. You can also rent a car in Malabo or Bata, but it will be expensive. Roads are in good condition, traffic is light. However, police and military roadblocks are common, and you will have to show your passport, driving license, and explain your reason for traveling. 

The electric plugs and sockets are of types C and F here, as in Europe. The standard voltage is 220V.  

Malabo is an impoverished city, where flames of oil rigs will make you think you have reached hell on earth. Beyond these harsh realities, Equatorial Guinea still has much inherent beauty to offer its visitors. Travelers can delight in volcanic views, visit fishing villages, make a trip to rainforests full of endangered primates, or explore the shores that are home to sea turtles. All of these opportunities await you on the islands. The mainland offers pristine white sands and beautiful coastline.

However, tourism is not a very developed industry here. The main reason of this fact is many years of international isolation of Equatorial Guinea. The tourist facilities in the country are limited, although there are several hotels in Malabo and Bata. Tourist attractions include the Spanish colonial architecture of Malabo, the tropical rainforests, and beaches. There is no visa required for the United States citizens to enter the country. However, you will need a vaccination certificate against yellow fever.

The culture of Equatorial Guinea is rich with ancient traditions, rituals, and songs. It is particularly true for the Fang, the ethnic group, which occupies territories at the southern edge of Cameroon and continues to the south across the border, including all of Rio Muni and south into Gabon and Congo. On the other hand, on the capital island of Bioko, the Spanish customs and traditions influenced the country’s culture greatly during the colonial period. And the Bubi farmers also still preserve many ancient customs and traditions of Equatorial Guinea.

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August 1, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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