Equatorial Guinea is one of the strangest countries on the planet
Submitted 4 years 5 months ago by ClaudeBouthillier.
Without a question, Equatorial Guinea is one of the strangest countries on the planet. Most of you, I'm sure, know nothing about this country, and this isn't by chance. This country has the reputation of being Africa's "North Korea." Visas are almost impossible to obtain unless you are an American (due to oil contracts), and there is no tourism industry in place. Many travelers who wanted to get a visa stamp from any country in the world were unable to do so due to Equatorial Guinea. The explanation is simple: this country does not want any outside exposure because it is one of the most ridiculous and corrupt places on the planet. There are few reasons why anyone would want to visit this location if they were not interested in the oil and gas industry. It is also the continent's only Spanish-speaking nation.
Climate and geography
Equatorial Guinea is divided into two sections. The island of Bioko, where the capital of Malabo is situated, is located off the coasts of Nigeria and Cameroon, and the mainland, with the largest city Bata, is located between Cameroon and Gabon. All of the government machinery is in Malabo, as are all of the elites. The weather is oppressively humid and hot. Temperatures range between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius, and humidity levels often exceed 90 percent, which is extremely unpleasant. When heading for a mid-day stroll, expect to be sweating profusely. Aside from the two major cities, there are a few smaller towns like Mongomo, Evinayong, and others where nothing ever happens.
The overall demographic trend is for all youth to leave rural areas and smaller cities for Bata/Malabo, resulting in huge abandoned shitholes in rural areas.
Political and economic climates, as well as some statistics
A textbook example of a world where plentiful oil reserves have wiped out all other industries. This country is entirely dependent on oil revenue, which accounts for 85 percent of GDP. As a result of this fact, as well as previously declining oil prices, this country has become the world's second worst economic performer in the last five years, trailing only Venezuela, with a GDP decrease of approximately 25% in the last five years. It has no other major industries, so almost everything is imported. Nonetheless, it remains one of Africa's countries with the highest per capita GDP, despite the fact that this wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people.
If I'm not wrong, the president is actually the world's second-longest monarch (dictator). He has been in power for the past 50 years. The president's friends and family include the entire political class. His first son is the most well-known, as he is a well-known IG playboy who has been extensively covered by Western media. He is wanted in many European countries after they confiscated his $300 million yacht and a vast mansion. He was recently in the news for arriving in Sao Paolo with suitcases full of very costly luxury watches that were confiscated. He is well-known in this country for bringing in whores from all over the world on his private plane, holding huge orgies, and raping children. The populace regards him as a psychopath, and everyone is terrified that when the current president dies, he will hand over power to this guy.
Aside from the president and his family, the Chinese seem to wield considerable power in this country. The infrastructure in Equatorial Guinea is the greatest in Africa. The road network is nearly ideal (though few people in the general population own a vehicle, so it is mostly empty), and the government has huge ministries and other infrastructure projects. Some of which were left unfinished due to the oil crisis. When they hold a big meeting in the capital, they create over a hundred fancy mansions for each president of Africa. These mansions were once occupied but have since been abandoned. Another example is the city of Djibloho. This city was designed to be the new capital and is located in the middle of the jungle. It has a large 5-star hotel, a full university, many massive ministry buildings, and so on. The issue is that they did not complete the buildings, and no one actually lives there. So now we have an artificial capital that has cost billions of dollars in the middle of nowhere with no one there, a ghost city full of luxury in the middle of a jungle.
As previously mentioned, Equatorial Guinea ranks among the top ten most corrupt countries in the world, alongside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Venezuela, and others. The citizens have the world's lowest average IQ of any country. On average, it is estimated to be between 55 and 70. Education and health spending as a proportion of overall government spending is probably the lowest in the world.
In the region, there is no independent media. The government has complete power over all means of communication. I waited until I was out of the country to post this article because it's likely that government officials are watching and it could have serious consequences.
The key problems confronting the population are high HIV incidence (6.3 percent, concentrated in young females and old men, more on this later), extremely high malaria rates, and inadequate health services in general, all of which contribute to high levels of mortality. Alcohol is also widely abused, resulting in bizarre and deadly traffic accidents.
Price level, infrastructure, and transportation
Because of oil and corruption, this country is relatively costly. A good furnished apartment would cost between $800 and $1500. A decent meal would most likely cost between $20 and $30. A quick meal at a typical 'fast food' restaurant would cost between $7 and $15. The internet is incredibly slow and costly. I was quoted $600 for a modem and installation, as well as $600 per month for a 1 mbps link, which is completely absurd. Facebook is blocked and WhatsApp is sometimes blocked, though it appears that things are improving. The president earns 30% of the country's total internet speed. Water is usually free for those who live in good places. Electricity is also prohibitively costly, easily exceeding $100 a month. In this country, there are no true shopping malls. Good clothing and electronics are prohibitively costly. Road transportation is the only thing that is fairly priced. There is no public transportation, but taxis inside the city can be had for 2-4$. Flights are often exorbitantly priced, and the service is appalling. I've had several flights cancelled with no explanation or notice. Just arrived at the airport, ‘oh sorry sir, the flight has been cancelled, there is another one in the evening.'
