Like a microcosm of Africa, this tiny nation contains multitudes – of landscapes, peoples, cultures and plant and animal life. All of it within reach of the capital, Bissau.
Bissau is the capital of the nation of Guinea-Bissau. It is located on the Geba River estuary on the Atlantic Ocean, on a peninsula that used to be an island.
Bissau is also the largest port in the country, and its major commercial center. Bissau was founded by Portuguese traders in 1687 on land originally belonging to the Papei people. The island quickly became one of Portugal’s most important slave trading centers.
After the end of the legal slave trade in the 1830s, the economy of Bissau plummeted and the city was nearly abandoned. In 1941 Bissau replaced Bolama as the capital of Portuguese Guinea and the population once again began to climb. After the country achieved independence in 1974 and became Guinea-Bissau it retained Bissau as its capital.
Sights N Sounds
Bissau resembles Portuguese towns in its architecture and the official language of the city and the country is still Portuguese although few Europeans live there today. The de facto main spoken language is a Cape Verde-Guinea dialect.
Most of the residents of Bissau are members of the Fulani, Mandingo, and Balante ethnic groups although there is a large Creole population who are the descendants of centuries of Portuguese intermarriage with indigenous people.
Approximately 50% of the population is Muslim, 10% is Christian, and the rest practice various indigenous beliefs.
If you are motivated by walking, you can go to Bolama from Bas, across the Island. There’s only one track, you won’t be able to lose. An exceptional hike through cashew fields, cut villages from the world and the bush. Huge jungle cathedrals are on the way. After a small day of walking (25 km), you will be entitled to a reward: a series of small coves of white sand encircling the Blue Sea. Provide good footwear, water and food in quantity.
Where to sleep in Bissau
Featuring free WiFi and an outdoor swimming pool, Hotel Azaalai – 24 des Septembro is located in Bissau, 1.6 km from Palace building. The property is set 1.6 km from President Memorial. The property features a terrace and a 24-hour front desk.
At the hotel every room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The rooms include air conditioning, and some rooms at Hotel Azaalai – 24 des Septembro have a terrace.
A buffet breakfast is served daily at the property. Guests can dine in the on-site restaurant.
How to get to Bissau
Osvaldo Vieira International Airport, also known as Bissau-Bissalanca Airport, is an international airport that serves the city of Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, as well as the Metropolitan Region of Bissau.