Many travelers haven’t heard about the beauty of Orango Island in Guinea-Bissau. However, the island is an incredible destination in West Africa. A place for nature and outdoor lovers, Orango Island is a piece of the Bijagós Archipelago and a hidden African gem. 

There are many reasons to visit Orango Island, especially for those who live for outdoor thrills and adventure. From catching a glimpse of rare birds to exploring the island’s national park, this unique travel destination is fitting for people of all ages.

The Bijagós Archipelago

Orango Island
Photo credit: Hendrik Morkel

Orango Island is a part of the Bijagós Archipelago. Located off the coast of West Africa, these 88 islands are home to over 30 thousand people and are considered an island paradise. In 1996, the islands were declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A plethora of exotic wildlife can be found throughout the archipelago including chimpanzees, Nile crocodiles, African manatees, and hippopotamus. 

Although Orango Island is a travel gem, the main island in the archipelago is Bubaque. The island is home to about 11 thousand inhabitants and is one of 20 islands where people actually live. Despite being a part of an African country, the Bijagós Archipelago had its own special set of traditions. A matriarchal social structure was adopted throughout the islands and is still at the forefront of society in the archipelago today.

Things To Do On Orango Island

Orango Island
Photo credit: Patrice Bouchard

If you’re a traveler who loves exploring the outdoors, Orango Island is exactly where you need to visit. One of the main highlights is Orango National Park. Visiting the park can be a multi-day experience depending on how much time you want to spend in nature. It’s an incredible place for seeing tropical, island birds like the Pied Crow and the Common Bulbul. Travelers can also hike through miles of beautiful mangrove trees in the island’s forest, take an adventure-filled boat ride around the island, and visit local villages to get a dose of the culture. 

For those who want to bathe under the African sun, Orango Island has several stunning beaches to explore. Being in the heart of the archipelago, the island is also great for snorkeling, kayaking, and other water sports. Orango Island is a true wonder in Guinea-Bissau and worth experiencing whenever in West Africa.