Rio Muni

Overview

Introduction

Rio Muni, the mainland portion of Equatorial Guinea, isn't high on many people's must-see lists, and even if it were, it can be devilishly difficult to reach—you'll likely need lots of time just to make the arrangements. Bata, the main city, offers nice beaches and fairly good African handicraft shopping (especially for carvings). The city has a dilapidated colonial charm. It's used primarily as a base for day trips to nearby villages or small islands close to the mainland. Traveling to Bata via local airline carriers or ferries is not recommended. It is best to seek travel arrangements through a private flight chartering company that the petroleum companies on the island employ. You may inquire about these charters at the airport.

For those who like to rough it, an excursion to Corisco Island can be rewarding. To get there, drive south along the coastal road to the little town of Cogo. Passage to the island itself is by hired dugout canoe (chances are you'll get wet on this part of the trip). Corisco, far enough offshore to be out of sight of the mainland, has wide paths and houses made of reeds. You can see giant timbers from old logging operations washed up on the shores. There are no cars, restaurants or sleeping accommodations on the island—though it's quite possible that one of the local inhabitants will invite you to stay overnight. This excursion is not for the fainthearted.

We suggest a one-day stay on the mainland portion of Equatorial Guinea if you're only visiting Bata, or a three- to four-day stay if you're planning an excursion to Corisco. Bata is 150 mi/240 km southeast of Malabo.

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