Facts About Conakry
|Population of Conakry||1.66 lakhs (2014)|
|Lat Long Coordinates of Conakry||9°31′N13°42′W|
|Area Code||+224 – 4|
|Language||French and Pular (Fulfulde or Fulani), Maninka (Malinke), Susu, Kissi, Kpelle, and Loma.|
|Major Religion||Muslim and Christians, Hindus, Buddhists|
|Point of interest||Casa de Belle Vue, Center Culturel Franco Guineen, Conakry National Museum, Palais de Nations, Presidential Palace, Palais du Peuple, Jardin 2 Octubre, Conakry Botanical Garden , Paroisse Saint Michel, Conakry Grand Mosque , 8 November Bridge|
About City :
Conakry/Konakry is the national capital and the largest city in Western Guinea. It is also the chief Atlantic Port situated on Tombo Island and the Kaloum Peninsula. It serves as the core of all economic, financial, and cultural activities of Guinea. French is the official language.
It has a turbulent history since it was founded by the French in 1884. It derived its name from a local village inhabited by the Susu or the Soussou people. The United States Bureau of African Affairs has estimated its population as 2 million constituting a little less than a quarter of Guinea’s total population.
Conakry is located on the West Coast of Guinea. The old city of Conakry was built on Tombo Island. This is known for its sandy beaches and forested interior. The coastal region of Guinea has Tropical Rainforest Climate. The periods of pours start from April to November and the average rainfall is about 169 inches. It has high humidity and uniform temperature throughout the year. The average temperature is 85o F (29o C) whereas the lowest is 74oF (23OC).
The city has majorly developed around the peninsula region and has a special status of a region and a prefecture. It is divided into five communes – Kaloum, Matam, Dixinn, Matoto, and Ratoma.
How to Reach (Transport) :
Conakry International Airport is also known as Gbessia International Airport is the major airport and is divided into two terminals for domestic and international flights. It is connected to various cities via airlines like Cie Sud Air Transport, Air France, SN Brussels, and Royal Air Maroc.
The Conakry Express, founded in 2010 is the only passenger train in Guinea and runs from the city of Conakry to Kankan.
Inside the city, bush taxis, mini busses, and regular taxis are readily available although traffic in Conakry is very heavy and congested. MotorTaxi/TaxiBike is another fast and comfortable mode of transportation.
When to Visit :
Conakry is a must-visit when snow covers its beautiful land and blankets the dense forests. The dry season from December to May is the best possible time to visit the magnificent city. If one has to lie on the warm sandy beaches and bask in the sun and bike on dry paths, Conakry is the best option from March-May. It’s a delight to witness the country during the festival of Nimba, also known as the festival celebrating the Goddess of Plenty, in March.
Fairs and Festivals :
The following are the cultural events celebrated in Conakry:
- Festival Koras et Cordes de Conakry or the Festival International Koras et Corder: It is the largest annual musical event in Conakry. Renowned personalities and artists of the area play all genres of music on a makeshift street platform. The celebration commemorates the Gunican artists of performance arts and is celebrated in December.
- Kini Afrika or Festival des Arts de Conte is a vivid weeklong display of Guinean drama performed by the country’s most talented authors. This festival takes place in the last week of April and also includes debates and oratory practices.
- Marco Arts Festival, held from March- April, is a highly anticipated event of the year. It’s based on the tradition of an old legend about a hunter’s undying search for a drumming monkey and is celebrated with a circus.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit) :
Conakry has become a popular tourist destination owing to its vivid range of historical and cultural sites.
- Camp Boiro or Camp Mamadou Boiro is the Guinean concentration camp in the city of Conakry. This military base is synonymous with the most inhumane atrocities faced by the people of Conakry during Toure’s “reign of terror”.
- Palais de Nations was initially built to be the venue for the organization of the African Unity Conference in 1984 which was suspended after Sekou Toure’s death. It however served as President’s Office until it was destroyed in Feb 1996 in an army rebellion.
- Grand Mosque, the fourth largest mosque in Africa, was inaugurated in 1982. It can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers. Additionally, the tombs of Alfa Yaya and Samori Ture are housed in the gardens of the mosque.
- The Conakry National Museum, established in 1960, is the country’s largest collection of masks, statutes, and musical instruments Cathedral Sainte Marie is a beautiful monument with a yellow and red scheme of colors.
Other places to visit in Conakry are Atoll Island, Soumba Waterfalls, Conakry Botanical Gardens, Gama Abdul Nasser University, Palace de Peuple, etc.
Conakry offers a modest range of hotels and Inns. Hotel Palm Camayene and Riviera Royal Hotel are budget hotels with modest and clean surroundings. Hotel Novotel Ghi Conakry is an affordable mid-range hotel with a good view and offers facilities like a swimming pool, transportation, buffets, etc. Residence Schaka is one of the most popular hotels and offers facilities like tennis/squash courts, a nightclub, and workout rooms.