Philanthropists are looking for a home walk in Guinea-Bissau
A hotel that doesn't look for profitability? Lost bungalows in the middle of a virgin paradise in sub-Saharan Africa? Hippos, green turtles and a small group of privileged travelers from a world where everything is measured in economic terms, meet in the unknown archipelago of the Bijagós Islands, where the culture of consumerism does not exist. You wonder why? for what? how? where? how much? what time? Stop Deprogram yourself and reset. Relax: this is Africa.
Here in the island of orango, where the only animals with two legs will be the group of travelers and the native staff of the hotel, you will stumble upon the odd hippo, monkeys and hundreds of young green turtles. In the heart of a National Park that is only accessed with a boat and once a week from the black continent, a group of biologists, environmentalists and nature scientists manage the project Orango Parque Hotel without labels or pretensions or holdings or practically no promotion.
Hippos are the usual 'neighbors' of the island © Yusef El Khadir / CBD Habitat Foundation
Red colobus flood the branches of Cantanhez, in the continent (which is visited in one of the circuits) © Luis Fernández
The question is very simple: three bungalows, four rooms in two of them and one with two other rooms, a lounge bar where to attend the sunsets (not to be missed) and one objective: to live this authentic and unique experience so that the benefits of the hotel (if any) are reversed in output certain needs of the local population of the tabankas (towns) of neighboring islets. In this way they have already built a nursery (if not the children in the rainy season could not teach), with the donation of some clients; a nurse's office (where two nurses are paid), a boat to come and go during excursions ... Different initiatives that are emerging and that, well because clients so wish well for the collaboration of private foundations, are carried out successfully and are left for The bijagó population.
This is relaxing in the Bijagós © Yusef El Khadir / CBD Habitat Foundation
This unique mini-complex lost to the coasts of Guinea Bissau It was built after the area was declared Biosphere Reserve: “When the owners wanted to leave him due to family problems, an anonymous philanthropist saw that the CBD Habitat Foundation (by the way, Spanish) was executing nature conservation and development cooperation projects successfully and thus inherited the management so that end up managing them alone, ”explains Ana Maroto García, one of the project managers at the foundation.
Inhabitants of the islands that collaborate on the project © Yusef El Khadir / CBD Habitat Foundation
The archipelago is formed by 88 islands of all sizes, of which only 21 of them are inhabited. A good number of these are sacred places for the bijagós, which has allowed them to be preserved as they were. The Orango Parque Hotel It is located on the island of Orango. The experience proposes shake the culture of consumerism and put on the suit, metaphorically speaking, of the bijagó ethnic group, an animist ethnic group (its religion preserves nature) whose members form the team of 17 people working in the hotel, which has a total of 20 seats.
Camino Anor, one of the routes to take in the archipelago © Yusef El Khadir / CBD Habitat Foundation
Green turtles, here all nature is respected as religion © Ángel Quirós
In the different tours that take place in the islands, the guides explain the Bijagó traditions and ceremonies that they find along the way. One of the nights, a small presentation of the project is made to explain how they collaborate with your stay directly. The Authentic Guinea Bissau circuit combines the islands and the continent: group of 6 people, from € 1,239 / each (does not include flight, insurance or visa). The Wild Islands circuit It is done by different islands: group of 6 people, from € 1,067 / each (without flight or insurance or visa).
*More information in CBD-habitat Foundation (Gustavo Fernández Balbuena, 2, tel. 914 156 052. Ask for Ana Maroto).
* You may also be interested ... - All travel articles 'Al natural'
- All articles by Rosa Marqués
Fanado Ceremony © Yusef El Khadir / CBD Habitat Foundation