Arquipélago Dos Bijagós
Lonely Planet review
At first, the Bijagós - Africa's only archipelago - may seem simply a pleasant escape from the problems of the mainland, with swaying palms, cooling breezes and powdery, white-sand beaches. Stay a little while though, and you'll begin to fall under the islands' singular spell.
Protected by swift tides and treacherous sandbanks, the islands have long been a world apart. They eluded Portuguese control until the 1930s, and the fiercely independent Bijagós people still retain a large degree of autonomy from the federal government.
Most visitors to the islands seem to be either biologists who come to study the unique and rich variety of marine life, or else sports fishermen who come to catch and eat it. The entire archipelago has been declared a biosphere reserve, and two island groups have also been declared national parks: the southern Orango group, home to saltwater hippos; and the eastern João Vieira group, breeding ground to a number of endangered sea turtles.