Conakry, capital city of Guinea
Conakry is a spirited city. Friendly, musical, colorful and a bit wild, the capital is the epitome of African flavor. Subtle charms enchant visitors, and most end up falling in love with the Guinean capital before they leave.
The Conakry Botanical Garden is one of the highlights of the city. Kapok trees growing over 60 meters tall dominate the landscape, and tropical blooms provide a punch of bold color and a sweet scent. The gardens are bordered by the Conakry Grand Mosque, built in 1982 with funds from Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. It is Africa's fourth largest mosque, accommodating 2,500 women in the upper level and 10,000 men below. The large esplanade can fit an additional 12,500 worshippers. Although a lack of regular maintenance has made the mosque fall into disrepair, it is still worth a visit to explore the Camayanne Mausoleum, where national heroes Alfa Yaya, Samori Ture and Sekou Toure are entombed.
The center of Christian life in Conakry is the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie. The first red and yellow bricks were laid in 1928, and the impressive design features many eye-catching Orthodox elements. The Palais Présidentiel is located behind the cathedral.
The National Museum of Guinea opened shortly after independence in 1960. The small but compelling collection includes artifacts from prehistory to the struggle for independence, and the display of artwork, fetishes and masks is particularly captivating.
Travelers can relax on the beaches of the Iles de Los, a group of islands just off the coast of Conakry. The Ile de Kassa is especially lively, and the weekend beach parties are legendary with the locals.
The Kakimbon Caves, located in the small village of Ratoma that borders on Conakry, are regarded as sacred by locals. Hire a native Baga guide in the city center to explore the caves and learn about their riveting legends and legacy.
The highlands of the Fouta Djallon are another highlight in Guinea not far from Conakry. Known as the land of faith, waters, freedom and fruit, the area is a popular place for backpacking and hiking. The rolling grasslands make a picturesque terrain, and the highpoint of Mount Loura stands over 1,500 meters tall. Three major rivers – the Gambia, Senegal and Niger – converge at the site, making it one of the country's most lush and verdant expanses.
The charming villages that surround Conakry are worth exploring. The town of Katikan is known for its open air markets filled with local handicrafts. Nearby Kindia is famous for its weaving and cloth products. Visitors can score great deals on fabrics in the town and learn about the indigo dyeing process at an information center.
There are few restaurants and clubs in Conakry, but the existing ones welcome visitors and usually have a festive atmosphere. Small cafes serve French foods, like croissants and crepes, while other restaurants specialize in traditional or Middle Eastern dishes. Most locals do not head out until past midnight on the weekends, but they tend to stay out until the wee hours.
Conakry Geographical Location
Conakry is located on the southwestern coast of Guinea facing the Atlantic Ocean.
The population of Conakry is approximately 1,950,000 and is Guinea’s largest city.
French is the official language of Guinea and the national languages are Fula, Malinké, Susu, Kissi, Kpelle, and Toma. Overall there are more than 40 languages spoken in Guinea.
Conakry Predominant Religion
- 85% Muslim
- 8% Christian
- 7% Indigenous Beliefs
The majority of Muslims are Sunni or Sufi and there is a small number of Hindus and Buddhists in Guinea.
The Guinean Franc is the official currency of Guinea.
Conakry experiences a season of heavy rainfall between June and October and hot temperatures throughout the year.
Conakry Main Attractions
- Guinea National Museum
- Botanical Gardens
- Conakry Grand Mosque
Other Attractions in Conakry
- Loos Island
- Guinea Conakry’s Beaches
- Tristao Islands