It is a small nation, and the military is one of the government's primary investments. The nation is effectively closed down. They have top military support from countries such as Russia and Israel, according to what I've read. When there is political upheaval, they close down all highways, the internet, and so on. There was an alleged "coup d'etat" in December 2017 that no western news outlet reported on. The perpetrators (supposed Chadian and Central African Republic rebels hired by the country's elites) were apprehended immediately upon entering the country, presumably tortured/killed in the forest, and that was the end of it. Whenever the president passes, he is escorted by a military escort, which includes SUVs outfitted with anti-air assault weapons.
However, by African standards, the country is reasonably safe. There are robberies, but they are less common than in neighboring countries. There are no active rebel parties, and I have not felt particularly unsafe here. However, due to the extremely high unemployment rate and the social/cultural conditions, there is increasing concern about youth violence and gangs. You can hear youth mobs battling with machetes when high on drugs, for example. Most dangers can be avoided as a foreigner, but being robbed at knifepoint is always a risk.
The food is pretty bad. In the cities, you can buy anything imported from Europe and the Middle East. Complete alleys of junk food, often canned, sugary, and frozen. Forget about maintaining a balanced diet in this situation. There are a few overpriced restaurants where you can get mediocre food. People eat bushmeat in the cities. This means you can choose from monkeys, beavers, snakes, pangolins, and other exotics. If you're lucky, you'll be by the shore, where there will be some kind of fish. There is no agricultural market, so don't expect to eat beef or pork. If it's available, imported chicken is your best bet.
The people & local culture
I've never been to a country where the people are so bizarre. People in general are not polite or social. When you greet anyone, you often do not receive a response. They also tend to be angry and pessimistic. Many people seem to be deeply unhappy with their lives. Foreigners are treated with skepticism, and you do not get the feeling that you are welcome. People will try to con you out of money, as is common in Africa.
Religion is still widely practiced, but mostly by dishonest preachers or healers who charge money to cast out spirits or miraculously cure health problems. The majority of people believe in witchcraft and voodoo. Many people would tell you tales of strange things that happened to them or how they were cursed or had a spell cast on them. Certain places are avoided by people due to the presence of ghosts, for example.
People spend much of their time at home watching international novelas from Nigeria, Mexico, or Turkey. The music is mostly from other West African countries. The sports teams all stink, despite the fact that there is a lot of talent, but they are all chosen based on connections.
What to see and where to go
The capital city, with a population of about 300.000 inhabitants. There isn't much to do here, but the national park is beautiful (a gift from China) and the paseo maritimo (seaside boulevard) is well-kept, but it's deserted. Except for a small plaza with the cathedral, the city center is very run-down. Sipopo, a posh hotel with a private beach, is about a 2-minute drive away.
The largest settlement, with a population of about 500,000 people. The city center is more concentrated here, making it a more pleasant city than Malabo. The paseo maritimo is populated, and restaurants and supermarkets are all within walking distance. The city beach is unappealing, but it is more accessible than the one in Malabo.
-Other towns and regions
None of them are worth visiting. You can go to some nice beaches in the insular area, such as Ureka, which is possibly the nicest place in the world. I'm sure there are other beautiful places, but with the roadblocks, lack of public transportation, and/or tourism industry, it's difficult to know where they are and how to get there. The islands of Corisco and Annobon are said to be very paradisiacal.
Since the majority of foreigners here are either Arabs working in trade, Chinese working in manufacturing, Cubans working in the health sector, or Westerners working in the oil industry, foreigners don't have an especially good reputation here. The majority of oil workers are older, veteran men who live in their compound and are willing to pay for the women. The Chinese don't mix with the locals at all, and the Arabs just use the girls for pay to play and have some of the worst attitudes you can imagine. Cubans and other Latinas are maybe the most normal, but they also don't mix much with the locals because their girls would stigmatize them if they hang out with local girls. You don't seem to have much competition here, but that doesn't really matter. The government media is biased against foreigners, and there is a general sense of arrogance in the country, so people are not particularly interested or impressed by a foreigner.
There aren't many choices for nightlife. The reason for this is that the majority of the population does not have any income, and the elite have their own social spaces in the top hotels and inside their luxury homes. Don't bother infiltrating their parties. As a result, you'll quickly become a familiar face in the few available spots, where the majority of the girls are prostitutes. Money for sex is the norm in this country, so you can almost forget about picking up a girl and having sex with no expectations.
