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A troubled country

date of entry 15/01/1991
mileage 61,602

capital Conakry

area 250.158 km²

population 11.474.383

GDP 4.714 M. US-Dollar

official language French

The Holtorfs went to Guinea in the early 1990s. Together with Otto they explored "one of the most scenic regions of Africa", as Gunther Holtorf recalls. The country now has over eleven million inhabitants. There is great poverty, even though this West African country is rich in minerals. Guinea is currently facing a serious crisis from the biggest Ebola outbreak of all time with a rising death toll. State control has largely disintegrated.
  • Fascinating landscapes characterise Guinea. The highland region in the centre of the former French colony is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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  • During the 1991 visit Otto parked on a picturesque avenue of ficus trees
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  • In addition to savannah the country has huge rainforests to offer. Many settlements are not accessible with motorised vehicles.
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  • River crossings in Africa were often an adventure. In this idyllic setting Gunther Holtorf hoped that the wooden bridge supports would hold.
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  • In another spot the ferry seemed to guarantee a safe crossing
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  • Grain is stored in such containers made from clay and straw in many parts of Africa
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  • The inhabitants of this village protect themselves against wild animals with this fence
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  • Otto and the German travellers were welcome guests, on the other hand. They often attracted throngs of children.
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  • Here the Holtorfs and their vehicle were clearly the exotic ones
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  • Time and again the young people in villages gazed at them in amazement
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  • In 2013, when Gunther Holtorf and his travel companion Elke Dreweck visited Guinea again, as before it was the children in the villages who ran up to them first
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  • Traffic chaos in West Africa: during the trip through Guinea the Holtorfs were confronted with some difficulties. There was political unrest and even shootings.
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  • Would this load meet German road traffic regulations? In Guinea such sights were part of everyday life.
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  • These motorbikes were strapped to the roof of a bus
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  • Gunther Holtorf grew particularly fond of the people in Guinea. "We found the locals particularly warm," he says.
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  • The men at the market stalls are absorbed in their business dealings. The French colonialists left their language, their administrative systems and – luckily for travellers – famous french baguettes.
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  • Marketplaces are a handling point for common foodstuffs such as yam.
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  • The official language in Guinea is French. Guinea gained independence from the French colonial empire in 1958, but remains a troubled country.
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  • Only ten per cent of all roads in the West African country are asphalted. Very few can afford a car anyway.
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  • These two petrol pumps stand by the roadside looking rather dejected
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  • Video: Guinea – land of unrest