The Republic of Guinea is bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.Guinea's main attraction to tourists is its relatively undisturbed countryside. Its landscape varies from mountains to plains and from savannah to forest and the three great rivers of West Africa (the Gambia, the Senegal and the Niger) all originate here.
The capital, Conakry, is located on the island of Tumbo and connected to the Kaloum Peninsula by a 300m- (984ft-) long pier. The city is well laid out, its alleys shaded by mangrove and coconut palm trees. Guinea has a strong music tradition and Conakry, in particular, is a dynamic centre for music. The singing of the Kindia people is especially renowned.
In 1958, when it declared independence from France and voted in a staunchly socialist one-party government, Guinea became an isolated and secretive country. However, after the death of the dictator Sekou Touré in 1984, Guinea began, slowly, to allow tourists through its once stubbornly closed doors. Even so, it is still one of the least visited countries in Africa and it can be difficult, despite declarations to the contrary, to acquire visas.