We’re a responsible, sustainable tourism project on the islands of the Orango National Park in Guinea Bissau, which invites visitors to preserve its biodiversity and get to know the Bijagó culture.

We are the Associaçao Guiné-Bissau Orango, a Spanish non-profit organisation made up of a great team of professionals whose purpose is to create a model of ecotourism that addresses a social and environmental problem in the Orango National Park, becoming a global benchmark for responsible, sustainable, supportive tourism. Our aims are the conservation of biodiversity and its cultural and human environment. To achieve these aims, we carry out development cooperation projects and activities to promote and develop ecotourism in Guinea Bissau.

Associaçao Guiné-Bissau Orango has also entered agreement with several organisations, such as the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea Bissau and the Spanish Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity and its Habitat (CBD-Habitat). Specifically together with these two organisations, we’re involved in a project to develop ecotourism in the National Parks of Guinea Bissau.

Our story in Guinea Bissau

In 2009 we embarked on an exciting enterprise on a beautiful island in Guinea Bissau inhabited by a people called the Bijagó. The island’s dense mangroves, lush vegetation and pristine beaches of fine white sand were also home to countless birds, giant turtles and hippos living happily in salt water. There was also a small hotel that wanted to show the world the region’s natural beauty and ancient culture by means of genuine ecotourism.  However, the island and the hotel were in great danger of being taken over by commercial interests with no respect for biodiversity or interest in preserving the island’s cultural wealth.

To put an end to this threat, the Associaçao Guiné-Bissau Orango took over the management of the small hotel, which we have called the Orango Parque Hotel. Our aim is to secure the economic resources required to implement cooperation projects carried out together with the island’s inhabitants that also help to preserve their natural environment. Such projects are crucial to ensure the survival of the environmental and cultural harmony achieved sustainably over hundreds of years.

Right from the start, this initiative has focused on making ecotourism compatible with the conservation of nature. Development cooperation and environmental projects are essential to conserve the national park, as well as for the Bijagó people living there. Since then we have constantly evolved, continuously adding new projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations.

The hotel invests its profits in micro-projects of development cooperation that contribute directly to improving the welfare and quality of life of the local population in the Orango National Park, mainly in the areas of health and education.

Since 2009 INFIRMARIES

Since 2009 we’ve reconditioned three infirmaries in Eticoga, Acagume and Ambuduco and are still carrying out the renovations required due to unexpected weather conditions. We also fund the salaries of the medical staff in Eticoga; otherwise there would be no professionals on the island. As a result, we’ve improved the healthcare provided to the Bijagó community.

2009 NURSERY SCHOOL

We’ve supported the construction of a new nursery school on Orango Island that provides a centre for and educates 65 children. This helps to establish a link with school from an early age, a connection that will continue through primary education and provide them with an environment conducive to both play and learning.

2009-2014 FOOD SECURITY

By means of “electric herders”, we’ve stopped hippopotamuses from entering the rice paddies as well as ensuring the population are fed, helping to double the rice harvest and make the islands self-sufficient. Another positive outcome is that, as the farmers are no longer in conflict with the hippos, we’ve been able to protect this majestic but endangered species, a sacred animal for the Bijagó.

2010-News MEDICAL MISSIONS

We’ve supported 3 medical missions of ophthalmologists and gynaecologists from different international NGOs, helping them to reach the local people and providing them with the facilities we have available. As a result of these missions, diseases and problems that would have otherwise resulted in blindness, disability or even death have been detected in time.

2011-2018 WATER WELLS

We’ve built and restored 5 wells in several villages such as Eticoga, Amupa, Madina and Eticodega to help provide the locals with better access to water and also comply with basic sanitary measures. As a result, the number of water-borne diseases has decreased.

2013-2016 CARNIVAL

We’ve helped to revive the traditional Bijagó carnival, reawakening an appreciation for these local traditions and their culture and thereby helping them to survive.

And, most importantly, we contribute to the socio-economic and cultural development of the islands of the Orango National Park, creating numerous jobs and continuously training our workers.

By offering stable employment, we ensure that some of the young people choose to stay on the islands instead of going to the capital in search of work, thereby encouraging them to build a life in their local community, helping their traditions and culture to continue. As an added value, workers are continuously trained to become qualified professionals in Guinea Bissau’s emerging ecotourism industry.

Why not form part of our projects?

What we want to achieve

Protect biodiversity and its environment

Promote research into emblematic species

Improve the quality of life of the people living on the islands

Raise awareness in the rest of the world regarding Guinea Bissau’s authentic ecotourism

Preserve the ancestral Bijagó culture