Equatorial Guinea is a country located in Central Africa.
The official name of the country is the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
The country consists of a mainland territory, Río Muni and five small islands, Bioko, Corisco, Annobón, Elobey Chico (Small Elobey), and Elobey Grande (Great Elobey).
Equatorial Guinea has three official languages: Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
As of 1 January 2017, the population of Equatorial Guinea was estimated to be 882,963 people.
It is the 141st largest country in the world in terms of land area with 28,050 square kilometers (10,830 square miles).
Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea. It is located on the north coast of the island of Bioko. Malabo is the oldest city in Equatorial Guinea. Many buildings in the city are built in a colonial style, dating from the times of Spanish rule, coexisting with modern buildings built since independence.
The sandy coastal plain of mainland region, Río Muni ,rises to the low hills and spurs of the Crystal Mountains. East of the mountains, most of the country is a large plateau covered by tropical rainforest.
The largest island, Bioko, is located 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the coast of Cameroon. It is a volcanic island roughly 2,018 square kilometers (779 square miles) in size. The other islands are also volcanic, but are much smaller than Bioko.
Pico Basilé (formerly Pico de Santa Isabel), located on the island of Bioko, is the tallest mountain of Equatorial Guinea. With an altitude of 3,011 meters (9,878 feet), it is the summit of the largest and highest of three overlapping basaltic shield volcanoes which form the island.
The coastline of Equatorial Guinea total 296 kilometers (184 miles) in length.
The network of protected areas in Equatorial Guinea covers about 19% of the national territory (5,330 square kilometers / 3,310 square miles). It is made up of three national parks, plus nature reserves and other types of protected areas.
Monte Alén National Park is located near the center of Equatorial Guinea. It was established in 1990. With an area of 2,000 square kilometres (770 square miles), it is the country’s largest national park. The park has 105 mammal species which includes 16 species of primates. The goliath frog (Conraua goliath), one of the prominent amphibians found in the park, is the biggest frog in the world.
Situated in the southern highlands of Bioko Island, Moca Valley is home to plenty of natural attractions including Lake Biao, Lake Loreta and the famous Cascades of Moca which house different species of monkeys. Moca Valley is also home to the town of Moka, which is named after King Mookata from the Bubi.
The St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the city of Malabo the capital of Equatorial Guinea, home of the Archdiocese of Malabo. It is considered the largest Christian church in the nation. Its construction began in 1897 with donations from parishioners, commercial companies and the Spanish government, for it was one of its colonies. The architect of the monument was Luis Segarra Llairadó, and was inaugurated in 1916.
Bata Cathedral is one of the most beautiful colonial buildings in the country. It is located in Bata, the biggest city on the mainland. Its architecture is neo-Gothic work of several missionaries. The works for its construction began in 1951 and culminated on December 8, 1954 during the time of the Spanish rule.
The first inhabitants of the region that is now Equatorial Guinea are believed to have been Pygmies, of whom only isolated pockets remain in northern Río Muni.
The colonial history of Equatorial Guinea dates back to 1471 when Portuguese explorers descended on the country. On their way to India, Portuguese explorers discovered the island of Bioko, and later colonized the islands of Fernando Poo and Annobon. They retained control of Equatorial Guinea until 1778, when the territory was ceded to Spain in exchange for land in South America.
From 1827 to 1843, the United Kingdom had a base on Bioko to combat the slave trade, which was then moved to Sierra Leone upon agreement with Spain in 1843.
The Treaty of Paris settled conflicting claims to the mainland in 1900, and periodically, the mainland territories were united administratively under Spanish rule.
Independence was conceded on 12 October 1968 and the region became the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Thanks to the discovery and exploitation of significant oil reserves in the 1990s, it enjoys a purchasing power parity GDP per capita of more than US$38,699 which is as of 2016 the highest in Africa and the 31st highest in the world.
However, the country has been ranked only 135th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index in 2016.
The wealth in this country is not distributed among the population. In fact, a large proportion of the population still lives in poverty.
The country’s authoritarian government has one of the worst human rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the “worst of the worst” in Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights.
Pre-independence Equatorial Guinea exported cocoa, coffee and timber mostly to its colonial ruler, Spain, but also to Germany and the UK.
The principal religion in Equatorial Guinea is Christianity, the faith of 93% of the population.
Equatorial Guinea has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.