start: Eticoga or Orango P. Hotel
length: 1 day walking or half-day by boat
season: nov-jan (feb)
(walking tiring way)
The biggest community of salt water hippos of West Africa lives in the Anôr lagoon and if you are lucky you can see up to 20 hippos all together.
This is one of the most interesting visits among the many Guinea Bissau has to offer.
The lagoon is protected by the Orango National Park, but it is also protected by the law of the island's natives: for both these reasons access is not allowed unless accompanied by guides designated by the community and commissioned by the Park Authority.
A tip is required for the services provided; it is included in the tourist packages for organized trips, but it is the tourist responsibility if traveling alone.
The hippos are not dangerous, but it is not advisable to get close to the animals and the tour guides will give directions on how to observe them without disruption, hidden in the vegetation.
It is always an exciting visit.
Best time to visit:
The Hippos are in the lagoon (and therefore visible) when the lagoon begins to fill up and stay there until it is dry.
The Hippos are visible between July and January, but the best season is at the end of the rains, between October and January (or February if heavy rains the previous summer have overfilled the lagoon).
The destination is reachable by Anôr, where you will meet the guides that will take you to the lagoon.
There are two alternative routes to Anôr:
- one on foot, through a sandy path of about 12 km from Eticoga (17 km from Orango Park Hotel), a bit strenuous to travel. Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes, protect yourself from the sun and bring water and food with you. The path will meander through a landscape of palm trees and bushy savannah. On the side a glimpse of the path.
- one by boat, sailing along the island shores, mainly covered by beautiful mangroves on the land side, while on the sea side you come across sand banks and islets inhabited by a variety of birds, including pelicans, black and white cormorants, flamingos, eagles and many others. At the end of the trip you will enter the "rio", which takes the visitor just few steps from the village of Anôr. Below some images of the type of vegetation and birds along the way.
TO BOOK: call or write to the address indicated on the CONTACTS page