Conakry, or kaw-na-kree as it’s pronounced, is the capital city of Guinea – it’s a small ex-French colony found towards the west of Africa. It has an amazing coastline – and here are some more fun facts about Conakry to help get you closer to what the capital’s all about.
1. Conakry once belonged to the French.
Guinea is a former French colony. In fact, it was previously known as French Guinea – and Conakry is its main base as capital city. 56,000 people visited Guinea in 2013 – and it’s thought many headed straight for Conakry.
2. Capital status came around in the early 20th century.
Conakry hasn’t always been the capital of Guinea – it was actually bestowed this honor back in 1904. It is, however, the largest city in the country.
3. It’s Guinea’s central site.
Conakry is also well-known for being the main base of Guinea for several reasons. It’s here where the vast majority of administration and communication takes place, and it’s also the economic epicenter of the country.
4. Im-port-ant stuff!
Did you know that Conakry started life as a major port for Guinea? It was here where Guinea exports largely made their way overseas, and in the decades since, it’s only grown as a port city tour de force – despite the fact that some of the pioneering rail links that once bolstered the port are no longer available.
5. Names get muddled up here!
Many people refer to Guinea as a whole as Guinea-Conakry. It’s largely to do with the fact that neighboring countries have very similar names! Its neighbors in Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, for example, have monikers that can get mixed up.
6. It’s impressively large, as cities go.
Conakry is, as a city, around 450 square kilometers – or 170 square miles – in total area. Compared to your average English city – for example Leicester – it’s six times the size! Six times the people live in Conakry, too – there’s more than 1.9 million people who call the capital home.
7. Be sure to bring your waterproofs!
Conakry is famous for being one of the rainiest cities on the planet. You can expect over a meter of rainfall in July and August alone!
8. That said, things get very dry during the festive season.
Conakry does, mercifully, have a dry season that can allow for some of the deluge to dry off a little bit. This normally takes place from December through to April, and in fact, it’s rare you’ll see rain at all during this time.
9. The weather’s impressive, too.
The climate in Conakry is regarded as tropical or savannah-esque – you can expect average temperatures to reach almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Marvelous mosques!
The city of Conakry is famous for its magnificent Grand Mosque, unveiled to the public back in 1982. This is said to be one of the four biggest mosques in Africa – and up to 25,000 people can worship inside.
11. The settlement of Conakry has drifted significantly.
Conakry’s original settlement extended over the years, from its initial plateau of Tombo Island, through to the Kaloum Peninsula.
12. Be sure to take a look at the markets!
Are you a fan of street market scenes? Conakry’s bustling Marche Medina is sure to impress you. It’s said to be one of the biggest marketplaces in the west of Africa – plenty to barter and trade for, then!
FAQs about Conakry
What languages are spoken in Conakry?
As the capital of once French Guinea, Conakry’s main language is French - as you’d expect! However, there are multiple indigenous languages spoken here, too, such as Toma, Pular, Susu and Kpelle.
Is there an airport in Conakry?
Yes! Conakry has its own international airport which will connect you to and from several areas across wider Africa, and even into Europe.
Is Conakry safe for tourists?
Conakry’s safety for tourists may not be considered the best - Guinea in general is, regrettably, regarded as quite unstable to visit at the time of writing. Therefore, caution is always advised.
Do you know any interesting facts about Conakry? Share them in the comments section below!