Extraordinary Cities: Conakry - the Paris of Africa

If you are a long-term follower of our blog, you will know that we have used this medium to present our various poster motifs and to tell the story behind the images in great detail, trying to take you on a journey to the planet’s most beautiful spots.

In this series – Extraordinary Cities – we will take you on different kinds of journeys. Instead of showing and presenting you the creative powers of nature, we will take you to places that have been shaped by us humans. All of the places we will show here have their own, unique stories to tell.

The coming journeys will also differ in their frequency, compared to how we used to travel in the past. Think of it this way: in the past we were taking you on extensive trips to places far away from civilisation, allowing us to get immersed in the landscape and appreciating the creative powers of nature. These kind of trips need to be well planned and required relatively long periods of preparation. In this series, we invite you to come with us on shorter “weekend trips”. Rather than trekking for days through the canyons of America or kayaking down the Danube, we will leave on a Friday, packing only what fits into our carry-on luggage, and are back on Sunday. While these short stays will not allow us to immerse ourselves too deeply in the local culture, taste all the food or learn anything about the language spoken by the locals, we will be able to do these trips on a much more frequent basis. We hope you are an adaptive traveller, who can enjoy both these kinds of experiences!

Enough of the formalities! Let’s take off on our first flight! For this adventure, we have chosen to take you with us to Africa, a continent which we previously visited on our journey to Namibia, when we explored Sandwich Harbour and the surrounding Namib desert. While located on the same continent, the place we are visiting today could hardly be any more different to the sandy lagoon of Sandwich Harbour. It is Conakry, the capital city of Guinea in Western Africa.

(the unique shape of Conakry is especially breathtaking when viewed from above)

The city was originally settled on Tombo Island (the tip of the “arrowhead”-like shaped city). An explosive boom in population growth has lead to the city spreading to the neighbouring peninsula of Kaloum. We are not exaggerating when we say population “boom”. In 1885, the population of Conakry counted 500 inhabitants. By 1960, this number had risen to over 600,000. Today, the population of the city stands at roughly 2 million people.The demographic developments have caused the city to grow deep into the surrounding mangroves.

(the strong contrast between the ever growing city and the surrounding mangroves)

The city, which in the past was known as the “Paris of Africa” suffers high levels of corruption and mismanagement. Indeed, it is not only the inhabitants suffering the consequences of this, but also nature. The mangroves surrounding the city are increasingly being destroyed, both from people chopping down the trees of the forest and using the wood for fuel as well as swamps being drained to turn them into arable land.

Let’s take a closer look at the satellite images.

The shape of the city is posing significant challenges on infrastructure. While the isolated location of Tombo Island used to be a blessing for previous colonial powers (i.e. the British and the French), today, this isolation is causing headaches for city planners and managers.

(an extraordinary city - with extraordinary traffic challenges)

The ring of islands– the “Îles de Los” or “Islands of the Idols” – are located about 2 kilometres off the coast of Guinea. They are best known for their beaches and are popular among tourists. In the past, the islands played an important role in the Atlantic slave trade.

(the Îles de Los, off the coast of Guinea)

We hope you enjoyed this quick city trip to Conakry. Unfortunately, our trip is already coming to an end. But don’t worry, we will take you on another journey in two weeks’ time. We will cross the Atlantic and pay a quick visit to the America’s Marco Island. Keep your suitcases ready!

If you enjoyed this post and want to join us again for our next trip, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get an update before we board our next flight! Additionally, we would appreciate to hear how you enjoyed this trip to Africa! Please drop us a comment down below! See you again next time!

All satellite images (c) eoVision

#africa #extraordinarycities #mangroves #city

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