Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea, situated on the northern coast of Bioko Island on the rim of a sunken volcano. The city was first founded by the British in 1827, who leased the island from Spain throughout the colonial period. Named Port Clarence, it was utilized as a naval station in the effort to suppress the slave trade.
Numerous newly freed slaves had been also settled there, prior to the establishment of Liberia as a colony for freed slaves. While many of them later relocated to Sierra Leone, some of their descendants, called Fernandinos, can still be discovered in Malabo and the surrounding area, exactly where they constitute a distinct ethnic group, speaking their personal Afro-Portuguese pidgin dialect.
When the island reverted to complete Spanish control, Malabo was renamed Santa Isabel. It was chosen to replace the mainland town of Bata as the capital of the country in 1969, and was renamed Malabo in 1973 as part of President Francisco Macias Nguema's campaign to replace European location names with "authentic" African ones.
Malabo is located on a all-natural crater shaped harbour at the base of Pico Basile which itself makes the city a rather picturesque destination. The warm and friendly people further make it a a lot sought after place for visitors. The city is lined with graceful Spanish buildings and visitors are allowed to photograph most of them except for the President's palace and any military installations or military personnel. The stunning Malabo Cathedral, the Spanish Gothic style cathedral created by claretian Luis Segarra Llairado, definitely deserves a go to. The cathedral is located in the same square as the President's palace. The City Hall and its gardens are also an interesting place.
Visitors should also not miss taking a walk along the road to the harbour to determine the unique giant fruit bats living in the trees. In Malabo's marketplace tourists will be able to discover numerous fascinating issues, from common fruits and vegetables to traditional fabric and crafts.
Visitors will find it useful to obtain hold of a map of the region from one of the Spanish tourist centres. A should see is the Malabo Cathedral, the Spanish Gothic style cathedral designed by claretian Luis Segarra Llairado. The cathedral is situated in the exact same square as the President's palace. The City Hall and its gardens are also an interesting location. Visitors ought to also not miss taking a walk along the road to the harbour to determine the giant fruit bats that reside in the trees.
The city has a bustling marketplace exactly where visitors will discover everything from fruits and vegetables to traditional fabric and crafts. Jewellery and carvings on wood could be discovered in a couple of little shops in downtown Malabo. Visitors can expect to barter in the market, but may not find the prices much lower than they are at home as most of the goods need to be imported from the mainland.
Markets sell local produce such as beans, rice, fruit, vegetables, oil and bush meat also as fabric and clothing in traditional African prints, hardware and nearby crafts. Nevertheless, costs might not be much less expensive than at home because many goods have to be imported from the mainland. Expect to barter in the markets.
Malabo has several great restaurants serving conventional cuisine. Mesa Verde, overlooking the harbour, serves an superb mix of local and Spanish food. The fish is the local specialty. Visitors can sip delicious fruit drinks at Club Nautico's harbour side dining region.
other restaurants, Gue-Gue and the Four Aces, have excellent fish. For those that don't wish to dine at these places there is the Pizza Location exactly where Americans and other foreigners gather. Potable water is not obtainable from the tap anywhere, and visitors are advised to purchase Tangui bottled water on the street.
Malabo, Bata, Luba and Ebebiyan offer a number of hotels of variable standards. In Malabo, there are also a couple of hostels offering basic low cost accommodation with shared bathroom facilities (two of which are situated in Avenida de las Naciones). For more info, get in touch with the Embassy for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Malabo has other good hotels including: Hotel Bahia bo - Address: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea ; Hotel Impala - Address: Enrique Nwo Apd. 62 ; Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Hotel Ureca - Address: Ctra. del Aeropuerto, Apdo. Correos 274, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
There are 2,880 km (1,790 mi) of highways in Equatorial Guinea, none of which had been paved in 2002. The international airport is situated at the outskirts of the city. It's greatest if visitors coming from the US to take one of the two flights to Malabo from Madrid. There are regular flights to Douala in Cameroon and these also link up with direct flights to numerous European cities including London, Paris and Rome. There are also flights from a number of west and central African capitals.
The national airline has six flights a week from Malabo to Bata. Most visitors can reach Rio Muni by minibus from Cameroon or Gabon and can either fly or take a ferry to Bioko. If visitors have their own car it's advised that they leave it in Bata. There are great bush taxi connections about the island. About three minibuses run everyday along the coast road in between Bata and Acalayong and six each day head inland to Ebebiyin.
Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport (SSG) near the capital has a good number of international flights. Ecuato Guineana flies to Douala in Cameroon and Libreville in Gabon. Air France flies to and from Paris, although Iberia and Spanair fly to Madrid. Lufthansa began a Frankfurt-Malabo flight on the 1st of April 2008. London, Cotonou and Casablanca have flights as well with their respective national airlines primarily.
Located along the equator, Malabo has a climate common for this region, becoming hot and humid. Both the mainland and the islands have high temperatures, high humidity, heavy rainfall, and much cloud about the year. Annual rainfall is about 2000 mm. December to February is the dry period with only a few days with some showers.
Throughout most of the rest of the year, rainfall is high, with some peaks in May/June and September/october. Temperatures average around or just above 30°C throughout the day and well above 20°C at evening with very small variation. The records are 17 degrees at night and 33 at daytime.With an typical temperature of 25°C (77°F) and an annual rainfall of 75 inches (1,900 mm), it has an Equatorial climate/Monsoon climate.