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Why Guinea-Bissau?

Photographs by Diana Jarvis

Guinea-Bissau, a Switzerland-sized republic squeezed between Senegal and Guinea in West Africa, celebrated 40 years of independence from Portugal in 2014. Yet travellers know very little — if anything — about Africa's 16th-poorest country, which has no dedicated guidebook and is serviced by only one airline. “You might call her the Cinderella of African tourism,” laments our guide, Alberto. Indeed, in 2013 the future of the country looked bleak when Ebola claimed around 11,300 lives in neighbouring Guinea. Incredibly, Guinea-Bissau never had any confirmed cases and in January the World Health Organisation declared an end to the epidemic. Now this biodiverse country is moving away from its reliance on cashew nut exportation and positioning itself as an ecotourism destination.

In deep. Saltwater hippos on Ilha de Orango in the Bijagós archipelago

Saltwater hippos on Ilha de Orango

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Travel Africa
July-September 2016 (75)
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