Our Guinea-Bissau holidays and tours uncover a charming corner of West Africa. Explore the idyllic Bijagos Islands, the country’s crumbling colonial towns, and mangrove forests that provide sanctuary to some of the region’s most rare creatures.

Watch turtles nesting on the beach, see the colourful celebrations of the Bafata and Bissau carnivals, or search for saltwater hippos in turquoise blue waters. As often in West Africa, the people are the highlight – friendly, curious and keen to welcome visitors to their home.

This is one of West Africa’s least known and least visited countries. It’s easy to miss Guinea-Bissau on a trip through the region but it’s this very fact that makes it so interesting for us.

There are no tourist trails or sites to tick off here. Yet you’re guaranteed authentic experiences and encounters with local people, that don’t often see western visitors. This is Africa at its most raw. In the forests of the mainland the Felupe, Baiotes and Manjaco people still practise traditional ancestor and spirit worship, and sacred forests are considered home to arcane gods.

Top highlights on Guinea-Bissau holidays and tours

  • Mingle with local partygoers at the annual Bissau carnival
  • Check out the ghost town atmosphere of Bolama
  • Look for saltwater hippos on the Bijagos Islands
  • See the Vaca Bruto mask dances
  • Cruise through thick mangrove forests looking for wildlife

This is a small but beautiful country with interesting wildlife and vibrant traditions that rival any of its larger neighbours. Our Guinea-Bissau holidays show you an unexpected highlight of West Africa – discover this enchanting country for yourself.

Culture

Guinea-Bissau was one of the few African countries to have been colonised by Portugal, and it still retains something of this flavour. Portuguese is an official language, although, by virtue of being surrounded by Francophone countries, you’ll also find French well understood here.

The country might be small but it holds many different ethnic groups, including the Balante, Felupe and Manjaco. The Bijagos islanders are a separate group, and it’s here that you’ll find local traditions at their strongest – having been isolated from the mainland, outside influences have been minimal. Unusually for Africa, the culture here is matriarchal. As with much of the region, there is a strong belief in spirits, who manifest themselves in the striking mask dances, which take place in the villages.

When to go on holiday to Guinea-Bissau

The best time to travel in this region is between October and March, outside of the rainy season when tracks can become difficult, particularly in the interior. If you want to visit the Bijagos Islands, the sea tends to be a little too choppy for safe travel until around November. It’s worth trying to time your visit with the annual carnivals held in Bissau and on the islands – usually around February or March each year.

Start planning your trip to Guinea-Bissau

Check out our small group tours to Guinea-Bissau, West Africa Explorer and Marrakech to Bissau. Although many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made holidays to Guinea-Bissau or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Guinea-Bissau

Good for:Tribal Cultures & Wildlife