5 Cool Places To Visit In Conakry: Guinea
Guinea: Conakry not to be confused with the Guinea Bissau is a country unlike any other Francophone country. Guinea has an interesting history and to understand why the country is the way it is, you must understand its origin.
So, let’s have a quick history lesson.
Guinea was the first francophone country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence from France on October the 2nd 1958.
But unlike the other francophone countries to follow, Guinea: Conakry, upon its independence Guinea refused to sign the françafrique relationship deal which France demanded.
This deal basically meant that France would still collect money from them for being part of the French colony in exchange for bringing ‘value to the country’. Sounds like modern-day slavery if you ask me.
As Guinea refused, the French decided to destroy anything they deemed to have been ‘brought’ to the country. They also removed more than 4,000 civil servants in Guinea from doctors, farmers, teachers to technicians with the command of destroying everything meaning many statues, schools, farms were burned and destroyed and poisoned.
France purposefully left the country in ruins and yet no one talks about this. Like, imagine being so angry after stealing and enslaving a country for centuries that you would destroy everything and cut ties with them when they demand their independence?
I won’t lie, when I crossed the border from Sierra Leone and Guinea (click here to read about it) I immediately felt like I was in a different world. The roads were nothing short of terrible, but once in the capital Conakry, it was much better.
I honestly found Guinean people unbelievably helpful, I often had people hail taxis for me and go out of their way to help me.
Now that I’ve waffled a bit, let’s talk about my top 5 must-see places.
1.Conakry Grand Mosque
Located in the capital, Conakry, this mosque is the largest mosque in Sub-Saharan Africa. It opened in 1982 and can facilitate over 25,000 people. The mosque has breath-taking architectural designs and is well worth a visit.
2. Jardin botanique or The Camayenne Botanical Garden
Located in the centre of the busy city, this garden is an amazing contrast to the packed streets. A must see for all nature lovers, packed with beautiful greenery, parks for children and cool street art, this park is a perfect place to spot various plant and bird species, relax and take in the surrounding nature.
3. Woodcarvers market
This market was a little difficult to get too as it’s close to the main market square. But once I found it, I didn’t regret it. Located in Camayenne (an area in Conakry), the market is small but packed with stores selling handcrafted accessories, souvenirs, wood carvings and more.
4. Nimba Nature Reserve
A UNESCO World heritage site. This mountain is the tallest mountain in the country covered by dense forestry.
5. Kambadga Falls
Though I personally didn’t go, I’ve seen pictures and this fall is nothing short of breath-taking and it’s located in the middle of the jungle! How cool. Why not take a tour through the jungle as the view will be more than worth it.
Some honourable mentions are;
The national museum: Though small, this museum does hold a good collection of traditional objects from the precolonial and colonial era. You can also buy crafts from African vendors here also.
MLS Nightclub is for all you party goers out there. You’ll be sure to enjoy this club as locals refer to it as Guinea’s best club. This club has attracted some big named celebrities too which can be seen pictured on the walls of the club.
If I’ve made Guinea: Conakry that little bit more appealing to you then click here to read the country’s breakdown and to know what else the country has to offer