Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Senegal and Guinea, and has coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. The country encompasses an area of 36,125 km2 and has an estimated population of 1,815,698. Guinea-Bissau experiences a tropical climate, with hot and humid conditions prevailing for most of the year. The country’s varied terrain includes low coastal plains along the Atlantic Ocean, Guinean mangrove swamps, and Guinean forest-savanna mosaic in the east. The highest point in Guinea-Bissau has an elevation of 300 m above sea level. Guinea-Bissau is home to diverse terrestrial and marine flora and fauna, which are protected through four national parks.
4. Cacheu River Mangroves Natural Park
Cacheu River Mangroves Natural Park is a national park located in northwest Guinea-Bissau. Established in 2000, the park covers an area of 886 km2 and is named after the Cacheu River, which runs through the park and divides it into two ecologically and culturally distinct zones. Mangrove forests cover 68% of the park, making it the greatest compact mangrove setting in West Africa. Cacheu River Mangroves Natural Park contains numerous types of birds, while notable fauna in the park include the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, humpback dolphin, bushbuck, and green monkey. Additionally, the park's wetlands are inhabited by various species of fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
3. Cantanhez Forests National Park
Cantanhez Forests National Park is a national park located in southern Guinea-Bissau. Established in 2007, the park encompasses an area of 1,057 km2 and features a wide variety of habitats including mangroves, savanna, forests, and even cultivated fields. Chimpanzees are the most notable fauna within the park, but it is also inhabited by other primate species and mammals. Despite its protected status, Cantanhez Forests National Park continues to experience human interference.
2. João Vieira-Poilão Islands Marine National Park
João Vieira-Poilão Islands Marine National Park is a national park in Guinea-Bissau, located on four uninhabited islands in the southeast part of the Bijagós Archipelago. Founded in 2000, the park has an area of ad 495 km2 and features subhumid forests, mangroves, beaches, and sandbanks. The protected area is home to diverse flora and fauna. For example, João Vieira-Poilão Islands Marine National Park is known for several species of turtles, such as the Olive Ridley turtle, green turtle, and loggerhead turtle, which visit its beaches for nesting. In fact, the park is considered one of the most important egg-laying sites of green turtles in the Atlantic Ocean. Sea mammals including bottlenose and humpback dolphins also inhabit the offshore waters of the park, as well as species of seabirds, sharks, and other fish. João Vieira-Poilão Islands Marine National Park also contains sacred sites of indigenous cultures.
1. Orango National Park
Orango National Park is a national park in Guinea-Bissau, located on the southern part of the Bissagos Archipelago. Founded in 2000, the park covers an area of 1,582 km2, which includes a 1,320 km2 maritime zone. A large segment of Orango National Park is covered in mangroves, while the interior of the park is largely covered by palm trees. Orango National Park is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including both terrestrial and marine fauna. Nile and dwarf crocodiles, hippopotamuses, sea turtles, dolphins, vervet monkeys, bushbucks, and a large number of birds are known to inhabit the park.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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