I’ve stumbled upon Conakry in many pages of literature, particularly in some Arabic texts.

One of these books that’s still fresh in my heart is a mystical poetry book titled Rihlatu Konakiriyah (Trip to Conakry) written by a great Senegalese Islamic scholar and poet, Cheikh Ibrahim Inyas (R.A).

It was from him I got the idea to take you on a trip to Conakry to see the great landmarks that await us.

Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea, a country in West Africa. The city sits on the slender Kaloum Peninsula, which extends into the Atlantic Ocean.

Just offshore, the Loos Islands are known for their beaches, dense palm forests and water sports.

In town, the enormous Grand Mosque has 4 tall, elegant minarets. Next to the mosque, the large Botanical Garden features kapok trees and tropical flowers.

Conakry serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea. Its population as of the 2014 Guinea census was 1,660,973.

Originally situated on Tombo Island, one of the Îles de Los, it has since spread up the neighbouring Kaloum Peninsula.

Quickly, Îles de Los (English: Los Islands) are an island group lying off Conakry in Guinea. Their name is derived from the Portuguese: Ilhas dos Ídolos, “Island of the Idols.”

They are located about 2 km off the headland limiting the southern side of Sangareya Bay (is a bay in the coast of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean).

The islands are best known for their beaches and forested interiors and are popular with tourists. Ferries sail to the Los from Conakry.

Now, let me take you through these four points of interest in Conakry: Tombo Island, Conakry Grand Mosque, Sandervalia National Museum and Mount Kakoulima.

Tombo Island

Tombo Island is an island in the Atlantic Ocean at the tip of the Guinean Kaloum Peninsula, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) east of the Loos Islands.

The island is the site where the capital Conakry was built on. It is the site of the old city of Conakry while the new colonial city is located at Kaloum. It is linked to the peninsula by a causeway.

The island was placed under a French protectorate by the king of Dubréka on 20 January 1880. This step was aimed to counter the English influence growing in the region.

On 24 December 1885, the Germans renounced to be established on the Island of Tombo and obtain a territory at the border between Togo and Dahomey. The island became a French territory after its acquisition on 8 June 1889.

Conakry Grand Mosque

The Conakry Grand Mosque is a mosque in Conakry, Guinea, located east of the Conakry Botanical Garden and beside the Donka Hospital. The mosque was built under Ahmed Sékou Touré with funding from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. It opened in 1982.

It is the fourth largest mosque in Africa and the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The mosque has 2,500 places on the upper level for women and 10,000 below for men. An additional 12,500 worshipers can be accommodated in the mosque’s large esplanade. The gardens of the mosque contain the Camayanne Mausoleum, including the tombs of the national hero Samori Ture, Sékou Touré and Alfa Yaya.

Sandervalia National Museum

The Sandervalia National Museum is the national museum of Guinea, situated in the capital, Conakry. Most of the rooms are empty, but it contains a limited display of traditional objects from different regions of Guinea, as well as objects and statues from the colonial era. Various craft items are for sale.

The museum has a collection of antique objects from around the country that represent different cultures and ethnicities, as well as objects from the colonial era.

The collection included masks and a sacred forest. As of 2016 the building was empty apart from one room, which had a number of masks and musical instruments from different parts of Guinea.

There is a model at the end of the permanent exhibition representing the houses of different regions of the country.

Beside this room there is an artisan gallery where various items were exhibited for sale such as fabrics, traditional costumes, wooden statues and embossed Tuareg leather.

Statues from the colonial era are collected in the courtyard of the museum. They represent historical figures of Guinea and included Almamy Samori Ture.

There are statues of Sanderval, of the Governor Noël Ballay by the sculptor H. Allourd, of Doctor Victor Le Moal (1876–1908), and of Monseigneur Raymond René Lérouge (1876–1949) surrounded by musicians and a fisherman with his wife and children.

The courtyard contains a buffet restaurant. Its railings are curiously decorated with colonial helmets. The cafeteria is in a hut wearing a giant colonial helmet, apparently an empty tribute to the French colonialists.

Mount Kakoulima

Kakoulima is a mountain in Guinea. It is located in the Prefecture Coyah and the region of Kindia Region , in the western part of the country, 40 km north-east of the capital Conakry . The top of Kakoulima is 1011 meters above sea level.

The terrain around Kakoulima is docked to the northeast, but the southwest is the flat. Kakoulima is the highest point in the neighborhood. Around Kakoulima is densely populated, with 636 inhabitants per square kilometer. Nearest society Coyah , 9.4 km southeast of Kakoulima. In the surroundings of Kakoulima grows mostly savannah woodland.

Tropical monsoon climate prevailing in the area. The average annual temperature in the neighborhood is 23°C . The warmest month is March, when the average temperature is 25 ° C, and the coldest is July, with 20 ° C.

The average annual rainfall is 2484 millimeters. The wettest month is August, with an average of 649 mm of precipitation , and the driest is February, with 1 mm of rainfall.

Author: Taofeek Ayeyemi