I was recently rostered a 5 day trip to Conakry, Guinea, and Dakar, Senegal. Starting by flying into Conakry, a 9 hour flight from Dubai, staying for 48 hours, a quick 1 hour flight to Dakar, and then 24 hours there. I’ve decided to split this post up into two so you can experience both of the layovers with me!
The flight there was long but not too busy, and after a fairly short drive we arrived in the beautiful and brand new hotel right on the oceanfront in Conakry. After checking my allowance, in the local currency (Guinean Francs), I was now officially a millionaire! 😉
Since we had the whole of the next day to spend exploring, most of us decided to meet down by the pool to rest and relax after the flight.
The pool is a gorgeous infinity pool, right on the water’s edge, surrounded by palm trees.
Almost all of the crew came down, and since only one of the girls had been before, we made plans for the next day, whilst sipping cocktails and watching the incredible sunset. It was honestly one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in a long time, and it made me appreciate all of the amazing places I get to fly to with my job!
The next morning we were up bright and early to catch a boat to one of the islands located off the coast of Conakry, Iles de Los. They are actually a group of islands, and the name comes from the Portuguese “Ilhas dos Idolos” or “Island of the Idols”.
Since our hotel was a bit of a drive from the port, it took us almost an hour to get to the boat. Once we finally arrived, all of us were ready to get on the boat and make our way to the beautiful beaches! None of us knew what to expect, or even really where we were going! Luckily we had a guide with us who accompanied us, and does the trip regularly with crew.
As you can see from the pictures, the water at the port was pretty filthy and full of all sorts of rubbish, but luckily once we got out a bit further it got a lot cleaner, and the beach on the island was pristine.
We set sail on a long wooden boat, accompanied by a few locals.
Along the way we were lucky enough to witness big groups of dolphins jumping in and out of the water, as well as a sea turtle calmly swimming along next to us!
You can just make out the spot that is the dolphin jumping out of the water in the picture above!
Once we arrived at the island, we were led across the beach and through the forest to a small guesthouse, which was very basic but had a nice seating area set out for us, with plenty of cold drinks waiting.
Our hosts gave us all a drink and they had set out a small area with a few local products, mostly beautiful African woodwork and some jewellery, which we could buy if we wanted to. I ended up taking home a gorgeous sculpture, hand carved from ebony wood of an African woman, which now sits on my mantlepiece!
Our next priority was to explore the rest of the island, so we headed on down to the beach. Luckily I’d packed my bikini but since none of us really knew what exactly the itinerary was for the trip, I totally forgot to pack a towel!
The sand was actually burning hot, so we had to make a run for it down to the water….and then back up to go and get our flip flops!
We spent a while chilling out on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying the beautiful sunshine! There was one other couple on the entire beach and other than that not a soul in sight. At some point some of the local guys set up some small stalls selling jewellery and fabrics, and a few of them had guitars and started singing. It was definitely an awesome way to spend the afternoon!
A bit later on the hosts at the guesthouse cooked us up a delicious meal of grilled chicken, fresh fish skewers, rice, salads and a delicious veggie stew.
That beer is purely for the picture…I can’t stand the taste of it so I stuck to water and a naughty fanta the whole day, haha!
After lunch a group of the local men and women came to the table with their instruments and started an awesome performance, singing and dancing for us.
It was so much fun and they had everyone up and dancing with them!
Eventually the fun had to end and as it got towards evening we slowly packed up and made our way to the other side of the beach to catch the boat back to mainland Conakry.
We didn’t spot any more dolphins on the boat ride back but we all enjoyed the last of the sun and I even managed to get a bit of a tan. Before long we were back in the car to make the journey back to the hotel, which took even longer due to the evening rush hour traffic.
The next morning there was plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and a long swim in the gorgeous pool before the wake-up call, and flight on to the next destination – Dakar!