One of the last countries to be colonized by the French in 1890 and was one of the first countries in West Africa to gain their independence in 1958. The capital, Conakry is a big hustling bustling mass of a city that reminded me of Haiti’s Port-au-Prince. People roamed the streets selling their wares and every square inch was spoken for. The city is an urban sprawl of tin-built shanty villages. But I have to tell you I loved the place when I visited in 2017!
Other people I had met spoke despairingly of it, but I appreciated the energy and life of this wonderful metropolis. Driving through the city’s streets would be impossible for a foreigner as there are no street signs to speak of and the horns from the many motos and cars would intimidate most Western drivers. All roads in Conakry lead to kilometer 36 which is the coolest thing to a cluster-frick that I’ve ever seen it’s a lawless traffic circle with cars headed in all directions.
There are four discreet regions in Guinea: coastal, foot highlands, Savannah and forest. The country shares a border with 6 countries including Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. This is one of the wealthiest countries in all of Africa with plentiful resources bauxite, gold, diamonds, and aluminum.
Despite all of the wealth generated from the these the country still has to import rice to feed its people. Without doubt, all of the wealth is lining someone’s pockets which is a shame given Guinea’s dramatic infrastructure needs.
The country’s land is rich and fertile which further complicates matters given this why aren’t people cultivating the land, growing crops to feed the villages, etc? Why hasn’t the government allocated or sold small parcels to its people. This is certainly a curious place, which best explored overland in a 4×4. The roads are decent in some places but check out this video of what most of the roads are line in Guinea.