Guest blog from our travel friend Hector at Rumbo Malabo! Check out their site for more information on this stunning city!
Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea and is one of the few countries in the world where the capital is located in the island part of the country. Malabo is located in the north of the island of Bioko, which has a size of 2700 km2 and an estimated population of more than 400,000 inhabitants.
The People of Malabo
The people of Malabo are usually ethnic Bubi or Fang. They stand out for their kindness if treated with respect. They’re not very fond of photography, except for young people. The people have a life generally centered around their neighborhoods, where after work, they buy what they need, and go out on the street to have fun. In this they look like other Latin countries like Spain. Once you have established friendship with them, they are very funny and are always willing to help you and take you where you need to go.
Despite being a developing country, Malabo has a large hotel capacity, both from large tourism companies and local companies. Among the highlights we can find:
The Hotel Anda is one of the closest to the airport, has a gym, pool, buffet and all the amenities. It’s the most modern on this list, but it has nothing to envy its competitors. It is an excellent hotel for business travelers as it has many meeting rooms and is located in a quiet area. The downside is a bit far from the city center, about 5 km away.
Hotel Bisila Palace
The Bisila Hotel inherited all the facilities of the former Hilton Hotel, and even as it gradually takes on a personality of its own, it still has a lot of similarity to its predecessor. This hotel is very close to the airport. It has swimming pool, gym, hairdresser and all amenities. It is designed for a business-centric customer, who wants to enjoy his stay without depriving himself of all the comforts. Its restaurants and the pool buffet stand out.
Magno Suite is the newest hotel of the list. It is small and welcoming, but of great quality. It is the most centric of all, and counts among its main advantages the great activity and bustle during the evenings. It has a bar and barbecue most requested on weekends. Unlike the others, it has no pool or buffet, but it has a gym and personalized customer service. If you want to stay in the city, this is probably the best accommodation.
Highlights of Malabo
Highlights of the city include:
Cathedral of Malabo
Malabo cathedral was destroyed by a fire in January 2020 and is currently under renovation. The construction began in 1897 and was inaugurated in 1916. It is Neo-gothic style and highlights the beauty of its facade.
The national park was recently established in Malabo. A highly recommended place to take photos, stroll, rent some of the bikes available etc… It is highly recommended for children, as they have attractions throughout the year. There is also a football field, an art gallery, and lakes. It’s a perfect place to spend an afternoon.
One of the most visited places in Malabo is the promenade. With about 6 km of length it is a perfect place to practice all kinds of sport. Every day you can see the inhabitants of the capital running, dancing and playing football on their vast terrain. In addition, there are certain restaurants and bars that allow children to enter playgrounds.
Cultural Center of Equatorial Guinea
This is a meeting place of the future of the island, a place of gathering and creation. It stands out for its sculptures and the art that surrounds the main hall. In addition, artistic and cultural activities are often carried out in its grounds. It’s the authentic artistic heart of Malabo.
The Semu Market is the largest in the city. Place where you can find absolutely everything from food to clothing. It is a place to spend any Saturday morning to know the customs of the citizens of Malabo.
Day Trips from Malabo
Finca Sampaka is and has been an emblematic farm on the island of Bioko, founded around 1906, its colonial house made of green wood and Nordic pine stands still refusing to succumb to the passage of time. The farm always stood out for harvesting one of the best cocoa on the island and in the world, both for its exquisite care in the selection and in its production process. If they are in the making season you can be lucky to attend a tasting of the different chocolates that are produced in the factory, as well as the cocoa itself.
Pico Basilé is the highest mountain in Equatorial Guinea. It is located on the island of Bioko, near the city of Malabo. With an altitude of 3,011 m (9878 ft), it is the summit of the largest and highest of the three superimposed basalt shield volcanoes that form the island. From the top, there is a wonderful view of Mount Cameroon to the northeast if weather conditions accompany, in addition there is the beautiful church of Bisila
The city of Sipopo is located approximately 15 km from the capital city of Malabo. It is accessed via the Ela-Nguema Sipopo motorway. The total route is about 2.5 km, accessible to anyone. During the tour you can observe the different coves and rocks to admire the nature and take pictures of the coast.