The country boasts a varied and spectacular terrain. Beautiful beaches and coastal plains turn to rolling hills in the interior. Its five islands are home to mountain peaks, volcanoes, and a variety of wildlife.
“Equatorial Guinea is a small land of uncompromised beauty. Interestingly enough, Equatorial Guinea is not on the equator but boasts some fantastic rainforest and animals. You’ll not have to get far off the road traveled to see gorillas, elephants, crocs and chimps—your photo gallery will brim with compelling photos of your adventures. If you’re in need of an active vacation away from the tourist gaggles overtaking other African countries—especially those with wildlife—then Equatorial Guinea offers true adventure.”
History & Culture - Equatorial Guinea consists of a mainland segment, known as Rio Muni, plus the islands of Bioko and Annobón and the islets of Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico. The area was colonized by the Portuguese in the late 1400s then traded to Spain in 1788. Equatorial Guinea was granted self-government in 1959 and full independence in 1968. It is one of the few territories in mainland Africa where Spanish is an official language,
The nation's capital, Malabo, is situated on the island of Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) which is formed from three extinct volcanoes. It is at the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea just south of the equator. With the discovery of oil and gas in the Gulf of Guinea Malabo has become an oil town. There are oil platforms in the harbor and coastal refineries. Downtown there is attractive Spanish colonial architecture and a busy market. Arena Blanca is a white sand beach on Bioko where thousands of butterflies can be seen in the dry season. At Moca in the southern highlands you can learn the traditions of the indigenous Bubi people.
The main town on the mainland is Bata and it is larger than Malabo. It is being developed at a rapid rate although there are still plenty of traditional small markets. This city used to be a thriving seaport, and today still ships cargoes of timber products and coffee. Nearby there are beautiful white sand beaches. The Museum of Biyabiyan is 20 km (12.5 mile) west of the town of Ebebiyin and showcases traditional Fang sculptures and other works of art. The remote islet of Corisco has deserted white-sand beaches and small traditional communities.
Equatorial Guinea is also famous for the National Swimming Champion Eric Moussambani, known as "Eric the Eel".
Nature & Wildlife - Monte Alen National Park is a protected area covering 1400 sq km (540 sq mile). It has lush tropical forests that are home to gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, forest elephants, crocodiles and many other species of animals, birds and butterflies. There are excellent guided day treks by trained villagers where you’ll see monkeys, a host of birdlife and butterflies, and, if you’re lucky, some larger mammals. The trails are generally well maintained and accessible, but hiking in the park can be hot, slippery and strenuous - stock up on water, dry clothes and other supplies. To see gorillas you generally need to go on a longer trek to stay at Esamalan Camp within Monte Alen. From there you take a six to eight hour walk to Lac Atoc, where elephants, sitatungas, buffalo, mandrils and other primates reside.
On the south of Bioko Island turtles come ashore on the beaches at Ureca to lay their eggs during the dry season. Villagers have been employed as guards to patrol the beaches during nesting season since 1996, as turtles and turtle eggs were previously popular food. The Cascades of Moca, Lake Biao and Lake Loreta are home to several species of monkey.
Walking, Trekking & Hiking - Take a walk, trek or hike in the popular Monte Alen National Park. You’ll have to trek slowly and carefully, as the terrain is rugged and steep. Some of the animals include a vast array of birds, some gorillas, mandrills, frogs (some around 4 kg), chimps, forest elephants, crocodiles and colorful butterflies. Most of the time, your tour operator will hire locals as porters, cooks and guides. You can even do some overnight hiking, as there are wilderness campsites available on a first-come basis.
On Bioko Island you can climb the slopes of the Pico Malabo volcano, which has several secluded hiking trails and mountain climbing opportunities, or enjoy the view from the 3,000m (9,843ft) Pico Basile where you can see Mount Cameroon on a clear day.
Mountain Biking - There is a nice loop for biking on Bioko Island with great scenery, greenery and ocean coasts. A tour from the southernmost town of Ureca to Malabo and back will afford some hilly climbs and decent descents. If you want mountains, then you’re best bet is Pico Quioveo, Pico Lago, or Pico Do Fogo, each 598 meters, 525 meters and 435 meters respectively. On the mainland, the main roads branch out from Bata, east and south. There are plenty of small towns and a few places to get food and water along the route. It’s wise to go with a guide that knows the best routes and a tour operator that can get you around safely. There are quite a few small “road police” en route, so keep your passport handy in the handlebar bag.
Fishing - There are many fishing spots along the long coast, or on any of the islands. Boat excursions to and around the islands can be arranged with a tour operator. Freshwater fishing in Equatorial Guinea is very rewarding. Some of the best places are the Benito River (Mbini), the Campo River (Ntem) and the Muni River (Muni). The fish here hooks catfish, Bonga Shad, Jewelfish, Kili and plenty more.
Equatorial Guinea is hot, humid and tropical. The dry season is the best time to go. For the mainland the dry season is May to September while Bioko is dry from December to February. During the rainy season some roads are only passable in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. In June, the rains never seem to quit.
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