If they are Arabs, Americans, Chinese, or Cubans, they all have their own social circles. If you do not belong to any of these classes, it would be extremely difficult to maintain any semblance of a social life. Most expats are older, have families, and have lived in shitholes before. You can see a loss of passion and spirit in the ones who have been there for a while. They are mostly there to collect their pay and then leave, counting the days before they can do so. But for football and tennis, there are no real expat groups or coordinated events.
The locals you encounter at the few posh clubs or restaurants are all members of the elite. Despite the fact that their wealth was not earned but was given to them simply for being a member of the family or being related to it in some way, these elites seem to think highly of themselves. They frequently have a European mentality, complete with arrogance and closed social circles. It is extremely difficult to become friends with any of the guys or date one of their girls. They are almost never approachable, preferring to remain in their private luxury settings and within their own social circle. When you speak to them, you find that they are uneducated and that all of them are assholes who have led a life of privilege.
Those who belong to the vast majority, the disadvantaged, have healthier and friendlier mentalities, but it is also difficult to communicate with them due to a lack of social spaces. Furthermore, the social gaps are so great that they just see you as a potential source of material benefit. Honest and honest relationships become extremely difficult to maintain. You may strike up a conversation with them at the market or on the highway, but you'll quickly realize you have little in common. They have no idea what the world is like, have earned no schooling, and are essentially only trying to survive and get on with their lives. They don't read books, don't know western music, don't watch western movies, don't know about world affairs, and so on. What would you discuss?
In general, girls in Guinea are not particularly attractive. It is uncommon to come across a very attractive woman, particularly during the day. At night, there are some really attractive women, but they fall into one of two categories: the unapproachable narcissistic elite or whores. They don't have cute faces and aren't lined in the front. However, I must say that the assessment in this location can be the best in the world, at times surreal and entirely normal. Almost every girl in this country has a decent butt, and some have simply amazing ass. It's the only thing they've got going for them. Nicky Minaj will be unremarkable in this environment. Because of their poor diets, older women gain weight quickly as well. Not on an American scale, but much worse than in many other African countries where obesity is still uncommon.
Eq.Guinea has a polygamous culture. It is accepted and natural for men to have a large number of females and, though less common, for women to have a large number of males (kept hidden). Apart from that, sex is solely transactional. According to our understanding, being a whore is the norm for women in this world. That means you can fuck any woman in the country (except the elites) without much difficulty, but you almost always have to pay. The concept of love does not exist in this world. The foundation of gender relations is when a man gives money to a woman in exchange for sex. It doesn't really matter whether she really wants the money or not; it just affects the price a little. 90% of girls in bars are willing to leave for your place without hesitation, however you must pay. Even ugly or obese girls would not have free sex with you.
There are two things that are important. How much money you have, as well as your social standing and appearance. Looks do matter, because the same girl would charge the old ugly guy $100 and you just $40. If you fuck her very well...you may be able to develop some kind of mini-relationship in which you don't have to pay all the time. But, whatever you do, you must provide for the girl in exchange for sex. Outside of the elite, every girl in this country (so 97 percent) will have this mentality. In this country, you should never expect to be exclusive with any female. She will go if a rich elite guy comes along and offers her enough money.
Immigrants from Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon would be the most normal girls you will meet and have fun with. They might still be in a normal state of mind. It's also amusing to talk to them because they recognize the absurdities of the locals. While you might not have anything in common with them, you can both laugh at the locals, who have an even more messed up culture, and find common ground as a result. These girls are much more polite, with at least basic social skills and a generally positive outlook on life.
Let's look at it from the perspective of a 17-year-old young man. School is a waste of time since there is no actual work market to join. All is determined by who you know, and if you come from a low-income household, you're screwed. You don't have much money to go out, because all the hot girls your age are going out with old men in power for money, so you don't have much access to pussy. Where would you go and have fun if there are no social areas? You are limited to playing football or just hanging out. Your hormones are raging, but you have nowhere to go and no hope for a better life. If you rebel, you will face harsh consequences at the hands of the military or the police. Fortunately, you have no idea how bad your life is. You have no idea what the rest of the world is like, your friends are in the same situation, and you are used to poverty... You simply become lazy, alcoholic, and want to do everything to ensure that you are fed. Many who rebel join youth gangs, use shady drugs, rape women, and are unlikely to live long. Others join the military at a young age.
Massive shithole, don't go unless you're being paid well, and don't stay too long or you'll miss out on existence. My social life went from near-perfect to almost non-existent. You really ought to adopt a monk-like mindset, concentrating on introversion. Reading books, going to the gym and doing other activities, concentrating on work, and so on. Nonetheless, it is difficult. I've always pushed myself mentally, and I now understand a lot more where my boundaries are, as well as what things and people I admire the most. I wasn't much of an idealist to begin with, but living in a place like this makes you realize how ugly society can become when simple laws we have in the west are not followed, as well as how diverse people and cultures are.