Guinea-Bissau suffered a lot on its journey since independence from Portugal, and some of the scars are still visible. Yet, its unique culture and heritage mixed with the colonial influences are fascinating.
The capital of Guinea-Bissau is 285 kilometres south from Serrekunda. It takes about 7 hours to drive, yet one should allow extra time for frequent checkpoints and two border crossings, the Gambia/Senegal and the Senegal/Guinea-Bissau. Bissau is fascinating, packed with colonial architecture, captivating street life and animated bar scene.
Some 140 kilometres east, inland from Bissau, or 3 hours drive, is a sleepy little town of Bafata, situated on the banks of the weaving Geba River. It is arguably the country's loveliest towns that sports a rather good collection of colonial Portuguese architecture. It can be comfortably visited as a day trip from Bissau, which is not a bad option, considering the lack of decent accommodation or social life there.
The Bijagos, an archipelago of small, truly stunning islands, is a remote place, a sanctuary for migratory birds, sea turtles, saltwater crocks and hippos. Its fascinating residents are described by their fellow Bissau-Guineans as black and tough. The islands are famous for their world class deep sea fishing. From Bissau to the islands, one can take a local pirogue taking 4-6 hours, costing a few hundred Central African Francs (CFA) or a speedboat that takes 90 minutes and costs some 25,000 CFA.