Map - Bolama

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Bolama

Bolama is the closest of the Bissagos Islands to the mainland of Guinea-Bissau, and is also the name of the island's main town, the capital of the Bolama Region. The island has a population of 6,024, the town Bolama 4,819 (2009 census).

It is almost surrounded by mangrove swamps and is known for its cashew nuts. Although often visited by local people, the island was apparently uninhabited when British colonists settled it in 1792. Following a series of failures, they abandoned the island in 1794, another colonisation attempt in 1814 also being quickly ended.

The Portuguese also claimed Bolama in 1830 and a dispute developed. In 1860, the British proclaimed the island annexed to Sierra Leone, but in 1870 a commission chaired by Ulysses S. Grant awarded Bolama to Portugal. Subsequently, in 1879, Bolama became the first capital of Portuguese Guinea and remained so until its transfer to Bissau in 1941. Bissau had been founded in 1687 by Portugal as a fortified port and trading center. This transfer was needed due to the shortage of fresh water in Bolama. Bolama later became a seaplane stop, and a seaplane crash in 1931 is commemorated by a statue in the town.

The abandoned houses of the old capital provide a shelter for many thousands of enormous fruit eating bats. Every evening, these bats flock to the mainland, darkening the skies.

A fruit processing plant was built on Bolama shortly after independence of Guinea Bissau, with Dutch foreign aid. This plant produced canned juice and jelly of cashew fruit. However, it could not expand and had to shut down its operations, due to the shortage of fresh water on the island.

Attractions on the island include sandy beaches and the Bolama Governor's Palace. It is also designated as a biosphere reserve, and the Bissau-Guinean government is aiming for it to be designated the nation's first World Heritage Site. A causeway links the island to the Ilha das Cobras.

 

Map - Bolama

Latitude / Longitude : 11° 34' 60" N / 15° 28' 0" W | Time zone : UTC+0 | Currency : XOF | Telephone : 245  

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Country - Guinea-Bissau

Flag of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau, officially the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (República da Guiné-Bissau ), is a country in West Africa that covers 36125 km2 with an estimated population of.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, as well as part of the Mali Empire. Parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century, while a few others were under some rule by the Portuguese Empire since the 16th century. In the 19th century, it was colonized as Portuguese Guinea. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea). Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability since independence, and no elected president has successfully served a full five-year term.
Currency / Language  
ISO Currency Symbol Significant figures
XOF West African CFA franc Fr 0
ISO Language
PT Portuguese language
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